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Act for Peace (AFP)

Profile

Country/TerritoryAustralia
Websitehttp://www.actforpeace.org.au/
Founded1948, as the aid agency of the Australian Council for the World Council of Churches (WCC) and acts as the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA).
In their own words“to achieve safety, justice and dignity in communities threatened by conflict and natural disaster.”

Funding

  • In FY 16-17, total income was AUD 12.3 million; total expenses were AUD 11.2 million.
  • Donors include Australia (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Immigration and Border Protection), United States (United States Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance), United Nations (Food and Agriculture Organization), and Church of Sweden (Sweden).
  • In 2017, Act for Peace received AUD 1.8 million from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Activities

Political Advocacy

  • According to its website, “EAPPI is managed by Act for Peace.” On return to Australia, EAPPI “work[s] with the Act for Peace team, other returned Accompaniers and advocacy groups to develop and implement an awareness-raising and advocacy plan.”
  • Hosts “Christmas Bowl Appeals” as a way for “compassionate Christians to express the love of Christ to those in great need around the globe.” Act for Peace’s campaign for Gaza, called “Giving hope to the future of Gaza,” was meant to raise funds for young people in Gaza whose opportunities are “scarce” due to “Gaza’s long blockade and the recent devastating war.”
  • In preparation for the 2015 World Week for Peace in Palestine & Israel, Act for Peace called on the Australian Foreign Minister to “use all diplomatic efforts to lift the blockade of Gaza and ensure the effective movement of persons, goods, equipment and humanitarian aid to ease the humanitarian crisis” as “Israel’s seven year blockade of Gaza has paralysed the movement of people.” Act for Peace also provided a fact sheet on the “Separation Wall,” as well as “Worship Liturgy” with the aim that “this liturgy would inspire us to break down walls of prejudice, fear and violence in our own communities, and would activate communities across the world to speak out against the scandalous wall separating Israel and Palestine.”
  • In its 2014 “Gaza Crisis Appeal,” accused Israel of launching a “new offensive… target[ing] agricultural areas and civilian homes, as well as military training sites and government buildings,” without any acknowledgement of Hamas’ exploitation of the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. AFP also blames the “long-standing blockade” for the deterioration and continuation of the conflict, failing to mention that the purpose of Israel’s blockade is to prevent the illegal flow of weapons to Hamas and other terrorist groups.
  • Organized the “#wearehuman” campaign, stemming from “the plea of Dr Wafa Kanaan who works at a health clinic supported by Act for Peace in Gaza.” The campaign, which sought to raise funds for Gaza, utilizes highly emotive language, stating: “We could hear the bombs as she spoke to us while cradling her 11 month old baby that she felt powerless to protect. Thousands of people, mostly civilians including women and children, have been killed, injured or left homeless by the current conflict in Gaza and Israel.”

Partners

  • AFP’s implementing partner in Gaza is the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, the local division of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and part of the Near East Council of Churches (NECC).

    Member of ACT Alliance, a coalition of 144 churches and church-related organizations.

    • ACT Alliance promotes demonizing rhetoric against Israel; international boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) campaigns; as well as the Kairos Palestine document, which calls for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel; denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms; and rationalizes, justifies, and trivializes terrorism, calling it “legal resistance.”
    • Supported the EU’s decision to label products exported from Israeli communities over the 1967 ceasefire line, calling it “an important measure towards ensuring continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation.”
  • Member of ACT Palestine Forum, a coalition of ACT Alliance Members that cooperates in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza under the Act Alliance network.
    • Advocacy goals include contributing “to a global discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that addresses the consequences of occupation, promotes access of individuals to resources, and ultimately brings an end to the occupation” and targeting “Christian communities on the International level…by stressing Christians’ suffering in the Holy Land and seek to preserve Christians presence in Palestine.”
    • Urges “various forms of boycott of settlement products,” accusing Israel of denying “Palestinians their fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and self-determination through military occupation.”
    • Published a February 2013 Advocacy Paper, “The ‘Permit Regime’ and Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Freedom of Worship,” alleging that “Under Israeli military occupation, repression has become the worst of history compared to that of South Africa. It’s a sophisticated form of social, economic, political and racial discrimination, strangulation, and genocide, incorporating the worst elements of colonialism and apartheid as well as repressive dispossession, displacement and state terrorism to separate Palestinians from their land and heritage, deny them their rightful civil and human rights, and gradually remove or eliminate them altogether. The ID/permit system is one of many elements designed to make greater Israel an ethnically pure Jewish state.”

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