Ceremony by religious groups to honor peace in Middle East

By Elizabeth Hill

Arizona Daily Wildcat

While Israel and Jordan are signing a treaty today to end 46 years of war, students on the UA campus will be honoring the event.

The treaty will be signed today at Wadi Araba, on the border between Israel and Jordan, and witnessed by President Bill Clinton and 5,000 guests. The treaty, approved 105-3 by Israel's parliament yesterday, would open the border on Nov. 1 and establish embassies within a month.

The Religious Awareness club and the University of Arizona Religious counsel will be holding a service at noon today on the Mall, said Rev. Allen Breckenridge of the Campus Christian Center.

The ceremony is part of UA Religious Awareness Week.

The ceremony is also to remember those who have died on all sides, and to honor the people who work for peace, he said.

Breckenridge said 12 to 15 religious traditions will be represented at the ceremony and the various religious groups will read peace and justice prayers.

"We're looking forward to doing a joint project," said Michelle Rubin, program director at the Hillel Center.

The ceremony will continue the consciousness raising about religious diversity and tolerance that the religious council has helped start, Breckenridge said.

He said the religious council includes 25 faith groups on campus that meet regularly together for these kinds of activities.

"We need to recognize the importance of this event and that peace is an ongoing process, Breckenridge said.

Rubin said she is hopeful for "a successful and lasting peace."

Associated Press wire reports contributed to this story.

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