In 2012 Massachusetts Peace Action formed a working group on Palestine-Israel. We have come to see this arena as essential in the struggle for peace and justice in the region, and that it is closely connected to the issues with which both national and Massachusetts Peace Action have traditionally been concerned, as spelled out in the following sections.
Massachusetts Peace Action’s core program mirrors national Peace Action priorities: nuclear disarmament; federal funds for human needs rather than military uses; ending wars and preventing new ones from starting; a foreign policy based on diplomacy rather than militarism. The conflict in the Middle East is connected to each of these areas:
Disarmament. Israel’s nuclear weapons threaten its neighbors and make it difficult to promote a nuclear-free Middle East. The ongoing militarization of the region drives a dangerous arms race.
Military budget. Israel receives more U.S. military aid than any other country. U.S. weapons help Israel to avoid compromising with Palestinians and its neighbors. Reducing military aid to the region will reduce tensions there and will redirect funds for human needs here. The U.S. should encourage changes in Israeli policy by tying financial aid to its ending the Occupation.
Ending wars and preventing new ones. Israel’s continued advocacy of a military strike on Iran keeps the region on edge and is the main driver of a threatened U.S.-Iran conflict.
Diplomacy instead of militarism. Sustained diplomatic efforts to end the Occupation are essential to resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict and can serve as a model for broader regional efforts. U.S.-supported occupation and continued settlement expansion in the West Bank sets Israel and the U.S. at odds with the entire Arab people and isolates the U.S. from world public opinion. Addressing these issues diplomatically would lead to a safer, more peaceful Middle East.
Massachusetts Peace Action will work to promote sustainable peace with justice in Israel/Palestine by supporting peacemakers in both communities and by pressing for an end to military aid to the Israeli government while Israel maintains the occupation.
In order to support individuals and groups working for peace with justice in the region, we will:
- Integrate peace in Israel/Palestine into our core program materials where appropriate and effective.
- Engage our members and the general public by suggesting educational resources and offering occasional programs on the region.
- Support projects and groups that include disarmament, cutting military aid, and engaging in diplomacy as part of their work on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
- Stand in solidarity with peacemakers in the region and the U.S., who are often vilified by AIPAC, the ADL, and other “mainstream” Jewish organizations.
- Work with advocates of a “two state” as well as a “one state” solution, leaving the contours of a settlement in the hands of the Israeli and Palestinian people.
- Speak out against human rights abuses and violence by any parties in the conflict.
Read Massachusetts Peace Action’s statement on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions
Israels 50 Years of Occupation Abuses – Human Rights Watch, June 4 2017
HOW MUCH MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL? (2009-2018) – US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
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