The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme (an initiative of the World Council of Churches) accompanies Palestinians and Israelis in nonviolent actions and concerted advocacy efforts to end the occupation. The most recent of the program's 168 participants:
• Monitor and report violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
• Support acts of nonviolent resistance alongside Christian and Muslim Palestinians and Israeli peace activists.
• Offer protection through a nonviolent presence.
• Engage in public-policy advocacy.
• Stand in solidarity with churches and all who struggle against the occupation.
For information, visit www.pepm.org/accompaniment.html or write to: EAPPI, c/o Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, 122 C Street, NW, Suite 125, Washington, DC 20001.
When Meg Kiekhaefer read about an opportunity
to help Palestinians who advocate nonviolent means to end Israeli
occupation of Palestinian territory, she felt compelled. "It was a
calling to make a moral decision," the soft-spoken scientist said.
A gravel truck along an Iowa highway confirmed Kiekhaefer's decision. The truck bounced, sending a rock hurtling through her windshield. Driving home with a cut on her head, she decided Palestine wouldn't be more dangerous than Iowa's roads.
A member of Zion Lutheran Church, Iowa City, Iowa, Kiekhaefer was the first North American to volunteer for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine, an initiative of the World Council of Churches.
Accompaniers walk with Palestinians and Israelis in nonviolent actions and advocacy to end the occupation. They monitor violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and offer protection through their presence. While most participants are Western Christians, the program recently placed its first Jewish accompanier.
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