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Jews, Muslims, and Christians Can Live Together in Peace

A village in Israel is modeling how Jews, Muslims, and Christians can live together in peace.  As negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are now resuming, many are doubtful that they will come to anything. The thirty year experience of interfaith harmony in the village of Neve Shalom Wahat al-Salam (Oasis of Peace) demonstrates that there is indeed good reason to hope.

Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam was founded by an Egyptian-born Dominican monk, Father Bruno Hussar, who died in 1996.  He wanted to create a place where Jews, Muslims, and Christians could learn to understand and respect each other.

Fifty-five families currently live in the village, and thirty more are in the process of moving in.  The village council screens and selects applicants whose values are a good match.

A bi-lingual Hebrew and Arabic primary school in Neve Shalom/Wahat has 200 students. Most of them live outside the village.  Thus, this oasis of peace is influencing the values not just its own citizens, but also of those in the surrounding region.

Interfaith peacemakers need to lift up such positive signs of hope for peace in Israel and Palestine.  If you have another example, please leave a comment below.

Watch Interfaith Village in Israel on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

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