22 July 2014

IFSW Statement on Palestine / Israel

The purpose of making this statement is to set out social work principles and practices that will contribute to the local and international debates and hopefully provide some useful insights from a profession that works with family, community and societal conflicts every day.

The members of IFSW know from their experience working with people all over the world that violence breeds violence and fails to contribute to the building of peaceful communities in which all people are treated with dignity and respect, enabling them to contribute to their civil societies.

IFSW urges that future peace talks should include the principles of self-determination, capacity-building, social and economic equality and social protection. Peace solutions should be about gains and developments as well as the inevitable compromises. The inclusion of these principles will assist in avoiding resentment that could act as a destabilizing force in future years.

As social workers we have a belief in human capacity to overcome the most difficult situations and we recognize there are people in Palestine and in Israel playing a positive role advocating for peace. We believe their efforts have helped contain the violence from more catastrophic levels. IFSW recognizes that many social workers on both sides have been advocates for peace and have played a critical role in repairing the trauma caused by the conflict.

IFSW supports its members in Palestine and Israel in their efforts to promote peace based on social work principles. IFSW also recognizes the role of the international community to assist breaking the deadlock and that considerable support will be needed for the development of social and economic equalities as a part of ensuring a peaceful solution.

IFSW calls for its other 110 country-level members to advocate within their governments and regional political structures for the concepts outlined in this statement. Also for their governments to act in solidarity with the peoples of Palestine and Israel and actively support the formation of a peace process that will bring rights, dignity and stability to Israelis and Palestinians.