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Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel A program of the World Council of Churches OGHS Live! OGHS Live! Presents… Rev. Eric Fistler.

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Presentation on theme: "Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel A program of the World Council of Churches OGHS Live! OGHS Live! Presents… Rev. Eric Fistler."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel A program of the World Council of Churches OGHS Live! OGHS Live! Presents… Rev. Eric Fistler

2 Conference Schedule Gathering & Connecting to call OGHS Live! Begins Welcome & Introduction Opening Prayer & Scripture Reflection by Speaker Interaction with Speaker – Q & A Partnership Prayer Commissioning & Benediction OGHS Live! Ends

3 Accompaniment Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4

4 An Introduction Responding to the 2001 call from the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, EAPPI was launched in 2002 as an initiative of the World Council of Churches under the Ecumenical Campaign to End the Illegal Occupation of Palestine: Support a Just Peace in the Middle East.

5 An Introduction EAPPI has functioned fully and continuously since then EAPPI has functioned fully and continuously since then Over 14 countries participate in EAPPI Over 14 countries participate in EAPPI Over 500 EAs have been sent for three months to stand in solidarity with the churches and people in Palestine Over 500 EAs have been sent for three months to stand in solidarity with the churches and people in Palestine

6 EAPPIs Vision EAPPI seeks to support local and international efforts to end the Israeli occupation and bring a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a just peace, based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions. EAPPI seeks to support local and international efforts to end the Israeli occupation and bring a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a just peace, based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.

7 Tasks of Ecumenical Accompaniers Being present in local communities Being present in local communities Ensure that children safely travel to and from school Ensure that children safely travel to and from school Provide a protective presence by monitoring checkpoints Provide a protective presence by monitoring checkpoints Assist Palestinian and Israeli human rights, peace, information and ecumenical non- governmental organizations Assist Palestinian and Israeli human rights, peace, information and ecumenical non- governmental organizations

8 Tasks of Ecumenical Accompaniers Accompany farmers cut off from regular access to their fields Accompany farmers cut off from regular access to their fields Accompany health teams crossing military checkpoints as well as ambulances on their emergency rounds to West Bank clinics Accompany health teams crossing military checkpoints as well as ambulances on their emergency rounds to West Bank clinics Engage in advocacy efforts to end the occupation and support a just peace Engage in advocacy efforts to end the occupation and support a just peace Share their experience and knowledge of the situation back home Share their experience and knowledge of the situation back home

9 Areas A and B (Oslo Accords) 149 Israeli settlements, 96 outposts Israeli military closed areas and 27 military bases Nature Reserves West Bank Barrier and Areas between the Barrier and the Green Line Roads used by the settlers Closures The effect of the closures Fragmentation of the West Bank Permanent Checkpoints Partial Checkpoints Tunnels (As of March 2007) Please wait while slide is loading Note: Green Line (1949 Armistice) Note: Interim agreement of 1994 Oslo process Areas A and B (40% of area) under Palestinian authority Area C under Israeli authority Note: Israeli Settlements growing at 5.5% a year Illegal under international law Note: Nature reserves mostly off-limits to Palestinian entry No grazing or development Note: Permits are required to access areas behind Barrier Permit difficult to obtain (except Gush Etzion) Note: Roads primarily for Settler use Palestinian access banned or restricted on majority of roads Note: Roadblocks and checkpoints physically prevent Palestinian vehicles accessing settler roads Note: Roads, settlements, other infrastructure fragment West Bank Note: Checkpoints straddle settler roads Palestinian movement from one enclave to another via checkpoints or tunnels under settler roads Note: Areas A and B (Palestinian control) mirror fragmentation. Note: Israeli military bases- off-limits for Palestinians Note: Effect is a series of corridors for settler traffic, but obstacles for Palestinian movement

10 Effectiveness of EAPPI Evaluation Report conducted May 2008 by Palestinian Counseling Centre, Beit Hanina Evaluation Report conducted May 2008 by Palestinian Counseling Centre, Beit Hanina

11 De-escalate, reduce and prevent threats, incidents of violence and human rights violation in areas of tensions (checkpoints and agricultural gates) 76.8% 64.8% 34.7% 76.1%

12 When EAs are present 73.2% - report decreased incidents of Israeli solders harassment of Palestinians 73.2% - report decreased incidents of Israeli solders harassment of Palestinians 70.5% report that they pass more quickly 70.5% report that they pass more quickly

13 Reduce Fear Among Palestinian Communities 73.8% fear being delayed 73.8% fear being delayed 68.3% feel reluctant to go to their destination 68.3% feel reluctant to go to their destination 71% feel afraid and unsafe to cross 71% feel afraid and unsafe to cross 72.8% fear not 72.8% fear not being able to being able to return home return home

14 When EAs are Present 77.4% feel safer 77.4% feel safer 77.7 % of those crossing checkpoints feel empowered and more confident in facing the soldiers 77.7 % of those crossing checkpoints feel empowered and more confident in facing the soldiers

15 83.5% state that the EAs presence reduces their suffering at checkpoints and agricultural gates

16 …with our friends around us, we dont feel alone anymore. …with our friends around us, we dont feel alone anymore. ~villager from Yanoun Had the EAs not been here the situation would have been much worse Had the EAs not been here the situation would have been much worse ~villager from Sousya

17 EAPPI-US EAPPI-US, The United States coordination, is administrated through Church World Service EAPPI-US, The United States coordination, is administrated through Church World Service EAPPI-US falls under the management of the Mission Relationships and Witness Program of Church World Service EAPPI-US falls under the management of the Mission Relationships and Witness Program of Church World Service

18 Primary Reasons for a Lack of US Participation Financial support for EAs Financial support for EAs EAs from the US must raise their own funds EAs from the US must raise their own funds $ airfare (to Washington DC for orientation and to Israel-Palestine for the program)

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20 One Great Hour of Sharing Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Almost half of EAPPI-US budget is provided by OGHS Almost half of EAPPI-US budget is provided by OGHS Thank you for the opportunity to Thank you for the opportunity to Work for peace with our ecumenical partners Work for peace with our ecumenical partners Work to repair the broken relationships which we are at least partly responsible for Work to repair the broken relationships which we are at least partly responsible for Walk with Palestinian and Israeli brothers and sisters Walk with Palestinian and Israeli brothers and sisters

21 EAPPI-US With the Rev. Eric C Fistler Ann Hafften, National Coordinator EAPPI-US 204 S. Lamar St. Weatherford, TX Thank you for participating with…

22 Partnership Prayer One: God of mercy and compassion, of grace and reconciliation, pour your power upon all your children in the Middle East. People: Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope, oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation, All: That violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces, And peace and justice could be experienced by all. Amen Said Ailabouni, Imagine Peace Imagine Peace: Bible Meditations and Worship Resources for Advent - World Council of Churches October 2008, p. 21. WCC main/2008pdfs/imagine_peace.pdf

23 Thank you for your support of One Great Hour of Sharing Three ways to give: Three ways to give: Receive the offering at your local UCC church, forwarding them on to your UCC Conference Office. Receive the offering at your local UCC church, forwarding them on to your UCC Conference Office. Make a secure online donation at Make a secure online donation at Send gifts made payable to One Great Hour of Sharing to the national setting of the UCC at: United Church of Christ Send gifts made payable to One Great Hour of Sharing to the national setting of the UCC at: United Church of Christ 700 Prospect Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115

24 Commissioning and Benediction The End The End


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