[saymaListserv] AFSC a peacework in Isreal

Free Polazzo freepolazzo at mindspring.com
Mon Jun 18 13:01:04 JEST 2001

Hi Friends,

This announcement from AFSC is another example of the way that organization 
is working to demilitarize
the Middle East.   By honoring a young man who is resisting military 
service, AFSC is continuing to support a
long tradition of passive resistance - wherever it may be found.

Free Polazzo
Anneewakee Creek WG
Douglasville, GA


   The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has nominated Israeli 
conscientious objector Gabriel Wolff for the Reebok Human Rights Award. 
Gabby is a 19-year-old Israeli who has refused military conscription and 
has served several prison terms as a result.

The award, established in 1988, honors young people who have made 
significant contributions to the cause of human rights, often against great 
odds.  The purpose of the award is to shine a positive, international light 
on the award recipients and support their work in human rights.

In making the nomination Mary Ellen McNish, AFSC general secretary, noted: 
"In a time when Israel is in such crisis, the courage it takes for Gabby to 
maintain his principles is enormous and should be recognized.  He offers 
hope to his peers in Israel, Palestine and the rest of the world."

AFSC was founded in 1917 to give conscientious objectors to war a 
constructive alternative to military service.  AFSC has been working in the 
Middle East since the winter of 1949 when, at the request of the United 
Nations, it received, registered and cared for Palestinian refugees in 
Gaza.  Since then AFSC has continued the search for justice and peace in 
the region. Quaker International Affairs Representatives (QIARs) travel 
exhaustively between Israel and neighboring Arab countries, promoting 
dialogue and understanding among people, especially youth and 
women.  Following the 1967 war, AFSC was among the first U.S. organizations 
to affirm that peace in the Middle East depended upon the mutual 
recognition of Palestinian and Israeli rights to self-determination, 
including the Palestinian's right to form their own state alongside Israel.

AFSC continues to work across lines of conflict and to provide 
opportunities for exchanges and dialogue.  The nomination of Gabriel Wolff 
for the Reebok Human Rights Award, affirming the right to freedom of 
conscience, is a step toward peace.

"In many countries of the world, there are other young people refusing to 
be part of the military apparatus of their nations." McNish states.  "They 
too are struggling for the recognition of their human rights to be 
conscientious objectors as they stand up for what they believe and actively 
work for peace. Gabriel Wolff's unwavering commitment to exercise his right 
to conscientious objection is a clear illustration of young people working 
to build a better world."

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