American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
|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 words||Claims to promote “lasting peace with justice” and “nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems.”|
- Political Advocacy: Actively promotes boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel; accuses Israel of “apartheid against Palestinians”; and advocates for the “right of return,” meaning the end of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
- 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.
- In 2015, AFSC and Defense for Children International- Palestine initiated a campaign, entitled “No Way to Treat a Child,” to “challenge Isael’s prolonged military occupation of Palestinians by exposing widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.” The groups call upon the United States government to pressure Israel to end “abuse of Palestinian children,” and encourage supporters to write members of congress on behalf of their cause. The campaign claims that a letter addressed to President Obama calling for the establishment of a Special Envoy for Palestinian Children, initiated by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and signed by 20 US congressmen, was a “direct response” to demands made by its supporters.
- 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.
- Hosts “BDS Summer Institute” student leadership training courses, together with radical NGO Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), “focused on building skills for divestment campaigns.”
- Cosponsored a 2014 event featuring founder and director of Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah.
- Electronic Intifada is one of the most virulent platforms for promoting BDS campaigns, and anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments. Abunimah has stated that Zionism “is one of the worst forms of anti-Semitism in existence today,” claiming that it “dehumanizes its victims, denies their history, and has a cult-like worship of ethnoracial purity” (Twitter; October 26, 2010).
- Published a 2013 resource paper, “Forced displacement in Palestine and Israel,” claiming that the “displacement and dispossession of Palestinians from their land and homes is at the core of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis” and that upon the establishment of the state of Israel, “plans to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian population” were developed.
- Sponsored a 2013 conference organized by fringe NGO Zochrot, titled “From Truth to Redress: Realizing the Return of Palestinian Refugees,” focused on promoting the Palestinian “right of return” and the end of Israel as the Jewish state.
- 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.
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