Thursday, November 02, 2006

Quaker Expulsion From the West Bank

A communication with my Meeting House concerning
denial of reentry into the West Bank for Quakers

Dear Friends,

I've cut and pasted the following email from my
friend, Jane, who asked me yesterday if I had
heard, "the Quakers were given one week to pack and
leave". It seems the Israelis are denying reentry to
any Friends who leave and try to return.

Jane has an interesting and distinguished background.
She graduated from Harvard where she studied Sharia,
Islamic law, and became a fluent speaker of Arabic.
She went to the West Bank as the administrator of a
multimillion dollar funded NGO about a decade ago.
After her contract ended she stayed on because she
loved the place and the people. She's returning to
the states in two weeks and is worried that she will
also be denied reentry into the West Bank.

Jane's Email
"The couple that run the Quaker Center and Program
(American Friends Service Committee) was given one
week to pack up and leave when they entered Israel
recently. In addition one of the English teachers at
the Friends School, founded and supported since
decades by US and English but mostly US Friends was
denied entry, leaving no one to teach her 7th grade
English classes. The couple are appealing and we hope
for the best. Note that none of these people are any
security threat or offer anything other than goodness,
also that the US and Israel have a reciprocal
agreement which says that we have to apply the same
entry/reentry/visa regulations to each others

Note that all of these people are US citizens, and
that the Friends School has been a Western Christian
institution here for about 40 years, bringing Western
values and moderation to people, increasing the image
of the West and especially Christians there, etc. A
huge investment and effort on the part of thoughtful
caring Chrisitans down the decades now being denied
any assurance of crucial staff."

I believe there has been a Quaker presence in the West
Bank for over 100 years. I think she is mistaken about
the Friends School being a mere 40 years old.



Blogger Scott Pettersen said...


Thanks for being a lone voice in the wilderness. Keep up the good work.


9:06 AM  
Blogger Bronwin Peel said...

Thank you, Scott. It's heartening to hear words of praise occasionally.

11:51 AM  

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