According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that received the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize for its work assisting and rescuing victims of the Nazis, is among the 20 organizations whose senior activists have been barred from entering Israel. Peace activists in Israel who have worked with the group expressed surprise at the decision.
The AFSC was included in a list published Sunday of 20 organizations whose leaders will not be permitted to enter Israel due to their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The blacklist was compiled by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry and will be implemented by the Interior Ministry.
Read the whole story here (be careful for intrusive ad policy on the Haaretz site): How a U.S. Quaker group that won the Nobel Peace Prize ended up on Israel’s BDS blacklist – Israel News – Haaretz.com
The statement from the American Friends Service Committee can be found here: https://www.afsc.org/story/afsc-among-human-rights-orgs-barred-israel
Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist: These Are the 20 Groups Whose Members Will Be Denied Entry.
See the list here https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.833502
France-Palestine Solidarity Association
The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine
Friends of Al-Aqsa
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The Palestine Committee of Norway
Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
War on Want
American Friends Service Committee
American Muslims for Palestine
Jewish Voice for Peace
National Students for Justice Palestine
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
BDS South Africa
BDS National Committee
In contrast: Here is the list of Israeli organizations the BDS movement tagged for boycotting: http://bdslist.org/full-list
According to Kerri Kennedy, Associate General Secretary for International Programs at the American Friends Service Committee:
“Motivated by Quaker belief in the worth and dignity of all people, the American Friends Service Committee has supported and joined in nonviolent resistance for over 100 years. We answered the call for divestment from apartheid South Africa and we have done the same with the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions from Palestinians who have faced decades of human rights violations. We will continue to stand up for peace and justice in Israel, occupied Palestine, and around the world.”
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” We are getting close to winning ;-). The response to this fascist state’s litany of new laws and regulation that stifle free speech, destroy non-Jews in Jerusalem, kidnap children, deny freedom of movement, assassinate people, etc., should fall under these basic categories:
- Intensify the work for BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) around the world and take time now to support the 20 groups that the Israeli regime is trying to silence (and the many others they missed :-)
- Lobby all governments to treat Israeli citizens in kind: any Israeli citizen or those connected with Israeli organizations who/which refuse/s to accept internationally recognized rights of Palestinians (for refugees to return, for freedom etc) should be denied entry to all countries whose citizens were denied entry to Palestine (which has to go through “Israeli” borders).
- Intensify lobbying governments around the world to withdraw recognition of the state of “Israel” until it complies with International law including its commitment when it was admitted as a member of the UN (which it never fulfilled)
- Lobby to expel “Israel” out of the UN (for legal reason shown in 3)
- Take all the violators of the Fourth Geneva Convention (basically all living Israeli leaders) to International courts and courts in all countries for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The International Court of Jstice already ruled that all Israeli actions in the occupied territories including in Jerusalem (such as building walls and colonies) are illegal per international law (a crime punishable under Nuremberg laws).
- Reinvigorate and rethink activism that was weak. For example, see this very important thought provoking analysis of activism in the USA;
- Do the other 70 actions listed here and if doing them expand them and intensify them: http://qumsiyeh.org/whatyoucando
For the importance of academic boycotts, please read
THE AFSC ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT
AFSC among human rights orgs barred from Israel
Dear Friends,Yesterday the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was included on a list of 20 organizations whose staff may be denied entry to Israel because of their support for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Motivated by Quaker belief in the worth and dignity of all people, AFSC has supported and joined in nonviolent resistance for over 100 years. We answered the call for divestment from apartheid in South Africa, and we have done the same with the call for BDS from Palestinians who have faced decades of human rights violations.
Throughout our history, we have stood with communities facing oppression and violence around the world. In 1947 we were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in part for our support for Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust. We will continue our legacy of speaking truth to power and standing for peace and justice without exception in Israel, occupied Palestine, and around the world.
All people, including Palestinians, have a right to live in safety and peace and have their human rights respected. For 51 years, Israel has denied Palestinians in the occupied territories their fundamental human rights, in defiance of international law. While Israeli Jews enjoy full civil and political rights, prosperity, and relative security, Palestinians under Israeli control enjoy few or none of those rights or privileges.
The Palestinian BDS call aims at changing this situation, asking the international community to use proven nonviolent social change tactics until equality, freedom from occupation, and recognition of refugees’ right to return are realized.?AFSC’s Principles for a Just and Lasting Peace in Palestine and Israel affirm each of these rights. Thus, we have joined others around the world in responding to the Palestinian-led BDS call.? As Palestinians seek to realize their rights and end Israeli oppression, what are the alternatives left to them if we deny them such options?
Quakers pioneered the use of boycotts when they helped lead the “Free Produce Movement,” a boycott of goods produced using slave labor during the 1800s. AFSC has a long history of supporting economic activism, which we view as an appeal to conscience, aimed at raising awareness among those complicit in harmful practices, and as an effective tactic for removing structural support for oppression.
The 17th century Quaker abolitionist John Woolman spoke to the spiritual foundation of this work when he said, “May we look upon our treasures, and the furniture of our houses, and the garments in which we array ourselves, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions.”
The ban on entry to Israel for activists who support the Palestinian-led BDS movement is part of a larger effort by the Israeli government to silence and constrain human rights and anti-occupation activists. In recent months, more Palestinian activists have faced arrest, death threats, and imprisonment without charge or trial in response to nonviolent activism for human rights. In addition, organizations inside Israel have been denied funding and access to event venues and have faced threats of trial and imprisonment.
At a time when the Israeli government is moving to expand settlements, redefine Jerusalem, and annex portions of the West Bank, support for nonviolent activism that seeks freedom, equality, and justice is critical.
Therefore, as long as these and other human rights violations persist, we will continue to support Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions efforts as effective nonviolent tools for realizing political and social change. We hope one day to see Israelis and Palestinians live together in peace. This will only happen when the human rights of all are recognized and respected.In solidarity,