Jews, Muslims, Christians Play Together on Basketball Teams in Jerusalem

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Taking a break from playing basketball at a bilingual school in Jerusalem, Hadas Prawer, a 14-year-old Israeli girl, was asked what her friends would say about her playing with Palestinians.

“I don’t care what people think or say,” Prawer was quoted as saying. “I’m having fun and that’s it.”

With basketball as the backdrop, Jews, Muslims and Christians come together at the Hand in Hand bilingual school in Jerusalem, writes Paul Goldman of NBC News. The children of groups that traditionally hate each other shoot hoops instead of guns, and discover that their supposed enemies aren’t the monsters they have been led to believe.

The program is PeacePlayers International, which unites children in play in hopes of teaching them to live in peace as adults.

In the beginning, there was hesitance and tears, PeacePlayers International’s Middle East managing director Karen Doubilet told NBc News, but now the kids high-five and hug without a second thought.

“Before I came to this program, I thought Israelis only wanted to do bad things to us, but now I see that they are like me,” Malak Ayub, a 12-year-old Muslim girl, said in the piece. “They want to play together.”

Take this as more evidence that the “crossover” appeal of basketball can’t be denied.

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Kids 1, Adults negative-1,000

Jews, Muslims, Christians Play Together on Basketball Teams in Jerusalem

Photo via NBC News/Paul Goldman

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Jews, Muslims, Christians Play Together on Basketball Teams in Jerusalem

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