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Neve Shalom

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Things to do: spas
Neve Shalom, also known as Wāħat as-Salām is a cooperative village jointly founded by Israeli Jews and Palestinian-Israeli Arabs in an attempt to show that the two peoples can live side by side peacefully, as well as to conduct educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples. The village is located on one of the two Latrun hilltops overlooking the Ayalon Valley, and lies midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Falling under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, in 2011 it had a population of 236.HistoryThe name Neve shalom is taken from a passage in the : "My people shall dwell in an oasis of peace.".The village was the brainchild of Bruno Hussar. Born in Egypt the son of non-practicing Jews, he converted to Christianity while studying engineering in France. Witnessing at first hand the vitriolic anti-semitism of wartime France sharpened his awareness of his Jewish roots. He joined the Dominican Order, was ordained into the priesthood in 1950, and sent to Jerusalem to establish a centre for Jewish studies in 1953, where he obtained Israeli citizenship in 1966. In 1970, in order to promote ecumenical interfaith dialogue, he obtained forty hectares (120 acres) of terrain classified as no man's land in the Latrun salient, at a 'pepperkorn rent' of 3 pence a year on a 100 year lease from the local Trappist abbey. The area was desolate, treeless, unwatered and covered with brambles, and had not been under cultivation since the Byzantine period. At the outset foreigners came to share the experience with him, but few remained beyond one or two months, save for Anne LeMeignon who settled in a hut and stayed on.
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