In Jerusalem, Diversity Does Not Breed Tolerance

October 19, 2004

Source: The New York Times/Jerusalem Journal

On October 19, 2004 the Jerusalem Journal reported, "Jerusalem may have the world's highest diversity of religious belief per square meter but here, it seems, diversity does not produce a lot of tolerance. In fact, it is almost the reverse, suggests Rabbi David Rosen, based in Jerusalem as head of inter-religious affairs for the American Jewish Committee. 'It's the paradox of Jerusalem,' Mr. Rosen said. The competition among true believers of all faiths creates tension, not ecumenicism. 'Here, the vast majority of Muslims, Christians and Jews live with a pre-modern mentality, a linear truth,' he said. 'And since I possess it, they think, why should I come together with you? Diversity is not seen here as positive, as in the Western world, or dialogue enriching.'"