The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's plan for a 'Museum of Tolerance' on top of a Muslim cemetery is causing anger in Jerusalem
(an architect, peace activist and founder member of Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine)
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday November 26 2008
(Click on cartoon by Khalil Bendib to enlarge)
"The whittling away and destruction of Muslim memory and history has been a key aim in Jerusalem's development (as in the rest of Israel). This is especially so with the recent acceleration of the Judaising of illegally-annexed East Jerusalem, by infiltrating it with more Jewish settlements built on expropriated land and homes in the heart of Palestinian neighbourhoods. In Silwan, below the Old City wall, fundamentalist settlers, wishing to establish "the City David" in the Arab neighbourhood, are illegally digging under people's houses, and ancient burial remains are being bundled away into boxes, preventing documentation of important evidence of the Islamic era of Jerusalem.
The Muslim cemetery in Mamilla, West Jerusalem, is suffering a similar fate in one section, where hundreds of skeletons are being unearthed and boxed, to make way for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's euphemistically-named "Museum of Tolerance". The recent judgment by Israel's Supreme Court to allow the construction of the museum complex to proceed on top of this cemetery of religious and historical importance defies all satire and irony, making it a flashpoint for more conflict and hatred, and still engendering strong protests......"