We have read news reports that claim Quakers in the UK and Europe support a campaign to boycott Arab and Iranian goods. The reports are untrue and the quotes are falsely attributed to Quakers.
Why we work on issues relating to Palestine & Israel
QCEA is an advocacy organisation grounded in the Quaker Testimonies to peace, equality, integrity and simplicity. Our purpose is to advocate at European level – with the EU and the Council of Europe – on issues which reflect Quaker concerns.
QCEA recognises the important role the EU has in the ongoing efforts to contribute to a lasting peace in Palestine & Israel. QCEA has therefore decided to focus part of its programme on this. Our work seeks to influence the EU and its Institutions in its approach to this conflict and the parties to this conflict.
Our approach is based on our belief that the occupation affects not only Palestinians but also Israelis. We see the suffering experienced by both peoples, Palestinians and Israelis. Quakers believe that there is that of God in everyone, victim or perpetrator of violence and human rights abuses, and we endeavour to ensure that this is reflected in all of our work.
We are aware of the impact of 20th century European history on the conflict and of the responsibility all Europeans and thus all European governments carry. This history is real and has an impact on the reality and lives of people in Palestine, Israel and everywhere. We recognise the difficulty this causes for the EU and its Member States to negotiate a common policy and a common approach to the conflict in Palestine/Israel.
Our approach is based on the firm belief that all people have a right to exist in peace and security. It follows that both Israelis and Palestinians must be guaranteed this right. Whether this is in two separate states or in one state, it must be based on a viable state, within secure borders, where equality for all is guaranteed and where democratic participation is available to all citizens.
Our approach is based on a firm belief in non-violence; we do not nor will we ever condone violence on the part of anyone: individuals, groups, or states.