Campaign to Prevent Religious Clashes

2 October 2014

This Saturday marks the rare time when Yom Kippur and the sacred Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid Al Adha) occur on the same day. In the wake of the summer’s war and the subsequent disintegration of Jewish/Arab relations in Israel, the potential for clashes between the two communities on these contrasting religious days (a Jewish fast and Muslim feast) is a real possibility. Advocating shared society and a message of non-violence, NIF is supporting a public campaign entitled “Pay Respect, Behave with Tolerance,” which was launched by the Abraham Fund Initiatives with German organization Friederich Ebert Stiftung.

Ads using this message appeared in leading Israeli newspapers including Israel Hayom (Israel Today) and Haaretz on Tuesday and in local Arabic language and Jewish newspapers later in the week. In addition to its media efforts, the campaign is working with police, mayors, and local authorities to raise awareness of the need for tolerance and restraint.

The ad concludes with an important call-to-action: “We call on the Jewish public to recognize the need of the Muslim public to fulfill the commandments of their festival. We call on the Muslim public to celebrate sensitively and take into account the Jewish public. This day can be an outstanding example of joint living with tolerance and mutual respect.”

Here is the full ad

In addition to the campaign, SHATIL Haifa – in partnership with the Haifa Center for Dialogue and Conflict Management – has been organizing meetings with Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav and municipal and religious leaders on how to avoid conflict on Yom Kippur/Eid Al Adha. Community leaders have also distributed flyers, and articles have been published in local Jewish and Arab newspapers.