The erasure of history (Israel gives go-ahead to desecration of Mamilla cemetery)

Israel/Palestine
on 77 Comments

It’s official: on Tuesday, the Israeli government gave the Simon Wiesenthal Center the go-ahead to begin digging the foundation of its so-called Museum of Tolerance, a name that would be ironic if Israel’s political discourse hadn’t become so mutilated that words like”tolerance” had simply stopped meaning anything. The museum is set to be built on the site of Jerusalem’s Mamilla cemetery, a storied Muslim burial ground that dates to the 7th Century. Already hundreds of graves have been dug up and desecrated to make room for the angled planes of the Tolerance center, and the museum’s construction crews are now free to build on thousands more.

The news that Israel’s Interior Ministry has approved the museum’s building plans was not unexpected but it is still devastating. It is the final defeat in nearly a decade’s worth of efforts by Palestinians, Israelis, academics, and human rights groups to stop the desecration. Or rather, it is the final nail in the coffin of a desperate bid to save a sacred piece of Palestinian history — before that coffin gets dug up and re-buried, that is.

The historical and religious importance of Mamilla cemetery (originally the Ma’man Allah cemetery) is well documented. Situated half a kilometer west of the Old City’s walls, the cemetery is reputed to contain the remains of some of Jerusalem’s oldest, most celebrated families as well as those of religious leaders, pilgrims, officers and soldiers of Saladin’s army, every-day Jerusalemites, and even companions of the Prophet Muhammad. In its graves lie the secrets and stories of centuries of Palestinian history, most if not all of which managed to survived Persian siege, Christian crusades, Ottoman conquest, and British rule. Indeed, it was only after west Jerusalem was absorbed into Israel in 1948 that the “indignities” began, as Rashid Khalidi explains in an elegant essay recently published in Jadaliyya. (Khalidi’s ancestors are, or at least were, among those buried in the Mamilla Cemetery, and he has been a leader of the Campaign to Preserve Mamilla Jerusalem Cemetery.)


Given various Israeli state agencies’ appropriation of religious holdings such as Mamilla, it goes without saying that such sites could not be protected, preserved or restored by the appropriate religious authorities. This is despite the fact that these authorities hold unassailable legal title to these properties, a title that the discriminatory legal system of the Israeli state does not recognize. Thus before sections of the cemetery were earlier turned into a parking lot, a park, or other profane purposes starting in the 1960s, they had been allowed to deteriorate significantly. This is what is currently happening to the remaining untouched area at the eastern end of the cemetery where numerous gravestones can still be seen. With the Muslim religious authorities forbidden from tending it, this remnant of the cemetery has become overgrown. Vandals have knocked down gravestones. The area came to be known as a seedy, disreputable, and dangerous place at night. The Jerusalem Municipality has repeatedly used earth-movers and other heavy equipment to remove both ancient grave markers and more recent ones restored by families or by private associations. The most recent episode of this sort took place on the night of June 25-26, 2011, when about 100 gravestones were destroyed by bulldozers.

I have now read these words several times, and each time I’ve been reminded — overpoweringly — of a pilgrimage I made two years ago to one of the only remaining Jewish cemeteries in Bialystok, Poland, birthplace of my grandfather and dozens of other relatives. The cemetery was deserted the day we visited and in bad disrepair. Of the original 40,000-50,000 headstones, all but 5,000 t0 7,000 had been destroyed or repurposed — which is to say, uprooted, stolen, and turned into building fodder for streets, homes, and other random objects of daily living. Of those that remained, many had been toppled, and several bore the fresh, spray-painted markings of swastikas. Litter from picnics strafed the grounds.

Compared to the death camps and mass graves we’d visited the previous days, the desecrated Bialystok cemetery barely rated on the horror scale. And yet, there was something in the desecration, so common in those parts of the world as to be almost de rigueur, that suggested a level of intolerance so profound that the only option was complete erasure. It wasn’t enough that a whole people and population had disappeared, they had to be redacted from history.

And now, of course, Israel is engaged in the same dance of intolerance, and once again we are reminded that the victim has become the victimizer, the desecrated has become the desecrator. And the vibrant history of a vital people is in danger of being lost. Which is, of course, the intent.

About Lizzy Ratner

Lizzy Ratner is a journalist in New York City. She is a co-editor with Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.

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77 Responses

  1. Chaos4700
    July 15, 2011, 9:02 am

    But Israel isn’t apartheid, huh? Tell me this would ever happen to a site that Jews consider sanctified in Israel.

    • Hostage
      July 15, 2011, 1:45 pm

      18 U.S.C. § 956 makes it a criminal offense for anyone within the jurisdiction of the United States to conspire to damage any religious, educational, or cultural property in a foreign country.

      I’m surprised that the members of the US Palestinian community haven’t used “28 U.S.C. § 1361 Action to compel an officer of the United States to perform his duty” in an attempt to have the US Attorney General stop the LA-based Simon Wiesenthal Center from destroying their religious and cultural property. If the situation were reversed, I can assure you that the folks running the Wiesenthal Center wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to use every trick in the book to harass and intimidate someone who was destroying a Jewish cultural or religious site.

