Quakers join call to oppose Trump 'peace plan'

By agency reporter
January 30, 2020

Quakers in Britain and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (UK and Ireland) have joined many UK-based humanitarian, development, human rights and faith organisations to robustly defend the rights of the Palestinian people. They say a sustainable peace for Palestinians and Israelis can only be built on the foundations of international law.

Full text of the statement follows:

Last May, a group of UK-based humanitarian, development, human rights and faith organisations working to support the rights and welfare of the Palestinian people raised the alarm over President Trump's so-called 'peace plan'. Since then, we have witnessed only further devastating human impacts of occupation: increasing rates of demolition of Palestinian structures and the displacement of families, obstruction of access to healthcare and education, and the chronic deterioration of the Palestinian economy which is leading to unemployment and destruction of livelihoods.

There is a major risk that the so-called 'peace plan', set to be released imminently, will lead to the formal annexation of Palestinian land, perpetual Israeli occupation, and the negation of Palestinians' collective right to self-determination. Such an outcome will only deepen poverty and polarisation.

Formal annexation would also seriously breach a foundational principle of the post-WWII international legal order, with implications far beyond the Israel-Palestine context.

Palestinians are already losing their land with creeping de-facto annexation of the West Bank, forcing them to become perpetually aid dependent despite abundant natural resources.

A sustainable peace for Palestinians and Israelis can only be built on the foundations of international law. We are deeply concerned that the basic human rights and civilian protections guaranteed to the Palestinian people are now in even greater danger.

We therefore reiterate our urgent call on the UK government, parliamentarians and civil society organisations to reaffirm their commitment to the principles of international law and justice at this critical time, and uphold their respective legal and moral responsibilities to robustly defend the rights of the Palestinian people.

The UK has repeatedly stated that annexation of part of the West Bank “would be contrary to international law, damaging to peace efforts and could not pass unchallenged." Now is the time for the UK to outline what form such a challenge would take, and how it will work with other states to support the Palestinian people to attain their fundamental right to self-determination.

There is a possible path to sustainable peace if we listen, learn, and bring more voices to the table. Peace should be rooted in the recognition of the human rights and dignity of all Palestinians and Israelis, as well as a firm foundation in international law.

The statement is endorsed by:

  • ABCD Bethlehem
  • Care International UK
  • Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD)
  • Christian Aid
  • Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu)
  • Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel - UK & Ireland (EAPPI UK & Ireland)
  • Embrace the Middle East
  • Friends of Birzeit University (Fobzu)
  • Friends of Nablus and the Surrounding Areas (FONSA)
  • Interpal
  • Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR)
  • Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)
  • Sabeel-Kairos UK
  • War on Want
  • Welfare Association
  • Quakers in Britain

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

* Quakers in Britain https://www.quaker.org.uk/

[Ekk/4]

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