From the Editor

Peace hasn’t broken out yet, but wait …

Michael L. Sherer

Michael L. Sherer

Lutheran volunteers are stepping into the battle zone to bring help and hope.

Three months ago in this space I wrote that the conflict in Palestine is a concern for everyone, including those outside Palestine and Israel. Since then I’ve learned of the Christian Accompaniment Programme (CAP). It’s a hopeful response on the part of peacemakers outside the conflict zone.

The program is a pilot project of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Begun in March under the umbrella of the World Council of Churches, CAP currently has eight participants, provided by the Lutheran churches in Denmark and Iceland.

What do the volunteers do? Living on site, they report on violations of human rights, facilitate access for ambulances and health teams crossing military checkpoints, and escort humanitarian convoys to the occupied Palestinian territories.
Let me commend to all readers who have access to the internet, the home page for Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Their web address is:

www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/
international/palestine/eap.html

The mission of EAPPI is to provide individuals prepared to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in non-violent actions and concerted advocacy efforts to end the occupation of Palestine by Israel (a growing number of Israelis now believe their nation’s occupation is unacceptable).

On the day this piece was written, the news told of a suicide bomber blowing up his car and a bus, killing 15 people, under the shadow of the mound of Megiddo (where some students of the Old Testament believe the final battle of world history will be waged). The Israelis were quick to respond with more military incursions. The cycle continues.

By contrast, CAP and EAPPI are waging peace, in the name of the Prince of Peace, who once walked the hills and valleys where so much blood is now being shed.

Peace will come — slowly, simply, hopefully, and in the face of ridicule. The process takes patience, skill, and intestinal fortitude. Such efforts deserve our support.