As the government of Israel is now barring entry of selected human rights activists, opportunities to learn from those who have been there, witnessing the atrocities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories will become less frequent. This is why it is so important to hear from those who have been there.

On Tuesday, August 15th, the public is invited to meet retired lawyer George Bartlett, of Toronto, who will speak about his time spent in Palestine earlier this year. The presentation will take place at St. George’s United Church, 505 6th St in Courtenay, at 7 pm. The public is invited to this free presentation.

Bartlett was sent to Palestine to serve the United Church of Canada as an ecumenical accompanier in partnership with the World Council of Churches. He was in the northwestern part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories for three months beginning in January 2017. Ecumenical Accompaniers are from all around the world and their role is to act as a protective presence and as well as advocates. The talks he is giving are part of the “protective advocacy” upon his return to Canada.

Living in one community for three months allowed him to witness what it means on a daily basis to live under the restrictions which the occupation places on ordinary Palestinian people.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Mid-Islanders for Justice & Peace in the Middle East and the United Churches of the Comox Valley. Donations will benefit No Way to Treat a Child, a program of Defence for Children International. FMI: 250-331-0422.

Joanne Keelan

Mid-Islanders for Justice & Peace in the Middle East (MIJPME)