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American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttp://afsc.org/
Founded“in the crucible of World War I by Quakers who aimed to serve both humanity and country while being faithful to their commitment to nonviolence.”
In their own wordsClaims to promote “lasting peace with justice” and “nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems.”

Funding

Activities

BDS Activities

  • Dalit Baum, director of AFSC’s Middle East program in San Francisco, is co-founder of Coalition of Women for Peace’s flagship BDS project “Who Profits?” (now an independent organization) and formerly served as the campaign’s project manager. According to Baum’s profile, “She has been active with various groups in the Israeli anti-occupation and democratization movement, including Black Laundry, Boycott from Within, Zochrot, Anarchists against the Wall and Women in Black.” Baum lobbies international audiences on how best to promote the global BDS campaign against Israel.
  • AFSC works to increase Palestinian participation in BDS campaigns.
  • AFSC launched an online investment screening tool to “help individuals and institutions identify companies on their investment portfolios that are directly complicit in ongoing severe violations of human rights and international law.”
  • Among the BDS campaigns that AFSC has advanced are ones targeting Hewlett Packard and Sodastream.
  • In a March 17, 2016 Letter to the Editor to the Des Moines Register, Kathleen McQuillen, AFSC – Iowa Program Coordinator, stated, that “Opponents of BDS generally support Israel’s occupation.”
  • Sponsored a two-day conference (March 28-29, 2014) in Philadelphia, entitled, “The Role of the US in Israel-Palestine: Current Realities & Creative Responses.” The conference, sponsored by Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA), sought to “galvanize advocacy for justice in Israel-Palestine” by featuring workshops promoting boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns, the Kairos Palestine document, an end to U.S. military aid to Israel, and “[r]eaffirming the Israel-Palestine conflict as a civil rights struggle, with parallels to South Africa and the American South.” The conference featured an AFSC poster exhibit titled, “Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism.”
  • In 2014, AFSC tweeted “So many similarities between apartheid South Africa and Palestine #BDS.”
  • Published a 2011 “Israel-Palestine No-buy List,” compiled “with assistance” from the Who Profits (Coalition of Women for Peace) online database, which identifies targets for anti-Israel divestment and boycotts.

Campus Initiatives

  • From August 10-14, 2014, AFSC and Jewish Voice for Peace launched the “BDS Summer Institute,” a five-day indoctrination session in California to train college students to stage divisive and discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) events on campus as part of the political warfare strategy against Israel adopted at the 2001 Durban NGO Forum.
  • Published a 2013 pamphlet on “Seven ways to support peace in Israel/Palestine on campus this semester,” which urges students to advance BDS, organize “flash mob[s],” target Israeli companies, start divestment campaigns, and create additional chapters of the Students for Justice in Palestine group.

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