Israeli city of Haifa tries religious coexistence

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SHAFAQNA – Israeli magician Cagliostro broke the record for the largest magic session at the Haifa International Convention Center on Monday morning. The session, teaching the new “Haifa Magic for Peace” trick, brought together 1,573 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim students from 25 schools across the city.

Every participant received a pack of cards, each card with a word relating to coexistence written on it, such as friendship, respect, and dialogue. After a lesson and practice runs in front of witnesses, a notary, and qualified surveyors, all 1,573 children and Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav performed the trick in unison, with the one card each participant chose flying out of their pack and into the air.

“We have to enter the Guinness Book of Records with the Haifa Magic for Peace,” said Yahav to the participating children. “The world does not know that we here in Haifa have been living in peace for over a hundred years, I really want the whole world to know and learn this magic of peace that we live daily in the city.”

The event was hosted in partnership with Beit HaGefen, a Haifa based Jewish-Arab Culture Center, the Haifa Municipality Department of Education – Department of Social Value Education, and volunteers from Maarag, a Tel Aviv based organization promoting multicultural society in Israel.

While the event’s core message was lauded by peace activists many felt Israel had a ling way to go in terms if interfaith coexistence and ethnic tolerance, especially in the light of recent abuses against the Palestinian communities.

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