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        July 15, 2011, 7:18 pm

        b/c its a wek argument as the Palys wanted to do the same thing back in 40s and create a mall or something like that.

        The Arabs have a new alleged war crime that they are making waves about: the supposed desecration of the Mamilla Cemetery in order to build a new Museum of Tolerance for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

        They are claiming that the museum is being built on ancient graves, while the Simon Wiesenthal Center says that they are only building on top of the site of an existing parking lot and not touching the remaining part of the cemetery.

        link to jpress.org.il

      • Hostage
        July 15, 2011, 9:37 pm

        b/c its a wek argument as the Palys wanted to do the same thing back in 40s and create a mall or something like that.

        The doctrine of waiver or unclean hands wouldn’t apply, since the Palys here didn’t actually do “the same thing in the 40s”.

      • talknic
        July 16, 2011, 5:01 am

        Hamishe_Sabz

        The ‘Palys’ seem to have had a plan to re-bury the deceased appropriately. The big hole in your argument though, is the fact that they DIDN’T build anything. Perhaps you should try equally as hard to find out why they didn’t ….(then comment)

        “…the Simon Wiesenthal Center says that they are only building on top of the site of an existing parking lot and not touching the remaining part of the cemetery. “

        Source?

      • Lightbringer
        July 16, 2011, 8:31 am

        “I’m surprised that the members of the US Palestinian community haven’t used “28 U.S.C. § 1361 Action to compel an officer of the United States to perform his duty” in an attempt to have the US Attorney General stop the LA-based Simon Wiesenthal Center from destroying their religious and cultural property.”
        That is because the cemetery has nothing to do with Palestinians’ religious and cultural property – for I’ve never heard of any Palestinian culture or religion.

      • Hostage
        July 17, 2011, 1:43 am

        I’ve never heard of any Palestinian culture or religion.

        Even if ou’d admitted that you had, it would only have impressed a few of us and astonished the rest.

      • Lightbringer
        July 17, 2011, 4:17 am

        link to mondoweiss.net

        I’m sure that there is still a chance for me to impress a few of you and astonish the rest.

  2. eGuard
    July 15, 2011, 9:03 am

    Meanwhile, in Germany a secret tankdeal with Saudi Arabia is brewing. Germany (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann company) is planning to deliver 200 Leopard tanks type 2a7+ to Saudi Arabia. The political part of the deal is done is a secret commission (“Bundessicherheitsrat”) under president Merkel.

    Israel agrees –sine qua non– because it is good to “stabilise” the region (Iran!), and of course because that Arabic spring should be over by now. Merkel seems to forget that Saudi Arabia has send their tanks to Bahrein (and Qatar in 2009).

    (Please forgive me going OT: that’s the only way it can go with secrets).

    • Citizen
      July 16, 2011, 6:38 am

      The tank deal is not so secret, although the US mainstream press is not touching it. The tyrannical Saud clan and Israel are the two most key defenders of “western civilization” under our necon-PEP regime, with the 3rd being (they hope) the new Egypt. I heard those German tanks are net better than either the US or Israel’s BTW.

  3. seafoid
    July 15, 2011, 10:02 am

    Zionism sickens me. It is such an ignorant ideology. The notion that you can start from scratch and reinvent a people is repellent. You can’t. Israel’s Jews, au contraire, are prisoners of their own tortured history. It is hardly a coincidence that Israel itself is a political shtetl. Run by Cossacks. Where the people are fed mythology and Masada is something they are proud of.

    • Kathleen
      July 15, 2011, 10:25 am

      Apartheid growing. Anger and hatred along with it

      • seafoid
        July 15, 2011, 11:03 am

        And they moan about thugs who desecrate Jewish graves in Eastern Europe or the middle East . The hypocrisy is nauseating.

        link to indianexpress.com

        “Dozens of Jewish graves have been desecrated in St Petersburg in the city’s second xenophobic attack in a week, a Jewish community leader said on Monday, accusing authorities of negligence.”

        link to jpost.com

        “Public prosecutor says out of 126 headstones, 49 were either vandalized, damaged or knocked down in what the BNVCA called an “anti-Semitic” act. “

      • Don
        July 15, 2011, 10:03 pm

        “Mamilla Pool” Israel Shamir

        link to israelshamir.net

        I have no idea as to the accuracy of this article…pretty interesting. Several years old now.

    • tokyobk
      July 15, 2011, 11:18 am

      The problem here is the hypocrisy and the complete insensitivity, not invention or reinvention. Lots of groups are modern inventions and reinventions.

      • seafoid
        July 15, 2011, 12:40 pm

        There is nothing to match the plasticity of Zionism. Israel is a Barbie nation.

        You couldn’t even hang on to your name or your language in Israel. Because they don’t have a history, other than as part of their cult or beyond 2000 years ago. They fabricated everything. Now it is coming back to bite them in the ass.

        I am always struck by the fragility of the ideology. 15 Palestinians marching to the site of a destroyed village is DEFCON 1.

      • Chaos4700
        July 15, 2011, 8:08 pm

        There is nothing to match the plasticity of Zionism.

        Oh yes there is. Or was, rather.

  4. Kathleen
    July 15, 2011, 10:14 am

    “that suggested a level of intolerance so profound that the only option was complete erasure. It wasn’t enough that a whole people and population had disappeared, they had to be redacted from history.”

    As horrific and criminal as the Holocaust was and the trauma continues to be. “a whole people and population” did not disappear the holocaust tragedy has certainly not been “redacted from history” In fact this holocaust is mentioned,written about, films, on the news mentioned every time anyone turns around as well it should along with all other genocides.

  5. Kathleen
    July 15, 2011, 10:14 am

    Israel’s effort to wipe out all Palestinian history is criminal. Human rights crimes

    • seafoid
      July 15, 2011, 11:37 am

      It is also stupid. It is the reason why the Arabs hate them. It is the reason why Israel still has such a massive army. It is the fount of all their insecurity.

      Very little of the official Zionist history is true.
      They don’t recognise anything that happened between Bar Kokhba and the first aliyah. Other than rampant antisemitism.

      Then there is the whole land without a people BS.

    • Hamishe_Sabz
      July 15, 2011, 7:19 pm

      there aint any before 67…the rest is fabricated.

  6. annie
    July 15, 2011, 10:31 am

    thank you lizzy. fyi wrt Khalidi’s statement, i wrote In the cover of darkness on july 1 which documents w/video the destruction of the remaining section he references.

    Israeli bulldozers entered the part of the ancient Mamilla Cemetery that remained intact to destroy and dispose of nearly 100 grave markers, both ancient and renovated. The bulldozers worked under the cover of night (from 11pm to 1am on June 25-26, 2011), and retreated hastily when their operators realized that they were being filmed by local media and activists, as can be seen in the coverage broadcast by Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera

    there are two videos at the link showing the bulldozers. also hostage has an excellent comment in the thread w/extra links:

    The Mamilla Cemetery was not state property prior to the 1948 War. It was an Islamic endowment property, or waqf in Jerusalem. So, its immunities were guaranteed under Article 13 of the Mandate and the UN Partition Plan. It was taken over by the Israeli Custodian for Absentee Property. …..The use of abandoned or absentee property laws to confiscate the properties of inhabitants or their communities as a result of a change of sovereignty has long been considered a violation of the laws of nations and international law. See for example Article 144 of the Treaty of Sèvres or United States v. Percheman, 32 U.S. 7 Pet. 51 51 (1832).
    The Simon Wiesenthal Center is headquartered in Los Angeles. This appears to be a violation of the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 956 regarding damage to religious or cultural property in a foreign country:
    (b) Whoever, within the jurisdiction of the United States, conspires with one or more persons, regardless of where such other person or persons are located, to damage or destroy specific property situated within a foreign country and belonging to a foreign government or to any political subdivision thereof with which the United States is at peace, or any railroad, canal, bridge, airport, airfield, or other public utility, public conveyance, or public structure, or any religious, educational, or cultural property so situated, shall, if any of the conspirators commits an act within the jurisdiction of the United States to effect any object of the conspiracy, be imprisoned not more than 25 years.

    these are americans doing this and they should be persecuted to the full extent of the law!

    • stevieb
      July 17, 2011, 10:34 am

      Thank you! I was about to point that out….

      I’ve sat in on some Simon Wiesenthal meetings in Toronto – until I couldn’t hack it anymore and got thrown out….

  7. Dan Crowther
    July 15, 2011, 11:11 am

    Well, we all know that the only way to right the wrongs done by the Poles, Russians and Germans is to punish a people living thousands of miles away from Poland, Russia and Germany. That’ll teach ‘em!!

    I think it was calloway in the parliament who said ” we are the authors of this tragedy…..it all started with arthur balfour when on behalf of one people, gave to a second people, the land which belonged to a third people..”

    • Taxi
      July 15, 2011, 1:12 pm

      I think you mean George Galloway – just a guess, I haven’t googled or anything.

      • Dan Crowther
        July 15, 2011, 1:47 pm

        yea, my bad – i fat fingered the keyboard

  8. hophmi
    July 15, 2011, 12:04 pm

    “Following the outcry from Palestinian and Israeli advocacy groups, it was discovered in February 2007 that a November 1945 article in The Palestine Post reported Muslim plans to build a commercial center directly over the cemetery. The article stated, “An area of over 450 dunams in the heart of Jerusalem, now forming the Mamilla Cemetery, is to be converted into a business centre. The town-plan is being completed under the supervision of the Supreme Moslem Council in conjunction with the Government Town Planning Adviser.” Citing supportive rulings from prominent Muslim clerics at the time, the council planned to transfer the remains buried in the cemetery to a separate “walled reserve” in favor of “the public interest.” In response to this revelation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center accused opponents of its building plans of “sheer hypocrisy,” stressing that the museum was “not even being built on the cemetery itself.”[20] Rabbi Hier added that this new information “substantiates much of what Israel’s Supreme Court said in its recent ruling: That the Mamilla Cemetery was regarded by many Muslim religious leaders as ‘mundras,’ or abandoned and without sanctity.”[18]

    This is called hypocrisy.

    • Chu
      July 15, 2011, 12:33 pm

      You really have no soul. Thanks for showing the crowd here your attitude.

    • Dan Crowther
      July 15, 2011, 12:47 pm

      yea, and alot of cemetaries all over the world have been covered over – the difference here is that IT WAS 1945 and those people probably didnt think that the VAST MAJORITY of their other historical sites would be DESTROYED.

      So yea, when Muslims could still get into Al Aqsa Mosque, visit the dome of the rock etc – a cemetary isnt that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things…..but WHEN ITS ALL YOU HAVE LEFT…..much different story

      stay class hophmi, clown.

    • Shmuel
      July 15, 2011, 1:37 pm

      This is called hypocrisy.

      You got that right.

      First, the land was expropriated by the Israeli government in 1948, as “absentee property” (and subsequently sold by the Custodian for Absentee Property to the Jerusalem Municipality). To the extent that such expropriation is valid, the Palestinians evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in favour of Jewish settlers representing the land’s pre-’48 owners, should immediately be allowed to return, as their claim is based on a similar procedure followed by the Jordanian government at about the same time.

      Second, the religious leaders/custodians of the cemetery are the ones who must decide whether a given project merits moving the cemetery and “deconsecrating” the grounds (if such a procedure is required). That their predecessors in another era may have decided that a certain project (never realised) was in the public interest and therefore warranted moving the cemetery, in no way obligates them to take a similar decision regarding any and every project that may come up. It is entirely up to them.

      Considering the nature of the present project, the fact that the land itself was stolen (sorry, expropriated), and that there is an ongoing effort to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem of its Palestinian inhabitants, history and heritage, it is hardly surprising that the current Islamic religious authorities in Jerusalem do not believe that the cemetery should be moved.

      Third, the quantity of human remains discovered during excavations at the MOT site, would appear to indicate that it is indeed a part of the cemetery, and should be treated as a holy place – whether it appears as such on maps, records, photos, etc. or not. You would expect no less for a Jewish burial site.

      Fourth, I don’t know which Muslim leaders Hier was referring to, but there are recognised Islamic religious authorities in Jerusalem, who must decide on such matters. Sacred or not, the land is stolen (see First, above), and as such, hardly a fitting site for anything, let alone a “Museum of Tolerance”.

      Hypocrisy indeed.

      • eee
        July 15, 2011, 3:46 pm

        Shmuel,

        The Israel supreme court ruled on the issue. Do you know better than them? What other way is there to resolve such disagreements except through the court system?

      • Shmuel
        July 15, 2011, 4:05 pm

        The Israel supreme court ruled on the issue.

        The same court that recognises Jewish claims to pre-’48 land ownership, but not Palestinian claims? Big deal.

        What other way is there to resolve such disagreements except through the court system?

        A court is no better (and often worse) than the body of laws it is charged to uphold. In Israel, that means Jews and non-Jews (particularly Palestinians) are treated differently. Where an appeal stands a chance or serves to expose inequality and discrimination, it may be worth a shot. Heroes like Michael Sfard and others believe so, although their faith in the system is extremely limited. Felicia Langer tried for 40 years or so, before coming to the conclusion that trying to work through the Israel court system is an exercise in futility for Palestinians. I would say international law, wherever possible (like the ICJ ruling on the wall), and primarily Palestinian, Israeli and international pressure and protest. BDS.

      • eee
        July 15, 2011, 4:22 pm

        Shmuel,

        As an Israeli I only recognize the Israeli supreme court as the final arbiter of the laws of the land. If I don’t like a law, I try to change it, I do not boycott my country. But go ahead, BDS. What does that mean for you, that you aren’t going to visit Israel any more?

      • Shmuel
        July 15, 2011, 4:57 pm

        Good for you, 3e. If only it were a matter of this law or that law. It is systemic and it is apartheid. You’ll be happy to know, I’m sure, that BDS is not meant to be observed by Israelis (with the exception of companies and institutions complicit in the occupation – where possible). BDS is mainly an external gig, although encouragement “from within” is important and most welcome.

        As for myself, when abroad, I BDS like an outsider, and when in Israel, I BDS like an Israeli – avoiding anything related to the occupation, and trying to buy Palestinian products.

      • eee
        July 15, 2011, 5:09 pm

        Shmuel,

        You don’t seem consistent to me. If you BDS, BDS. Stop coming to Israel. Why help our economy at all?

        Looking down the road 10 years, when you finally understand that like violence, BDS is not going to work, what are you going to do then?

      • Hostage
        July 15, 2011, 6:29 pm

        The Israel supreme court ruled on the issue. Do you know better than them?

        As the old saying goes, I’ve seen better head on a beer. When it comes to Israeli High Court decisions on extrajudicial killing, retaliatory house demolitions, legality of walls and settlements in Palestinian territory, the use of collective punishment against the residents of Gaza, Israeli only roads/highway 443, & the extensions on the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law 2003, their decisions are full of curious lacunae and studied indifference to the most elementary principles of either equity or law. The IDF are “past masters” at exploiting the loopholes built-in to every High Court order regarding a Palestinian.

      • Shmuel
        July 15, 2011, 6:52 pm

        You’re right, 3e. How foolish I’ve been spending every vacation and all of my hard-earned euros in Israel. I’ll try harder from now on, bli neder.

        Ten years from now? Elohim gadol.

      • Chaos4700
        July 15, 2011, 8:09 pm

        The Israeli Supreme Court? And who actually listens to them? The Knesset and the IDF certainly don’t.

      • Citizen
        July 16, 2011, 6:56 am

        Shmuel, forget eee. Ein lo Elohim

      • talknic
        July 16, 2011, 9:45 am

        eee

        “As an Israeli I only recognize the Israeli supreme court as the final arbiter of the laws of the land.”

        When the land in question is in territory outside of Israel’s sovereign extent, International Law applies.

        The territory has never been legally annexed to Israel, never declared as Israeli, not recognized by any country as Israeli because “It is inadmissible to acquire territory by war”. The International Community, esp Regional Powers, have a right to a process of intervention.

        Palestinian claims to their territory have validity under persistent objection .

        Israel on the other hand sealed the legal extent of it’s sovereignty when it declared, was recognized and finally accepted into the UN. It’s “facts on the ground” since May 15th 1948 are all illegal according to the relevant UNSC Resolutions. That is why there are so many of them.

        Israel accepted UNGA Res 181 unconditionally, without reservation & was declared according to the conditions in Res 181. ….. Was recognized and accepted into the UN BEFORE it ever made any claims to territory “outside of Israel”.

        “If I don’t like a law, I try to change it, I do not boycott my country. “

        Uh huh. Israeli Civil Law is not applicable in “territories occupied” or illegally acquired, illegally annexed, illegally settled territories.

        The law you don’t like is not decided by Israeli legislation. It’s decided by the International Community of Nations, the UN/UNSC/ICJ.

        BDS aims to see the State of Israel, no matter who is in Government, adhere to International Law and the UN Charter. Quite simple… very sensible.

      • Shmuel
        July 16, 2011, 10:01 am

        Thanks, talknic. Now I get what you meant by “missing steps”. The issue of jurisdiction is important, but my point was that the Israeli High Court (and legal system as a whole – both civilian and military) is simply not a credible arbiter.

      • stevieb
        July 17, 2011, 10:38 am

        And why not, eee? I have to visit the U.S in December – but that will be my last trip. Until the facism is defeated….

      • talknic
        July 16, 2011, 5:58 am

        Shmuel … a few steps missing there…

        The Israeli Government Israel Confirmed Israel’s Sovereign extent in a statement to the UNSC 22nd May 1948

        Then by Israeli Government Proclamation 12 Aug 1948 declared Military Occupation

        The Laws of War as they did then, still say this “Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907 Art. 42 SECTION III “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised. “

      • Shmuel
        July 16, 2011, 8:22 am

        I’m not sure what you’re referring to, talknic. I was talking about land expropriation (“absentee property”) in West Jerusalem, not sovereignty (or administration or occupation).

    • eljay
      July 15, 2011, 1:58 pm

      >> hophmi: This is called hypocrisy.

      Please provide a link to the site from which you copied the information that’s in your post. Thanks.

      See also this Mondoweiss thread from March, 2010: Red herring in Mamilla case

      • Shmuel
        July 15, 2011, 3:02 pm

        Please provide a link to the site from which you copied the information that’s in your post. Thanks.

        Wiki Wiki Wiki.

    • Hostage
      July 15, 2011, 2:44 pm

      The Palestine Post reported Muslim plans to build a commercial center directly over the cemetery.

      These sort of proposals usually do result in public outrage and newspaper reports like the one you mentioned. We have jackasses in our own governments who have ignored or proposed to destroy important cultural sites belonging to others in the name of progress. That sort of thing has led to the establishment of national registers and legal protections for indigenous and national historical sites, and the UNESCO World Heritage program. For example, here is a newspaper article complaining about the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national heritage proposal didn’t include any non-Jewish sites.

    • annie
      July 15, 2011, 3:04 pm

      hophmi, no wonder you didn’t provide a link. i really do not think wiki is the authoritative reference on the mamilla cemetary. especially when the sources ” [20] “provided do not support the allegations presented in the text. the minions over @ yeshiva central wiki editing must be very very proud.

      try harder.

    • annie
      July 15, 2011, 3:16 pm

      Rabbi Hier added that this new information “substantiates much of what Israel’s Supreme Court said in its recent ruling: That the Mamilla Cemetery was regarded by many Muslim religious leaders as ‘mundras,’ or abandoned and without sanctity.”

      i’m afraid israel’s supreme court is not the authority of what many muslim religious leaders believ. if you want to hear what they believe you might try listening to one of them, and not one rabbi.

      STATE OF ISRAEL

      SHARIAA HIGH COURT OF APPEALS

      THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

      بســـــم الله الرحمــــن الرحيــــــم

      מדינת ישראל

      محكمة الإستئناف الشرعية العليا

      القدس الشريف

      בית הדין השרעי העליון לערעורים The High Court of Appeals

      לשכת הנשיא ديــــــوان الرئيـــــــــس President’s Office

      (translated from Hebrew by Gershon Baskin)

      Dr. Gershon Baskin

      IPCRI

      Jerusalem

      Shalom,

      Re: Your request for information from 21 February regarding our opposition to damaging the Muslim Cemetery in Mamilla

      You attached to your letter an opinion statement from the initiators of a project called – in full irony – “Human Dignity – Museum of Tolerance”, on the Muslim Cemetery of Mamilla. Here is our response:

      1. Our religious-Sharia’ judgment according to the Sharia’ regarding the sanctity of cemeteries is that this sanctity is eternal, and this is an inseparable part of Muslim faith and belief. Accordingly, its sanctity has not been suspended by the passing of time and its sanctity cannot be changed until Judgment Day. Therefore, it is stated that there is an absolute prohibition on digging up graves and this is according to the learned opinion of Sharia’ scholars without exception. Accordingly, and for many years, Sharia judgments (fatwas) issued by the Islamic Courts in Israel emphasize this point. Additionally, a letter of judgment issued by all of the Qadis (Sharia’ Judges) in Israel in 1994 states unequivocally that the sanctity of all cemeteries is eternal until the end of time.

      2. Any attempt to present the issues as if the Sharia’ determines differently is a false one that removes the issue from its proper context. An occasional sentence mentioned by one of the Hanafi school books, while ignoring the basic obligatory conditions of those sayings, which present reservations, is false and also completely ignores all other schools of thought and the many other righteous scholars. Furthermore, the Muslim population of Israel adheres to the Shafia’ school of thought and not the Hanafi.

      3. Regarding the claim that the official land registry does not recognize the area as a cemetery, there is no one who disagrees that it is a cemetery and this fact is raised by the initiators themselves on many occasions, including in front of the Courts. The claim that the sanctity of the Cemetery has been removed contradicts their own claims as well. Also, as they began the excavations in the area, they found it full of graves and bones, also in contradiction to their claims, and every person with a sound mind would realize that it is an area filled with graves and that the excavations must cease immediately.

      4. Burial in the Mamilla cemetery continued until 1948 (see letters from the Management of the Waqf from 4 November 1948 and 7 November 1948 which speak for themselves).

      5. Without going into the level of control and involvement of the British Authorities during the Mandate period in the activities of the High Muslim Council which even led to the dispersion of the Council by Government Order in 1937 and its replacement with a British Council, and furthermore the wishes of the British to use the land of the cemetery for secular uses (see the letter of the representative of Waqf of Jerusalem from 16 September 1947 regarding the take over by British Army units of the area), it is very strange in our view, even amazing, the attempt to base their claims on these document on decisions of Hajj Amin al Hussein the Muft of Jerusalem who they themselves call pro-Nazi and rely on him and as a precedent for qualifying (making Kosher) an inhumane act such as damaging the honor of the dead”.

      6. Even if we allow ourselves to assume that something happened which is immoral had in fact occurred, we must ask if from an injustice any good can come? As it is said: Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      7. Regarding the Judgment of the Qadi of Yaffo in 1964 which is intended to be the legal judgment of the Muslim Court, it seems that there is no choice but to clarify the matter as follows:

      a) The procedure was defective in that it stood completely against the Sharia’ procedures and against the substantive law of the Waqf. The procedure was opened by someone who has no standing before the Court (the Mayor) and who was not a trustee of the Waqf.

      b) No one was present at the procedure as a “side” to the case, not even the one who petitioned or someone in his place. The side (Mayor) did not but send a letter, which is is completely against the procedures of the Sharia’ Courts.

      c) The petition did not, nor did the decision show the benefits to the Waqf, which is essential and obligatory regarding any change in the status of any property of the waqf.

      d) Even the basic assumption on which the conclusion of the above Qadi’s decision was made regarding that the bones that disintegrated and that the remains had begun ashes (dust) – only 16 years after the last burials in the place, it is clear even today, 42 years later, as completely false. Now it is clear to all that whole skeletons have been uncovered as was publicized and photographed in the Haaretz newspaper. It should also be indicated that the representative of the Antiquities Authority announced to the Interior Committee of the Knesset that more than 200 graves have been dug up and the bones placed in boxes!

      e) The decision of the above Qadi (of Yaffo from 1964) that the graves have been disintegrated by time was not based on anything real, and as appears in his decision, he didn’t bother to check the area. Therefore, and for other reasons which are too detailed to explain, it is clear that the former procedure is completely null and void.

      f) It is especially sad to say that we have been informed that the former Qadi was convicted of felonious acts of fraud against the public. The Tel Aviv District Court’s sentence was upheld by the High Court (see judgment 822/64 and 22/66 of the High Court). It should be indicated that the criminal process of these accusations were at the same time as his judgment regarding the cemetery.

      8. The formal claim raised as if there were no objections to the licensing process ignores the fact that following the establishment of the state of Israel – and different from other religious communities in Israel, there was no more institutions which could follow up (supervise) developments concerning the Waqf. The High Muslim Council was dispersed by law in 1961 and the institution of the Mufti ceased to exist. This situation, which was not caused by the Muslims themselves, turns these claims into immoral ones.

      9. Furthermore, it is shocking to our minds that Muslim dead which are buried in their graves are only buried temporarily and that they should know that after a number of years their graves will be boxed, why is this? Is it because they do not deserve the same honor and respect as the rest of humanity? Could this be?

      We are also stunned by the cheap claim that the revulsion from damaging graves when dealing with Muslims is considered a political position and even an extreme one. For us, the honor of the dead, all of the dead, is a Jewish, Christian and Muslim value. Therefore, we should all cooperate, in the name of these preserving universal values. This is our belief regarding Muslim Cemeteries and non-Muslim cemeteries as well. Therefore, we are right to expect that others will relate to our dead as if their own, with one standard, just as the Jewish and Christian faiths demand as well.

      In conclusion, we hope that the initiators of the Tolerance Museum project will understand that they cannot build the Museum for Tolerance while trampling the emotions of millions of Muslims in Israel and around the world and we hope that they will decide by themselves on canceling the project in this location.

      With respect,

      Qadi Ahmad Natour

      President of the Sharia’ Appeals Court

    • talknic
      July 16, 2011, 5:08 am

      Hopmi… Did the Arabs actually build anything and more importantly, why not?

  9. American
    July 15, 2011, 12:08 pm

    I don’t think anyone has failed to understand by now that for zionist it’s not enough to create a peoplehood history for themselves— they also have to ‘destroy’ the culture, history, symbols and traditions of others in both large and small ways in order to impose themselves on and dominate other’s civilizations and societies.

    • seafoid
      July 15, 2011, 2:11 pm

      But it is all a fraud. They planted their european trees all over their neuland to obscure all the villages they destroyed and last year the earth responded and the trees exploded. I feel so sorry for the rivers of Israel.

  10. Shmuel
    July 15, 2011, 2:05 pm

    Last time I was in Israel, I visited the Wadi Salib neighbourhood in Haifa (now empty and slated for demolition, a ghostly monument to the Nakba if there ever was one). At the foot of the neighbourhood (built on a hillside), near the Istiklal mosque, stands an old, Muslim cemetery. The cemetery was cut in two, years ago, to build a highway. On the far side of the highway, close to the sea, is the part of the cemetery that remained under the control of the local Muslim, religious authorities. It is neatly fenced and gated, and well taken care of. On the side of the highway closer to Wadi Salib, is the remaining part of the cemetery, poorly fenced and full of garbage. Nearly all of the gravestones are smashed. It is a heart-rending sight.

    And another story:
    In the 1920s, Italy’s Fascist government decided to move the old Jewish cemetery on the Aventine, in the centre of Rome, to a new site. All of the graves and markers were then transferred (at government expense) to the new, Jewish section established in the Verano cemetery.

    After the war and the establishment of the Italian Republic, the old cemetery grounds were returned to the Jewish community – which, in turn, made a gift of the land (no longer used for Jewish burial) to the city of Rome, for the establishment of a public rose garden. In recognition of the community’s generosity and out of a sense of respect for the previous use of the land, the city erected a stone monument inscribed with Hebrew letters at the entrance to the garden, and laid the entire garden out in the form of the seven-branched candelabrum or menorah. The beautiful rose garden is thus a monument to mutual tolerance and generosity, of a kind that people like Marvin Hier and his supporters will never understand.

  11. Charon
    July 15, 2011, 3:04 pm

    I have no respect for anybody who desecrates historical sites. It doesn’t matter if it is a cemetery or ruins of an ancient civilization. This is terrible, it’s all part of their hate and eliminating their identity from history.

    I read about how there were several unique styles of costumes worn by native Palestinians in the early 20th century. They were unique to Palestine and practically none of that survived 1948, erased from history.

    The Zionists don’t even know that their own history is mostly a one-sided narrative based on propaganda, easily proven wrong by an encyclopedia. Then they say hurtful comments like “There never was a Palestine” or claim that the cemeteries were deliberately moved so Palestinians could claim the land. Well I read an awful lot about the Western Wall over the years and there is no physical evidence it is the remains of any temple. I don’t remember everything but there is evidence that they used to pray at a different location (and different reasons, all speculation given for it), that the wall is part of a Roman fort, and even though they are offended when you mention it there are paintings of Muslims praying at it centuries old.

