Two weekends ago, I attended the End the Occupation national conference. End the Occupation is a coalition of 385 U.S. organizations working on Palestinian issues.
The conference was held at St. Louis University, but the only Catholics I spotted were another sister and one Catholic Worker.
Stop30billion.org tracks U.S. military grants to Israel and the ways the money is used. Jewish Voice for Peace organizes within the Jewish community and has led the call for Caterpillar to stop supplying weaponized D-I bulldozers to Israel for Palestinian housing demolition. Canaanfairtrade.com offered samples of olives and tapenade. International Women's Peace Service leads tours of the West Bank. The Methodists and Presbyterians are engaged in the boycott of goods made in the settlements.
Members of End the Occupation are committed to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions strategy, BDS. They stand with the Palestinians who call for an end to the occupation, equal rights for Arab-Israeli citizens and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
There are no easy solutions. Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told the plenary that we have deepened the dialogue and broadened civic engagement.
But where were the Catholics in this important discussion?