// "Museum of Tolerance" to be Built over Muslim Cemetery
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« on: Dec 10, 2008 02:53 PM »

"Museum of Tolerance" to be built over Muslim cemetery
By Ali Moossavi
Friday, 12.05.2008, 07:55pm

On Oct. 29, two years after mediation began in Israeli courts, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s "Museum of Tolerance" could build on a Muslim cemetery, called Mamilla, in Jerusalem.

A rendering of the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance.
The Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Mohammad Hussein called it an "outrage" and "disrespectful of the dead."

SWC founder and head Marvin Hier called the cemetery, "derelict land."

The planned museum "is one of the largest educational and cultural projects ever undertaken, one that will become a centerpiece in the city’s cultural life," the Center’s website said. "It is not just another museum about the past, but a unique institution that will focus on issues of human dignity and responsibility and seek to promote unity and respect among Jews and between people of all faiths."

Critics counter that the project is disrespectful to the religious rights of Muslims. They say such a project wouldn’t be allowed over a Jewish cemetery.

According to a fact sheet put out by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the ultra-Orthodox Jewish group Atra Kadisha have, in the past, successfully "stopped multi-million dollar road construction plans" and other projects to protect Jewish graves.

Jewish scholars and organizations have also come out against the planned museum. Former deputy-mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti, in an op-ed headlined "The Hypocrisy Of Tolerance" in the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz, wrote "Throughout Israel there are hundreds of sites that were once Muslim graveyards, whose remains are still evident at a few dozen of them. The rest have vanished... The Muslim cemeteries' condition is so outrageous that if it existed in another civilized state it would raise a public storm."

Munira Syeda, head of the Los Angeles CAIR chapter, said building on the cemetery goes against what the museum is supposed to be about.

"It is puzzling why the Wiesenthal Center is not according respect and accommodating the beliefs and rights of members of all faiths in the city of Jerusalem," she said.

The project – which began in 2004 at a groundbreaking ceremony in Jerusalem attended by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – was given the go ahead after the Israel Supreme Court ruled that, "for decades this area was not regarded as a cemetery by the general public or by the Muslim community."

"All citizens of Israel, Jews and non-Jews, are the real beneficiaries of this decision," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, as quoted on the group’s website.

The center claims that the property the museum will be built on – which was given to the Wiesenthal Center by the Israel Lands Administration in 2000, according to the SWC’s fact sheet – has been unused for decades and isn’t sacred.

The fact sheet the center uses to back their claims relies heavily on the court’s ruling and claims that the site is in fact "Mundras," or that it lost its sanctity. A Sharia court made the Mundras classification, on July 7, 1964, according to a 2006 statement from the Wiesenthal Center, which states that the future site isn’t on the cemetery, but on an adjacent car park built in 1960.

CAIR counters in its fact sheet that the Sharia court was handpicked by the Israeli government, and was not trusted by Palestinian Muslims, and that the car park was itself built over a portion of the cemetery.

"The Center claims the cemetery has not been in use for 50 years," the group said. "That is understandable because hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee as refugees and abandon their properties."

During the 1948 war, 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land, the property left behind placed under government authority and classified "absentee property."

According to Israel professor Uri Davis in his book, "Apartheid Israel," the Absentee Property Law of 1950 served to guarantee "a demographic majority of the Jewish tribes in the territories under its control."

It’s under this law that the land was given to the Center, according to CAIR.

"Unfortunately, the Center refuses to acknowledge these grave atrocities against Palestinians," Syeda said.

Simon Wiesenthal Center spokespeople could not be reached for comment.

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« Reply #1 on: Dec 19, 2008 03:30 PM »

Munira Syeda, Jewish Journal, 12/17/08

I find it appalling that the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which previously said that it would not build on a site were it known that it was a cemetery, continues to build a Center for Human Dignity, despite more than 150 skeletons being dug up at the cemetery under the center's supervision ("Protests Over Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance Spread," Dec. 12).

And the claim about Muslims being silent for the past 50 years is just plain wrong. Israel imposed martial law from 1949 to 1966. During that time, any signs of nationalism among Palestinians were crushed.

But Muslims in Israel did legally oppose the designation of waqf land as absentee property in the 1960s, lobbied to rebuild and maintain the Ma'manullah graves after the 1967 War, protested the desecration of the graves in the '70s and '80s, and have been opposing the building of the Center for Human Dignity on the cemetery land.

This issue is not about politics or victory. It is about respect and fair treatment of the living and dead -- something taught in both Judaism and Islam.

Munira Syeda
Communications Coordinator
CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area
« Reply #2 on: Jan 05, 2009 03:58 PM »

Simon Wiesenthal was a lying hate monger who falsely labelled innocent Germans for his own fame.

They build these amusement parks they call holocaust museums everywhere to spread their lies.
And that is what it all is, one big fat lie that refuses to die because they keep pumping in billions to keep it alive.
There was no Holocaust, there weren’t and there never has been 6 million Jews in Europe, there were no gas chambers. All this was originally fabricated as war time slander against the German people and their glorious leader. And now they use this lie as a means to justify the genocide they perpetrate against Muslims.
Palestine is full of empty spaces for them to build their house of lies because they exterminated and expelled 80% of the native inhabitants. The only reason they chose the biggest oldest Muslim cemetery containing the bones of the sahaba is to wipe out our history. So they can claim that Muslims have never lived there and invent a lie that Jews have always lived there to justify future expulsions and exterminations.

The Palestinians made a big mistake when they helped Jews who left Europe. A lot of these Palestinians are still alive today, and remember greeting Jews who left Europe, giving them zakat, food, jobs and sharing their homes with the Jews. But these same Jews reworded this generosity by exterminating and expelling those who helped them. They should have expected it from them. They shouldn’t have been so gullible. The Germans had made the same mistake. Those Jews had originally left Russia. They did a lot of crimes against the Russian people while trying to take over Russia, and were expelled. They went to Germany and the Germans helped them. They rewarded the Germans by committing crimes against the German people while trying to destroy Germany. When the Germans tried to stop them they went to Palestine and succeeded in taking over the country by exterminating and expelling 80% of the native population.
I believe once Allah grants the Muslims victory over them, they will go to America do what they are doing to the Palestinians now against the Americans, until they are expelled and then they will do so else where.

These museums always mention what others have done to the Jews, how over 109 nations have expelled them. But they never mention what the Jews did to provoke this.
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