Life as a human rights worker in the Middle East was the subject of a talk given at a Brentford and Isleworth Quakers event last Sunday.

Mark Clarke spoke to guests about her time as an ecumenical accompanier in Jayyous, a village inside the West Bank where Palestinian farmers are cut off from their lands by the Separation Wall built by the Israeli government.

Despite working closely with Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, Mary said: “I’m only a housewife.”

She supported Palestian villagers by her presence as they carried out their daily activities obstructed by the many road blocks set up by the Israeli Defence Forces.

Mary liaised with Israeli Human Rights organisations to highlight any violations.

The East Sheen resident has acted as a Richmond magistrate for many years.

Asked if she felt at danger herself, Mary said she “just got up every morning and got on with it.”

Since her return to the UK, Mary does all she can to make people aware of the effects of Israel’s 40 year occupation of the West Bank.

She summed up the situation by saying: “Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a complicated issue.

“It’s very simple, it’s occupation. Treat the symptom and the disease will go away.”

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) sends international volunteers to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

It was set up in 2000 as an initiative of the World Council of Churches and is administered in the UK by Quakers.

Mary’s talk was organised as a contribution to National Quaker Week. It is a range of events being staged to celebrate the faith and the contribution that prominent people have made to people’s lives.

After the talk, Palestinian olive oil was on sale, a Middle Eastern lunch was enjoyed and £314 was raised towards the project.