NCG Statement on Israel-Palestine Conflict

The current conflict in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory has been ongoing since October 2023. Over 34,000 Palestinian and 1,400 Israelis have been reported as killed, including 97 journalists, and over 220 humanitarian aid workers. More than 85% of the people living in the Gaza Strip have been displaced from their homes. According to the United Nations, humanitarian aid workers have been killed in this conflict at a rate three times higher than other recorded conflicts and people living in Gaza are beginning to experience famine.

In the U.S., reports of racism and discrimination are on the rise and protests related to the conflict have occurred on college campuses and other locations across the country.

The history of Israel and Palestine is long and complex and those of us born and raised in the West may not have a deep understanding of the history of conflict in this area.

It is important to know that this issue is a deeply personal and painful one for many people and many are looking to companies to take a position on one side or the other, including staff and members of some co-ops.

Trying to navigate highly sensitive and divisive issues as community-owned grocery stores that want to create more welcoming and safer spaces for more people is never easy. We believe as co-ops, we can look to cooperative values to share with our communities not who we stand against but rather what we stand for:

  • We believe in human dignity and that all people have the right to live in a peaceful society free from violence, hate and discrimination in all forms including on the basis of religion, ethnicity or origin
  • We reject antisemitism, anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia and genocide of any people
  • We condemn the senseless attacks against civilian populations and recognize harm done to innocent victims whose lives have been taken as well as those who continue to be forever altered by this violence
  • We stand in solidarity with humanitarian aid workers, including International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders, and World Central Kitchen, by calling for an immediate and sustained ceasefire, compliance with international humanitarian law, release of all hostages and an end to the blockade of humanitarian aid to the 2.3 million people living in Gaza

We know this message will not go far enough for some and we respect the right of every individual to free speech on this issue.

NCG is donating $40,000 to American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) to help with humanitarian relief. Anera has for decades employed local subject matter experts in agriculture, health, education and community building to meet the needs of refugees and other vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, including through cooperative development. Since October 2023, Anera has focused efforts on providing civilians in Gaza with essential food and medical care to survive the current humanitarian crisis.

Additionally, NCG is donating $5,000 each to Gaza Medical Tent and The Parents Circle – Family Forum (PCFF). Gaza Medical Tent is a grassroots, Palestinian-led effort: a group of Palestinian doctors and nurses providing medical support, free diapers and formula and medication support for acute needs throughout Gaza. PCFF was established in 1995 by bereaved Israeli families and today is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization of over 600 families who’ve lost loved ones to the ongoing conflict and are working towards peace and reconciliation.

People can contribute to this cause by learning about the deep history in this region and considering a donation to the organizations listed below.