From its earliest inception, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has placed rejection of war as basic to our understanding of God’s will. We believe that human beings are capable of solving conflicts through reason, an empathetic understanding of the other’s point of view, and the courage to take principled, nonviolent action in the face of injustice.
In this spirit, the Olympia Friends Meeting urges all parties in the current conflict to declare a ceasefire and work toward a negotiated settlement of their grievances. As Quakers who are also U.S. citizens, we strongly object to the fact that tax-payer funded U. S. military equipment is being used illegally in this conflict. We are very concerned that Israel is using weapons supplied by the United States to target Palestinian & Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon in violation of the US Arms Export Control Act and the Geneva Conventions.
The Israeli air force fighter squadrons are composed of Lockheed Martin F-16I Fighting Falcons and Boeing F-15Is, which fire US-manufactured AMRAAM, Sidewinder, and Sparrow missiles. From 2000-2005, the United States licensed to Israel at least $1.062 billion of spare parts, engines, and missiles for its F-15 and F-16 fighter planes.
From 2000-2005, the United States licensed to the Israeli navy more than $572 million worth of patrol boat, ship, and submarine components and spare parts, torpedoes, and sonar equipment. From 2000-2005, the United States licensed to Israel more than $348 million worth of tanks, components, and spare parts. (Statistics for US weapons licensed to Israel are compiled from the State Department’s annual report to Congress pursuant to Sec. 655 of the Foreign Assistance Act)
By using US-supplied weapons to attack Gaza and Lebanon, Israel is violating the terms of the US Arms Export Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act. The Arms Export Control Act restricts the use of US weapons to legitimate self-defense and internal policing; US weapons cannot be used to attack civilians in offensive operations nor can they be used to destroy civilian infrastructure such as power plants. The Foreign Assistance Act prohibits US aid of any kind to a country that routinely kills civilians as a result of its military operations.
The Olympia Friends Meeting urges the President and Congress to act immediately to halt Israel’s military attacks in the Middle East that are being conducted with U.S.-supplied weapons in violation of our laws. We urge the President and Congress to stop all foreign assistance and military equipment exports to Israel until it ceases military attacks outside of its internationally recognized borders.
This minute was adapted from the minute developed by the Atlanta Friends Meeting and approved by them on July 16, 2006