Minute Concerning War in Israel/Palestine

Informed in part by the experiences of two of our Meeting’s early members, who worked in the region aiding Palestinian refugees in 1947, Port Townsend Friends Meeting has long carried a strong concern for the well-being of Israel/Palestine. We are stricken with horror, grief, and dismay at the recent renewed eruption of violence there.

As Quakers, we believe in religious freedom, human equality, and the total unacceptability of violence as a means of settling conflict. Both the October attack of Hamas upon Israelis and the ongoing response by Israel, which has left tens of thousands dead or wounded and triggered a horrific humanitarian crisis in Gaza, are repugnant.

We call for an immediate ceasefire and the prompt release of all hostages and uncharged prisoners on both sides. We demand urgent action to relieve the tremendous suffering that has been created in Gaza with the immediate provision of food, shelter, and medicine. We demand that the United States no longer provide weapons that are used to kill innocent civilians indiscriminately, and support the United Nations’ call for a ceasefire rather than continue to obstruct it.

We further call for the warring parties to embark upon a meaningful dialogue. International powers must use every available resource to support a diplomatic rather than military resolution to the conflict, one which accords equal respect and rights to all.

Approved January 14, 2024

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