Friday, February 4, 2011

Accompanier stands with Palestinians for peace

Ecumenical accompanier Susanne Nelson was featured in an article in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, "Standing with Palestinians for peace at Israel's gates." I will post links to Susanne's blog here too.

Here is the link to the Argus Leader story:

And here is an excerpt:

Standing with Palestinians for peace at Israel's gates
Ecumenical program places Sioux Falls native as mediator in global hot spot

Susanne Nelson grew up in Montana, so the sight of cattle pushing their way through a chute is familiar to her.

But it wasn't until she traveled to Palestinian territory that she saw people doing the same thing, crowded together in a small area under a sky that is hours away from being brightened by the sun.

They wait, as they do every day, to pass through a gate that will allow them to travel to their jobs in Israel or to their own farmland.
It is an anxious time because they know the gate can close abruptly, preventing them from going to work.

"Some of them get hurt just because they can't keep up with others," Nelson says, speaking via Skype. "And it's dark."

Nelson, a licensed clinical social worker from Sioux Falls, has been living in Tulkarm, a city in the north West Bank, since December.

She is halfway through a three-month commitment to be an ecumenical accompanier, someone who stands by the gates with the Palestinians as a visible presence monitoring the conduct of Israeli soldiers.

That's one of her volunteer duties. Another will occur in about three months when Nelson returns, ready to share her experiences and viewpoints."The only way anything is solved is through dialogue and understanding," she says. "I would never pretend to be an expert in the field, but when you've spent a little bit of time in the area - my organization calls us the eyes and ears on the ground, and that's a good way to put it."

The ecumenical accompanier program, offered through the World Council of Churches, gives people around the world the chance to work for peace in a troubled area.

[Read the complete article at this link:]

In this blog post Susanne writes about a Sunday trip to worship in Nablus and a visit to a Christian friend in Tulkarem:

Here Susanne describes a visit to Shufa, a village in the Tulkarem area:

Look a little deeper into Susanne's blog posts and you'll find this one about a visit to Bethlehem:

To learn more about the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, see the website: www.eappi-us

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