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October 4, 2012 9:11 am

Quakers Divest from Israel in ‘Absence’ of Definitive Information

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An IDF Caterpillar D9—a machine that often comes under fire when the Presbyterian Church considers divesting from companies doing business with Israel. Photo: MathKnight.

Friends Fiduciary Corp.—a nonprofit managing assets for American Quakers—divested from its holdings in Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard due to questions over whether the products they sell Israel can be considered “weapons components,” the Associated Press reported.

Using the narrative of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) advocates as the basis for their divestment decision, Friends Fiduciary Executive Director Jeffrey Perkins wrote, “In the absence of that information [on those companies’ sales to Israel], we chose to sell our holdings based on the peace testimony.” BDS activists claim that Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard profit from non-peaceful uses of their products against the Palestinians, such the bulldozing of homes in Gaza, and the Quaker religion is against weapons usage.

Friends Fiduciary, which is based in Philadelphia, divested from a third company doing business with Israel, Veolia Environment, due to “environmental and social concerns,” according to Perkins. BDS activists protest investment in Veolia because it has contracts for the transferring of garbage from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

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  • karen devito

    Have just noticed this troubling anti-Semitic action by the US Quakers.

    Boycotting Israel is indeed a warlike act and ill suits the Quakers who have become an unChristian organization. The UN Charter calls boycotts “warfare” and this action may just be the thing that disqualifies them from NGO observer status at the UN.

    One thing’s for sure: they will never get another donation from me and my extended family again.

    • Charles Simpson

      Karen,
      As a Quaker, I urge you to look at the evidence. As of this weekend, over 5,000 missiles fired by Israel have destoryed 18000 homes in Gaza which, given restrictions on imported material, will take over 18 years to rebuild. There are now 2087 dead there, including 467 children. More than 3000 other Gaza children are injured and 1500 are orphans. 25 schools have been hit; 6 UN sanctuaries; 11 UN staff killed; and 1.5 million lack access to safe water. 360 factories are destroyed, adding to what is already a 50% unemployment rate, and 42,000 acres of farmland have been pockmarked by missiles and ripped up by IDF tanks. On the Israeli side, 3 civilians have been killed while 67 soldiers involved in the incursions have died.
      Can any rational justify this, the third incursion by Israel into what is a sealed and occupied Palastinian ghetto, not unlike the Warsaw Ghetto?
      Please, work for peace and justice in the only possible way by urging Israel to end the occupation, the siege, the attacks.

      • Karen DeVito

        Someone has impersonated me. I sailed to Gaza in 2011, ended up in ISraeli prison.
        I have not changed my mind.
        I spoke at the Friends’ Meeting Hall here. They know.

    • Karen DeVito

      Someone is impersonating me. Possible the same person who has been harassing me online.
      I was on the Canadian Boat to Gaza in 2011.On my return I spoke at the Friends’ Meeting hall in my city. Quakers understand justice and peace better than anyone.

      I doubt this reply wiil be posted in this highly biased site

  • The Quakers claim to be pacifists. However, joining a boycott is an act of war.

    • Empress Trudy

      Actually standing with genocidal fascist antisemitic ethnic cleansers is more than an act of war, it’s an insult to humanity and to their own god.

    • Mackenzie

      I don’t understand how boycott could possibly be a violation of the Testimony to Peace. Nobody is injured.

      That’s like saying a child giving another the silent treatment is equally violent to one who beats another unconscious.

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