Ecumenical Accompanier to Visit Merimbula Uniting Church
Aletia Dundas will visit Merimbula Uniting Church to share her experience of the conflict in Israel and Palestine later this week.
Aletia is a Quaker and lives in Sydney. From November 2016 to February 2017, she was in the West Bank serving as an Ecumenical Accompanier. The West Bank and Gaza together make up Palestine. Aletia was based in the South Hebron Hills, the most southern part of the West Bank.
On Sunday, 27 May, she will give a presentation about her experiences of life under military occupation as she witnessed it.
In her role, Aletia accompanied children on their walk to school, joined shepherds as they take their sheep to graze, and witnessed vigils and other demonstrations of nonviolent resistance to the occupation. She also monitored military checkpoints.
In an interview with Bega District News, Ms Dundas said that this approach helped protect Palestinian people.
“‘Resistance shepherding’, as I called it, was a common form of non-violent protest,” she said.
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is an initiative of the World Council of Churches. It emerged following a request from Christian Leaders in Jerusalem.
Aletia’s visit to Merimbula Uniting Church comes after 63 Palestinians were killed recently by Israeli soldiers during protests.
The shooting occurred just before Nakba Day on 15 May, an annual event commemorating the displacement of thousands of Palestinians from 1948, and calling for their right to return.
Aletia said in the Bega District News interview that the violence was unsurprising.
“Palestinians would have known the risks of protesting, but to not protest is to give up,” she said.
The demonstrations coincided with US President Donald Trump’s moving of the US Embassy to West Jerusalem. A United Nations resolution has called for an independent investigation into the shooting, although the US and Australia both voted against the motion.
Aletia Dundas will visit Merimbula Uniting Church, Henwood St, Merimbula on Sunday May 27 from 2pm.
For more information, contact Merimbula Uniting Church here.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor