A little too ironic for my taste: The Simon Wiesenthal Center “Museum of Tolerance” is building on top of a Muslim cemetary in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mamila.
The Antiques Authority has reported the removal of at least 250 gravesites so far. A Muslim NGO has appealed to the High Court, and is due to be heard in two weeks–but a lot of graves can get dug up in that time.
Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights reports,
I spoke yesterday with the executive director of the Wiesenthal Center,
Rabbi Marvin Hier. One of our Orthodox founders, Rabbi David Rosen, has
also been in touch with them. To his credit, he almost immediately
returned my call. He indicated concern for the feelings of Muslims, but
said that they have passed a point of no return, having spent large amounts
of money and after plans were published in the newspapers, City Council
hearings were held with no Muslim objections expressed, etc. I told him
that this was very strange, seeing as we have heard concerns about the
desecration of this cemetery for years and that unfortunately bitter
experience from years of work in the field of human rights has taught us
that the authorities may not have been entirely honest with them. Islamic
authorites have told us that they did not know about this specific plan
until the work began.
A Haaretz op-ed in English on the subject can be found here.
A Haaretz article on the building plans can be found in Hebrew here.
The Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information also has some information about the building, under “What’s New”, here.
Register your protest against the desecration of Muslim graves by calling the Wiesenthal center:
800 900.9036 (toll-free from within the U.S.)
310 553.4521 (fax)
Address all correspondence to Rabbi Marvin Hier, Director and Founder of the Wiesenthal Center.