Perverse Irony: “Tolerance” Museum To Be Built Atop Muslim Cemetary

From Political Theatrics:

A group of Palestinians descended from 15 of Jerusalem’s oldest Arab families lodged a protest with the UN today in a fresh effort to prevent the construction of a “Museum of Tolerance” on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery.

The project, run by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles, has been dogged by controversy since its launch in 2004. Islamic groups and individual Palestinians complained that the site, in west Jerusalem, was the ancient cemetery of Ma’man Allah, also known as Mamilla, which housed thousands of graves dating back hundreds of years and where even today there are still many gravestones and tombs.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre argued the site was adjacent to the cemetery and that construction would be on what is today a municipal car park.

After legal battles, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in October 2008 that building could go ahead. But the Israel Antiquities Authority’s chief excavator for the site, Gideon Suleimani, found the site was a cemetery in use for the past 1,000 years that “abounded with graves” and should not be open to construction without a full excavation, which never happened. He said his assessment was ignored by the court. Then late last year Frank Gehry, the celebrity architect working on the project, withdrew.

Some 60 Palestinians have signed a petition…

[continues at Political Theatrics]

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