Breakthrough! Quakers Spanning 3 US States Call For Boycott & Divestment
Exciting news! Lake Erie Yearly Meeting, a regional Quaker organization encompassing Ohio, Michigan, and Western Pennsylvania, has become the first Quaker Yearly Meeting to officially endorse boycott and divestment targeting companies complicit in the Israeli occupation. The recently adopted minute states:
"Lake Erie Yearly Meeting calls for Friends to join the boycott of products made in Israel's illegal West Bank settlements and to divest from companies that support Israel's military occupation and repression of the Palestinian people."
Congratulations to member organization Palestine-Israel Action Group of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting and the many others who helped achieve this breakthrough, the latest in a string of Quaker decisions and actions in support of Palestinian rights, including (click here for a complete list):
- Last year, the Friends Fiduciary Corporation, which manages more than 300 Quaker institutions, divested more than $1.2 million in holdings of Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Veoliafollowing advocacy by Ann Arbor Friends working for Palestinian rights.
- The American Friends Service Committee implemented a screen banning investment in 29 companies that benefit from the Israeli occupation. Earlier this year, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. unanimously adopted the same screen!
- Now, the U.S. Quakers are setting their sights on Israel's illegal settlement products.Illinois Yearly Meeting, Blue River Quarterly Meeting, St. Louis Monthly Meeting and Colorado Springs Monthly Meeting all came out in support of the We Divest Campaign(check out the new website!) urging financial giant TIAA-CREF to divest from the Israeli occupation.
Inspired by the breakthrough, and with support from the US Campaign, Quakers nationwide are forming a new national group, Quaker Palestine Israel Network (QPIN) to further Friends' support for Palestinian freedom through boycott and divestment campaigns. Are you a Quaker or do you know someone who is? Invite them to click here to join QPIN during this exciting, pivotal moment!
Likewise, inspired by the MCC-U.S. decision to go occupation-free, Mennonites have QPIN and Menno-PIN could soon be the newest members of theInterfaith Boycott Coalition, a network of the US Campaign, which launched a campaign earlier this year to boycott SodaStream, an Israeli settlement product. If you haven't yet,sign the "Thirsting for Justice" petition to show your support for the Interfaith SodaStream Boycott.
Faith-based organizing and SodaStream boycotts will be just two of the many topics covered at the US Campaign's 12th AnnualNational Organizers' Conference September 20-22 -- less than three weeks away! -- at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Have you registered yet?