Thursday, 8 January 2009

Gaza - Europe and Middle East Quaker Statement

Crisis in Gaza - Statement by the Executive Committee of EMES

Friends in Europe and the Middle East reach out in grief and solidarity to all Friends caught up in the appalling violence that is once again being visited upon the inhabitants of Gaza. We are holding in the Light especially the children, parents and staff of the Palestinian Early Childhood Education Programme (PECEP), which runs 13 kindergartens in Gaza with financial support from Quaker Service Norway. We will try and share news of them when we can. We uphold our Friends in Ramallah Monthly Meeting, Friends International Centre Ramallah, Friends Schools, the Am'ari Play Centre, American Friends Service Committee and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), all of whom witness to our precious Quaker values of Truth, Peace and Integrity amid daily abuse of human rights.

We stand with them, with all civilian victims of violence, and with all Palestinian and Israeli people who, through many organisations, work tirelessly for justice and peace for all who call this land their home. EMES Representatives have been sent web links and other information on the crisis to share with their Meetings.

We call upon the powerful of the earth to heed the voice of the dispossessed, and say with the Psalmist: "The Lord will not abandon his people; he will not desert those who belong to him. Justice will again be found in the courts, and all righteous people will support it." (Psalm 94, verses 14 and 15). We unequivocally affirm the declaration of founder Quakers in 1660 that "All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world."


FWCC EMES is the collective body for Quaker meetings in Europe and the Middle East. All individual members of yearly meetings and groups affiliated with EMES are members of FWCC.

Representatives from the yearly meetings and affiliated groups normally meet each Easter for the EMES Annual Meeting.