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The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom was founded 5 years ago by Jewish and Muslim women seeking peace together. Their membership has risen since the last presidential election as they perceive how Jewish and Muslim communities are vulnerable and at risk. This article is worth reading. I will be posting more about this group and similar ones in Europe. They say:
Another reason that the Sisterhood has been successful is that we attempt to go beyond the cursory “Abrahamic family” conversations that are so typical of interfaith efforts. Instead of convening a one-time panel discussion between a rabbi and an imam or just getting together to talk about our commonalities over a plate of shared hummus, the Sisterhood provides a space for women to be vulnerable and to learn about one another’s real challenges and concerns.
I found this report in the Jewish Chronicle Online Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was invited to address the Muslim community in Cardiff. Saleem Kidwai, the secretary-general of the community commented on something that I believe is so important for the two faith communities. He said, “The increase of antisemitism and Islamophobia is increasing day by day and the need for unity and working together has never been so important as at this time.” There is quite a bit of evidence that Jewish and Muslim communities are working together in mutual support in places like London and Berlin and online forums. May it continue and grow.
Here is an example of Jews and Muslims working together against anti-semitism and islamophobia. “Muslims and Jews living in the same North London neighbourhood are making a stand together against hate crime amid concerns of an increased threat to both communities in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.” I’m beginning to see more examples of this kind of solidarity between the faiths and one can only hope that it increases and gains greater media coverage. Click here to read full article
The following film in three parts was made in 2007. A lot has happened since then and the situation becomes ever more urgent and more difficult for the peacemakers of Israel. This film shows the potential for peace and the relationships that are possible between all the people on the land of Israel and Palestine.
This final part includes footage of Gabriel Meyer Halevi and Ihab Balha meeting with HH Dalai Lama
A film about Haifa where different groups successfully co-exist and celebrate their main religious holidays together. It is possible and there are some very interesting comments from the participants in this film. Well worth watching.
“Different communities living together in the same town in a country of conflicts, strive to find a form of coexistence that would respect the identity of each of them, allowing dialogue and peaceful coexistence. Haifa is a unique example of a form of coexistence that finds its utmost and highest symbolic expression in the Holiday of Holidays, a unique and extraordinary festival in which the most significant holidays of the three main religions of the local population — Judaism, Islam and Christianity — are celebrated at the same time.”
In my last post I gave a short introduction and a link to the Sulha Peace Project. Below are two lovely videos where we get to meet the Israelis and Palestinians involved in this project. Sulha is an Arabic word meaning ‘reconciliation’. The first video describes the Sulha Peace Project showing various gatherings over the years and speaks to people about what it means to them to meet each other. The second video is a series of photos of gatherings from 2004 to the present day. You might recognize some of the faces from other videos on this site. Gabriel Meyer Halevi is singing, Eliyahu McClean, Rabbi Fruman, Ibrahim Abu El Hawa, Melila Hellner Eshed, and many others are all doing good work for peace. The videos are short but informative and moving. They give a good feel for the atmosphere of the events where Israelis and Palestinians come together. Both videos can also be seen on the Sulha page here.
I’ve just added a new link to the ‘Useful links’ list on the right. This is the Sulha Peace Project which describes itself as: “… a group of Israelis and Palestinians who meet regularly to encounter the other in our full humanity. Together, we demonstrate that we, the children of Abraham/Ibrahim, share a common destiny. Twelve years ago, at the height of the El Aksa intifada, when Israel and Palestine were locked into terror of the other side, the Sulha Peace Project was born. As coffee shops exploded and soldiers fired into crowds of youths, we brought Israelis and Palestinians together in a human encounter and, through wholehearted listening, we explored and strengthened the bonds that link us with each other. We’ve been doing it ever since.” Click here for more.