A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest
When crises break out in the Middle East, the U.S. too often turns to violence first. FCNL lobbies for nonviolent engagement in the Middle East to prevent, de-escalate and resolve longstanding conflicts. Political grievances contribute to instability and violence, so lasting peace in the region will require engagement with all stakeholders.
What's New on the Middle East
I've gotten lots of calls and messages from many of you asking me FCNL's position on the new version of the Corker bill on Iran after it passed unanimously in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week.
Your representative is about to decide whether to join a group speaking out for diplomacy with Iran.
Huge news: we have a breakthrough! Negotiators just announced outlines of a deal over Iran's nuclear program!
As FCNL watches the violence in Iraq and Syria and the U.S. bombing, we long for an answer of how to stop the killing and protect the people at risk. Some of you have shared with us your belief and frustration that military action seems like the only way to stop the Islamic State militants. We do not have all the answers at FCNL, but we remain concerned that this military action -- like so many before it -- will not help build a world free of war and the threat of war; indeed, it is likely to lead to greater violence and endless war.
We support the ongoing negotiations between the United States, its negotiating partners and Iran to finalize an agreement that would guard against a nuclear-armed Iran, another US war in the Middle East and begin lifting sanctions that had a devastating impact on Iranian civilians. Securing a negotiated settlement to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program would strengthen the global non-proliferation regime and has the potential to open the door to U.S.-Iran engagement on de-escalating the conflict in Syria and other regional matters.
We work to highlight the voices of Palestinians and Israelis working for nonviolent solutions to the conflict and supporting inclusive, diplomatic efforts to secure a just peace for both peoples. FCNL opposes U.S. military aid to Israel and supports humanitarian and development aid to the region. We call on the Obama administration and Congress to urge Israel to immediately lift the blockade on Gaza, in accordance with the August 2014 ceasefire agreement.
We call for the U.S. to take steps to de-escalate the violence in Iraq and Syria. Military responses will only increase the violence, so the U.S. should act nonviolently and stop bombing and military campaigns. Political solutions must engage all stakeholders.
FCNL Statement of Legislative Policy
"We support active non-violent responses to prevent or transform violent conflict at all levels.
The cycles of violence perpetuated by acts of terror and the armed overthrow of governments serve as warning against the use of force, while the examples of nonviolent movements for change provide concrete alternatives.”