A Christian Look at the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Bruno Hussar and the Foundation of "Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam"

In 1970, after a long genesis, the joint Israeli and Palestinian experience of the village of ‘Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam’ (‘oasis of peace’) began. Among the decisive figures for the start of this project, Father Bruno Hussar (1911-1996) was the most important, although his life has not yet been explored by historiography. Born in Egypt to assimilated Jewish parents, during his studies in France he converted to Christianity. In 1953 he was sent to Israel in order to open a Dominican centre for Jewish and Christian studies. During those years the idea of a place where to experiment a direct form of coexistence between Jews, Christians and Muslims in Israel took shape in Hussar’s mind. My paper aims to investigate his complex figure, combining Judaism, Christianity, adherence to Zionism and commitment to peace. The analysis will be carried out mainly using three types of sources: the documents gathered in different archives, the association bulletin and the texts published by him.

issue 05 / July 2013 by Maria Chiara Rioli