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French Jews and Muslims Vow to Stop Conflict by Baking


In Paris a group of Jewish and Muslim French women get together to bake pastries and not talk about politics in the Middle East. They call themselves Les Bâtisseuses de Paix, or Peace Builders, and they hope to prevent the spread of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to France, where 5 million Muslims and 600,000 Jews live.

The International Herald Tribune profiled the group, whose members say they don't want the problems in the Middle East to ruin their relationships with their neighbors. The women will travel to New York to meet their transatlantic counterparts this fall.

French Jewish and Muslim community leaders alike praise their "courageous work" with one Islamic TV show host saying that their "tenderness and maternal sentiment" make them "the best agents for stopping conflict." But some aren't all that impressed. To see why, read more.

Critics think the embargo on talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict among the women makes the "peace builders" hypocritical.

Other groups like Children of Abraham and Seeds of Peace have been bringing together Jews and Muslims, young and old, from around the world, in attempt to spark an interfaith dialogue. Do you think relationships between everyday Jews and Muslims, revolving around pastries or something else, have a potential to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before politicians do?

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