Fellowship of Reconciliation

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Working for peace & justice through nonviolence since 1915.

Fellowship Back Issues Sale!

Now is your chance to collect FOR’s historic journal of peacemaking through the last century. All back issues are on sale for $1 for a limited time.

Buy Now!

What We Do Strengthen, build & demilitarize.

Nonviolent direct action in Minneapolis organized by FOR Staff and National Council photo by Rebecca Lawrence

Strategic nonviolent movements are one of the most potent forces in the world. They oust dictators, change policy and realize the hopes of communities. For over 100 years FOR has strengthened the movements that reshape society through our work in Black Lives Matter, training in Nonviolent Civil Disobedience, training in Jail Support and Fiscal Sponsorship.

Building Healthy Communities

Relationships established through strong communities are the glue of our work. We ground ourselves in relationships of accountability and a spirituality that spans faith traditions. We help build communities that reflect our vision of Beloved Community through our Chapters, Networks & Affiliates, Interreligious Engagement & Understanding, Intentional Communities and Retreats for Movement Leaders & Activists.

Demilitarized Tanks

We see nonviolence as a way of life, a moral commitment, and a social tool. As a branch of IFOR's international network we work with partners around the world to end militarism in all of its forms, working through the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, United Nations Advocacy, Demilitarizing Communities, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, Anti-drone Initiatives and #GiveRefugeesRest.

Oct 07, 2016

URGENT: Women's Boat to Gaza kidnapped

By Kristin Stoneking, FOR Staff

 
We learned late yesterday that the Women’s Boat to Gaza was taken by Israeli authorities in international waters and in violation of international law.
 
Women from 13 countries were aboard, including IFOR member and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mairead Maguire, and friend of FOR, U.S. Col. (retired, resigned in protest) Ann Wright.
 
The Zaytouna-Oliva boat was carrying no material aid. This was by design because Israel, as a premise for its attacks, has claimed in the past that weapons and contraband were on board. The owner of Zaytouna-Oliva is Israeli.
 
Despite this, all 13 of the women on the Women’s Boat to Gaza are currently in the process of deportation, after being illegally kidnapped by Israeli Defense Forces and detained in a prison at Ashdod.
 
Wendy Goldsmith, a member of the land team working to secure the release of the women, said:
 
“The deportation was much quicker than in prior flotillas. While we had a great legal team assisting the women, we suspect that the reason for the quick release was because of all the negative media attention Israel has been receiving for its illegal interception.”
 
According to early reports, the Zaytouna-Oliva boat was surrounded by two warships along with four to five smaller naval boats. When a warning to stop its course toward Gaza was refused, at least seven IDF members boarded the Zaytouna-Oliva and commandeered the sailboat.
 

Take action now!

Take a moment and create a new email to two people: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and the office of the UN Secretary-General, soon to be António Guterres.

Here are some suggested points — we encourage you to adapt it to your own words:

Subject: Protect the safety and human rights of the Women's Boat to Gaza

Body:
  • The illegal kidnapping of women from the Women's Boat to Gaza in international waters by Israeli military forces must be condemned.
  • Relevant agencies must investigate this incident, as the troubling circumstances suggest actions that are in violation of international and U.S. law.
  • The human and civil rights of the abducted women must be respected by the state of Israel.
  • The blockade of Gaza must end.

Those of us in the United States have our taxes funding military equipment to Israel — weapons that may well have been used against the Women’s Boat to Gaza. We object to some media accounts that suggest that the capture of these women was “peaceful.” Peace is more than the absence of physical violence. Oppression, occupation, denial of human rights and taking a boat filled with nonviolent women against their will are not peaceful activities.

While the captivity of the women from the Zaytouna-Oliva will end, the mass imprisonment of 1.9 million Palestinians in Gaza will remain.

Support the Women’s Boat to Gaza

The Women's Boat to Gaza and the larger Freedom Flotilla will continue to sail until Palestinians are free. This incident will undoubtedly lead to legal costs as well as the need to further escalate our international pressure on the state of Israel.

Join FOR in making a donation to the Women's Boat to Gaza.

Donate to its fiscal sponsor, Nonviolence International, and be sure to check the designation “Women’s Boat to Gaza.”

As a way of closing, we invite you to watch this touching song sung by Synne Sofie Recksten, Emma Rinqvist, and Marama Davidson, from the deck of the Zaytouna-Oliva from the Mediterranean Sea.

With your support, we can ensure the safety of these international women activists and continue to press for the human rights of Palestinians in Gaza.

Rev. Kristin Stoneking
Executive Director
Fellowship of Reconciliation

Back to All Blog Entries

More from our blog

How We Work Using the transformative power of nonviolence.

Organize

We focus on building movements and peace networks by acting as a resource hub for activists, organizers and communities. Through our network of chapters and affiliates we connect movements at the grassroots level.

Train

We provide workshops, educational resources, strategic consulting, and speaking engagements for diverse audiences. We run young adult leadership development programs and nonviolent direct action trainings for front line movements.

Grow

We're part of a global Fellowship growing a vibrant, creative, international and intergenerational peace and justice movement. More than 70,000 consituents in the US participate in our base-building work. Join us!

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants since 1915.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s FOR Membership Application

For over 100 years FOR members have led the strategic application of nonviolence to political and social change movements worldwide. We honor and count among our number Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, Thich Nhat Hanh, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Muriel Lester, Sulak Sivaraksa, James Lawson, Jean and Hildegard Goss-Mayr, Andre and Magda Trocme and many more.

FOR Peace Prizes

FOR's Peace Prizes

FOR recognizes individuals and organizations who make exceptional contributions to peace, justice and reconciliation. We honor unsung grassroots activists with the Local Hero Award, US justice leaders with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, and international peacemakers with the Pfeffer Peace Award.

Learn More

Furthering the Nonviolent Narrative

FOR's Bookstore

FOR's nonviolent narrative publications

Since 1918 FOR has produced publications and a national journal to shape and reflect learning on the power of nonviolent social change. Since 1934 that award-winning journal has appeared under the title Fellowship, now issued twice yearly in summer and winter. FOR's national newsletter, Witness, is produced in spring and fall and provides highlights of campaigns and projects led by grassroots FOR chapters and affiliates.

Visit our Bookstore