Minute on Friends Fiduciary Corporation Investments Relating to Israel/Palestine

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On May 6, 2012, Sandy Spring Friends Meeting approved the following:

Our Meeting has a significant portion of its reserves invested in Friends Fiduciary’s Consolidated Fund.   We appreciate that in deciding on investments for the Consolidated Fund, Friends Fiduciary Corporation is guided by its principles of Socially Responsible Investing.  Consistent with these principles, the Meeting asks Friends Fiduciary to divest from companies that support and profit from violence of any kind in the Israeli Palestinian conflict.*

*For purposes of identifying such companies we recommend the American Friends Service Committee document “Companies Violating AFSC’s Israel-Palestine Investment Screen” http://www.afsc.org/document/israel-palestine-no-buy-list.

Sandy Spring’s Peace Committee will be proposing a similar minute for consideration by Baltimore Yearly Meeting.  Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting (CQM) will be discussing this minute at the June 10th gathering at Little Falls.  Meetings within CQM are encouraged to discuss this at their next business meetings and report on any discussion on June 10th.  (The proposed minute replaces the first sentence of Sandy Spring’s minute with “Baltimore Yearly Meeting and some monthly meetings have investments in Friends Fiduciary’s Consolidated Fund.”)

Jean Zaru, clerk of Ramallah Friends Meeting, sent the following email to Sandy Spring, expressing gratitude for Sandy Spring’s minute:

Date: Sat, 12 May 2012
Subject: Sandy Spring Meeting adopts a minute calling for divestment
Dear Steve Berry, Clerk of Sandy Spring Friends Meeting,

I was so happy to hear of the minute your Meeting adopted about divestment. You have taken an ethical non-violent action for justice and peace. You did not act out of guilt or fear but in favor of the values that Quakers believe in and love. It is the beginning of a long journey towards freedom and peace ,but it gives hope to those who are in the fore front of this struggle.

As clerk of Ramallah Friends Meeting, I want to thank you for your solidarity and understanding. I know that sometimes it takes longer than we anticipate to discern which direction we should take, but the history of Quakers had many examples and milestones where Friends were courageous enough to be examples to change structures of domination and oppression in non-violent ways.

Please do not be worried about balance. We should always take a stand visa vi war or peace, respect for human rights or violations of human rights, justice or injustice.

In peace and Friendship,
Jean Zaru
Clerk of Ramallah Friends Meeting

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