Abu Tor / A-Thuri was one of the first Neighborhood Tolerance Teams we began working with as part of our Campaign to Promote Tolerance in Jerusalem. We wrote here about a number of joint initiatives that they and other groups are advancing. In fact, the attempt to create such a group in Abu Tor was made by a few devoted local activists a while ago who then asked for our help. This is the best approach – helping a committed group who owns the process. Indeed, these groups are not “ours” – we help them get established, but they remain independent.
Now, they’re leading an urgent initiative – the fight against the development of what is called the “Greek Compound.” The Greek Compound, owned by the Greek Orthodox Church, is important to Jews, Christians as well as Muslims. For Christians it is thought of as the original Hill of Evil Counsel (where Jesus was handed over to the Romans), for Jews and Muslims it also boasts a history that dates back to pre-Canaanite times, early Islam and the First and Second Temples. You can read more on the campaign’s web site.
In a boost to their fight, the group was profiled in an article in the Ha’aretz Daily newspaper. Click on the picture below to read more.
Many thanks for the UJA-Federation of New York for their support of this program.