Minute Re: Israel-Hamas War in Palestine:

Approved as titled on 6/09/24; This minute was approved by Baltimore Yearly Meeting on 04/20/2024

As Quakers we believe in the sacred worth of each person and our historic Peace Testimony prompts us to stand against violence in all its forms. We grieve for the loss of each life, and with those in Israel and Palestine who are losing loved ones. We pray with those waiting for the return of loved ones and those living under siege and bombardment.

We join with many millions across the world to call for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access, an end to the catastrophic bombing of civilian Gaza, and action to create the conditions for a lasting peace.

Military action will not bring peace. History shows us that retaliatory violence is a failure (witness the wars of retribution in Iraq and Afghanistan). Violence only begets more violence. There are no winners and people are dying as a preventable humanitarian crisis deepens.

The many faith traditions represented in the region share a religious obligation to feed the hungry, care for the sick and wounded, and protect the most vulnerable from violence. We urge the combatants, our government, and the entire international community to respect the 4th Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilians in War.

We also call on all of us—from national and international leaders to religious bodies, media and people in their communities whether impacted or removed from this war—to firmly disavow dehumanizing anti-Palestinian and anti-Semitic rhetoric and approaches that deepen painful divisions and politicize the current crisis. Our conviction that peace will prevail on earth, as the scriptures of the great religions of the world have promised, requires this of each of us, for humanity to regain its footing amid such incredible violence and suffering. This is a time for strong moral resolve, spiritual fortitude, and immediate action.

Third Haven Friends Monthly Meeting is a member of Southern Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends General Conference of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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