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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

  • 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.
  • Accuses Israel of “obvious violence in Gaza…slow and systematic ethnic cleansing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem through continuing displacement from sprawling illegal settlements, land grabs, the separation barrier…crushing restrictions of Palestinian movement, and a network of racist laws.”
  • AFSC supports efforts to encourage Israeli youth to dodge the draft.
  • In 2015, AFSC and Defense for Children International- Palestine (DCI-P) initiated a campaign, entitled “
  • American Muslims for Palestine, Amnesty International-USA, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Friends of Sabeel North America, Jewish Voice for Peace, Mennonite Central Committee US, and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
  • The campaign sponsors events across the United States, with partner organizations including Kairos Puget Sound Coalition and Jewish Voice for Peace.
  • As part of their “No Way to Treat a Child” campaign, DCI-P and AFSC held a hearing in Congress on June 8, 2017 on “how persistent human rights violations, systematic impunity, discrimination and a hyper-militarized environment affect the lives of the Palestinian children growing up under a military occupation with no end in sight.” Speakers included Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch and Nadia Ben-Youssef of Adalah.
  • On June 30, 2016, AFSC, alongside Chicago clergy letters, delivered a petition to US Senator Dick Durbin, urging him to end the blockade of Gaza, as “We, who have the advantage of seeing the reality of Gaza without this baggage of dehumanizing indoctrination can take a stand for the humanity of the Palestinian people in Gaza.”
  • In April 2016, AFSC organized a speaking tour alongside Jewish Voice for Peace to “raise support for conscientious objectors in Israel.” The tour featured two speakers who had refused service in the Israeli military.
  • In March 2016, AFSC was a sponsor for the Zochrot conference titled, “The Third International Conference on the Return of Palestinian Refugees.” The conference featured members of Badil, Israel Social TV, and Sadaka Reut.
  • In 2014, AFSC held an event to discuss how “Israel’s bombs are slaughtering civilians held captive inside the besieged Gaza Strip. This horrific violence stems from decades of colonization, dispossession, and apartheid by an Israeli state that serves the interests of US domination in the oil-rich Middle East.”
  • 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.

BDS Activities

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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