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Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions? A Quaker Zionist Rethinks Palestinian Rights

By Steve Chase

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #445 (June 2017)

Price: $7.50


This pamphlet explores the author’s discernment journey from being a well-meaning, but ill-informed Zionist to someone who began listening to the voices of Jewish and Israeli dissidents, as well as the voices of nonviolent Palestinian resisters to the US-backed Israeli system of military occupation and apartheid. It also explores how he came to support the international nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to move towards full equality and human rights for all Israel/Palestine. This pamphlet briefly describes Palestinian and Zionist/Israeli history since the late nineteenth century, the development of the boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) movement and Quaker response to it, and what led Steve Chase’s perspective to shift over time. Discussion questions included. The discernment journey and rethinking described in this pamphlet offers some context and useful background for understanding and acting on the current crisis, and it was foundational to the author’s November 2, 2023 Friends Journal article “Speaking Up for Palestinian Rights Now.” Steve offers additional context on this topic in his recent First Monday Lecture: “Pursuing a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine: What Can Quakers Bring to the Table?

About the Author

Steve Chase is a long-time Quaker activist, educator, and writer living in Washington, DC. A member of Friends Meeting of Washington and the Quaker Palestine Israel Network, he is currently working on a book entitled Seeking Justice in the Holy Land: The Quaker Struggle for Moral Clarity on Israel/Palestine, and he has been selected as Pendle Hill’s 2024 Henry Cadbury Scholar to support his archival research. He visited Israel/Palestine in June 2023 as part of an annual Quaker service-learning delegation sponsored by Friends United Meeting.

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #445