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Israel braces for conflict as Yom Kippur, Eid al-Adha coincide

With this year's Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha falling on the same day, Jewish and Arab leaders are pleading with the two sides not to repeat past clashes and allow each other to observe the holy day peacefully.
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The newspapers are well prepared. Some warn of trouble to come; others run ads designed to prevent it. Many organizations, especially those devoted to promoting Jewish-Arab coexistence, have mobilized for the mission. All fear the highly sensitive encounter between the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, and the Muslim and Druze Feast of the Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha. Both fall on this coming Saturday, Oct. 4, and each is considered the holiest day of their respective faiths. While Jews fast and walk to the synagogue to ask for forgiveness and atone for their sins, Muslims and Druze mark the day by eating, singing and dancing.

Many fear that these displays of religious fervor will deteriorate into an emotional and explosive encounter between Jewish worshipers and Muslim celebrants. The ads published in the media virtually beg believers to conduct themselves with restraint and tolerance. A major ad by the New Israel Fund, the Abraham Fund Initiatives and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung foundation read, “We call on the Jewish public to recognize the needs of those of the Muslim faith to perform the rites of their holy day. We call on the Muslim public to celebrate with sensitivity and consideration of the Jewish public. This day could be an exemplary model of coexistence, tolerance and mutual respect.” The ad ran in Hebrew and Arabic.

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