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
FCNL's Legislative Representative for Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Yasmine Taeb, submits a written statement for the record to the House Homeland Security Hearing on the "Crisis of Confidence: Preventing Terrorist Infiltration Through U.S. Refugee and Visa Programs."
Because of the countless letters, calls, and tweets you sent to your senators, the Senate voted to block a dangerous and discriminatory anti-refugee legislation, the so-called “American SAFE Act,” from coming to the Senate floor for a vote.
On January 20, 2015, the U.S. Senate blocked a vote on H.R. 4038, the American SAFE Act of 2015. The American SAFE Act would effectively shut down our refugee resettlement program and immediately put a halt to the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
As FCNL does not engage in direct humanitarian or development service work, we are not in a position to oversee and therefore formally endorse specific projects. However, the list below includes many organizations we partner with in our advocacy work that have on the ground projects to address the Syrian refugee crisis.
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.”