Seeking Middle East Peace and Justice (vigil flyer)

This is the text of the leaflet that will be handed out this week at the San Francisco Friends Meeting's vigil for peace and justice, held every Thursday from noon to 1 pm at the federal office building, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco. Text subject to last-minute edits depending on the situation.

As bombs financed by our own tax dollars rain down on Gaza and Israeli troops invade, we pray for the people of Israel and Palestine, and seek pardon for our role in the destructive conflict there. We grieve the suffering of all in the region, and the devastating consequences of the reliance on weapons and military strategy to address human conflict. We grieve the disproportionate and retaliatory approach of the Israeli government to the threats to its national security, just as we have grieved our own country's blind and wrongheaded response to the attacks suffered on U.S. soil in 2001. Both serve only to spread despair, to strengthen the cause of extremism and to sow the seeds of heightened future violence.

As some of us have done every week since 2001, we stand here in witness to another way forward: a way of listening, mutual respect and understanding, of reflection, repentance and reconciliation. As people of many organized faiths and none, and as people of the United States, we take this time to focus on our own responsibility and on what we can do to address our complicity in the violent and soul-denying policies our government pursues at home and throughout the world. For some of us it is an opportunity to pray, to examine our lives for the seeds of war and to begin the work of removing them.

The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem must be political. Rather than supporting Israel's assault on Gaza, our government must take prompt action to help bring about an end to the violence. It is not enough to urge Israel to “avoid civilian targets” and urge Hamas to stop the missile attacks. If this spiraling violence continues, both Palestinians and Israelis will suffer and the risk of a broader confrontation increases. The U.S. must demand a halt to the air and ground offensive, and discontinue military support to all parties.

Even absent the ongoing military incursion, the continued closure of Gaza and resulting shortages of vital food, fuel and medicine, has created a tragic humanitarian crisis that must also be addressed quickly. The U.S. together with international partners should seek restoration of the cease-fire, and reopening of the borders under United Nations supervision. Peace is the only lasting security.


We invite all in agreement to join us. We vigil every Thursday from noon until 1:00 pm here at the old San Francisco federal building on the corner of Larking Street and Golden Gate Avenue.

The vigil was started by two Quaker groups—American Friends Service Committee and San Francisco Friends Meeting, who have now been joined by Buddhist Peace Fellowship and Episcopal Peace Fellowship. Participants come from a range of backgrounds. Some of us are silent, praying or meditating. Others do not keep silence and are happy to speak with you.


American Friends Service Committee
65 Ninth St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415 565-0201,

Buddhist Peace Fellowship
P.O. Box 3470, Berkeley, CA 94703, http://www.bpf.org/
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
415 824-0288, http://www.epfnational.org/

San Francisco Friends Meeting
65 Ninth St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415 431-7440,

To contact the vigil, email: sfvigil -at- mac.com


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