Friday, March 30, 2012

`They Keep Watch' outlines work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel

           Tammie Danielsen from Austin, Texas, spent the winter in Hebron as an ecumenical accompanier with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). She walked children to school to be a presence to prevent violence from Israeli settler attacks and lived in solidarity and community with the local Palestinian residents.

I was honored to write Tammie's story for this month's issue of The Lutheran magazine

Hebron has been divided into two zones since 1997. The area under the control of the civilian Palestinian Authority is populated by some 120,000 Palestinians. The zone under Israeli military control is home to 30,000 Palestinians and 500 Israeli settlers. The settlers – and military stationed there to protect them (!) - have free access to areas. But some 1,830 Palestinian shops in the city center have closed due to restrictions on Palestinian movement, curfews and the sealing off of entire streets to Palestinians by the Israeli military.

EAPPI is an effort of the World Council of Churches, begun in 2002 in response to the Jerusalem heads of churches' request for Christians to “come and see” what was happening in the Holy Land. Volunteers spend three months in one of seven sites accompanying the local residents as they work for peace and justice and an end to the occupation. For more information about the US program, see

Especially if you're a Lutheran, please share this note with your networks and with leaders. Feel free to send your comments to the editor and/or place them in the comments section on the web.

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