(IsraelNN.com) A group of Arabs joined by European human rights activists have joined forces to demand that the United Nations halt the building of a Jewish "Museum of Tolerance" on a plot of land they say is an ancient Muslim cemetery.It's obvious they just don't want one built even near the cemetary. And by the way:
This is just the latest in a series of attacks made on the project, which is run by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, since 2004. Islamic groups and various Arabs have complained that the museum is slated to be built on the Ma'aman Allah (also known as Mamilla) cemetery. They say the burial site contains thousands of graves and dates back hundreds of years. Some gravestones are present today in the area.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center replied to the Arab outcry by saying the museum would be built adjacent to the cemetery, on a plot which is currently a parking lot. The Center said the parking lot, which was built 50 years ago, was not protested at the time of construction.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem has allowed building over gravesites in the past, according to a report by the Associated Press.Jewish/Christian cemetaries, to be sure.
Some of the most distasteful MSM attacks have been from the UK Times, The Examiner, Metro Santa Cruz, McClatchy, and another from the Los Angeles Times, which even perpetuates the lie that "palestinians" were expelled, and not a single mention of those Jews who were driven out of Jerusalem's Old City and such places during 1948. At least they allow for a counterpoint made by Marvin Hier about the real location:
Listening to the few vocal opponents of our Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem project -- among them the notorious Sheik Raed Salah, leader of the extremist Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel -- you would never know that the Israeli Supreme Court deliberated for almost three years before unanimously rejecting all their claims and authorizing the Wiesenthal Center to begin construction. Just six weeks ago, Chief Justice Dorit Beinish also rebuked those who re-petitioned the Supreme Court for an "abuse of court proceedings," ordering them to pay professional costs.And that's just another sign of how this only stems from anti-semitism.
Still, our opponents would have you believe that in the name of tolerance, our bulldozers actually have invaded the adjacent Mamilla Cemetery, desecrating ancient Muslim tombstones and historic markers.
They don't want you to know the real facts. The museum is not being built on what can rightfully be called the Mamilla Cemetery, but on a three-acre site in the heart of West Jerusalem that, for more than half a century, served as the city's municipal car park. Each day, hundreds of people of all faiths parked in the three-level underground structure without any protest from Muslim religious or academic leaders or interest groups. Additionally, telephone and electrical cables and sewer lines were laid deep below ground in the early 1960s, again without any protest.
As the Supreme Court noted in its ruling, "for almost 50 years the compound has not been a part of the cemetery, both in the normative sense and in the practical sense, and it was used for various public purposes." It also noted: "During all those years no one raised any claim, on even one occasion, that the planning procedures violated the sanctity of the site, or that they were contrary to the law as a result of the historical and religious uniqueness of the site. . . . For decades this area was not regarded as a cemetery by the general public or by the Muslim community. . . . No one denied this position."
In fact, the entire area of the Mamilla Cemetery had long been regarded by Muslim religious leaders as mundras -- abandoned. A cemetery not in use for 37 years is considered mundras and without sanctity. That explains why in 1946 the most prominent Islamic religious figure of the day, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, presented plans to build a Muslim university on a large portion of the Mamilla Cemetery itself (a rendering of which we presented to the court). Today, the concept of mundras is widely accepted and practiced in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian territories and throughout the Arab world.
Recent critics such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Americans for Peace Now and the Center for Constitutional Rights argue that the Museum of Tolerance should abide by a higher standard than the letter of the law. We do, as the above quote from the court confirms. When we first heard of protests against our plan, in January 2006, our lawyers attempted to meet with Salah but were rebuffed. Once a legal case was filed, the Supreme Court's mediator tried, but fared no better. We offered solutions to build without disturbing the bones -- also rejected. We offered to restore the neglected and virtually abandoned nearby Mamilla Cemetery -- not interested.
The Jerusalem Post also makes clear the real picture here, as does the Jerusalem Dispatch. Those MSM publications who've lent themselves to the attacks here should retract and apologize for helping cause all the trouble they're going to cause.