    Before the aliyahs, nobody in Diaspora knew what it was. They just noticed it when they got there. It was a tradition isolated in Palestine and nobody knows its history. Zionists will rip your head off for even suggesting this but if they’re going to go out of their way to erase the identity of the people who were there first, I’m going to keep repeating it because it’s true. There is no proof, just faith and consensus. A biased consensus

    How long is it going to be before the Zionists take the Temple Mount and the Dome of Rock as their own? Because it WILL happen

    • Kathleen
      July 15, 2011, 6:50 pm

      thanks

    • Lightbringer
      July 16, 2011, 9:32 am

      Well I read an awful lot about the Western Wall over the years and there is no physical evidence it is the remains of any temple.

      Maybe because WAQF won’t let archaeologists to dig underneath the Dome of Rock?
      BTW, have you been to the Dome of Rock? I think that you were not.

      … that the wall is part of a Roman fort

      Should this be true, than Christianity and Islam are both rendered pagan cults and have no credibility.
      Roman fort ROFL

      and even though they are offended when you mention it there are paintings of Muslims praying at it centuries old.

      Do you have image of these paintings?
      Actually, paintings of anyone praying on ancient buildings only prove that during some time someone actually prayed in that area, nothing more.

      Before the aliyahs, nobody in Diaspora knew what it was.

      Actually there is rather exact instructions on how to build the temple and according to these instructions the Western Wall suites just fine.

      They just noticed it when they got there.

      No. They got there because they knew where to go.

      It was a tradition isolated in Palestine and nobody knows its history.

      Palestine?
      There is no “palestinian” language or “palestinian” culture or “palestinian” architecture or “palestinian” science. There is no such things, as they never were.
      Isolated tradition huh.
      Basically you are saying now that there were no crusades.

      Zionists will rip your head off for even suggesting this but if they’re going to go out of their way to erase the identity of the people who were there first, I’m going to keep repeating it because it’s true. There is no proof, just faith and consensus. A biased consensus

      To you few thousand years of faith might seem irrelevant, but to Jews (some 5000 years of faith), Christians (2000 years of faith) and Muslims (1600 years of faith) the faith is the proof.

      How long is it going to be before the Zionists take the Temple Mount and the Dome of Rock as their own? Because it WILL happen

      Of course it will. Because all parties related – Jews and Muslims – know perfectly well what is buried beneath the Temple Mount.

      • Chaos4700
        July 16, 2011, 3:55 pm

        Of course it will. Because all parties related – Jews and Muslims – know perfectly well what is buried beneath the Temple Mount.

        …What, exactly? The Ark of the Covenant? What? Holy cow, are Israelis scary. Just remember, sweetie! Don’t look into the light!

      • Lightbringer
        July 16, 2011, 4:49 pm

        For g-d sake, how should I know what is there?
        But both parties deny access to the site to everybody, so there must be something.

        Or on the contrary – there is absolutely nothing, which means that not Judaism nor Christianity neither Islam actually are religions of Almighty One.

      • annie
        July 16, 2011, 5:17 pm

        what are you talking about? both parties deny access to the ground underneath Al-Aqsa mosque? where they are digging?

        But both parties deny access to the site to everybody, so there must be something.

        are you trying to highjack the thread?

      • Hostage
        July 17, 2011, 3:57 am

        Of course it will. Because all parties related – Jews and Muslims – know perfectly well what is buried beneath the Temple Mount.

        …What, exactly? The Ark of the Covenant? What?

        A time capsule with a copy of Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 23:27 And the Lord said, “I will remove Judah too from before Me as I have removed Israel and I will reject this city, which I have chosen- Jerusalem-and the Temple concerning which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.’ ” – The End.

        … that the wall is part of a Roman fort

        Should this be true, than Christianity and Islam are both rendered pagan cults and have no credibility.

        Amillennialist Christians are underwhelmed by the whole thing. I doubt there would be any theological impact if the so-called Temple Mount really was Fort Antonia and Silwan turned out to the site of the Temples, e.g. See Ernest L. Martin, The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot, ASK, 1994. Even the Temple Mount organization maintains a webpage on various theories or conjectures, i.e. the “Northern Conjecture” and the “Southern Conjecture”.

        There were Jewish Temples all over the place anyway. The prophet Samuel was raised in a Temple at Shiloh. An Israelite Temple at Arad has been excavated. It included one of the largest collections of ostraca discovered to date. There were references to the the priestly families Pashur and Meremoth which are mentioned in the books of Jeremiah and Ezra.

        Ingrid Hjelm advised that“The duration of the Samaritan temple, which was dedicated to ‘Yahweh-el-‘Eljon’ (Magen 2000: 108, 113) was not the 200 years stated by Josephus (Ant. 13.256), but rather closer to the 343 years, he ascribes to the existence of the temple in Heliopolis / Leontopolis (War 7.436), stories of which, Josephus mingles with stories about Gerizim (Hjelm, in SJOT 13/2, 1999; Hjelm, The Samaritans and Early Judaism, 2000: 227-232).” 480 inscriptions were discovered. According to Ephraim Stern this is the largest collection of building inscriptions, some of which are quite large, ever found in Israel.

        A Jerusalem High Priest named Johanan built the Jewish Temple at Leontopolis in Egypt (cf Isaiah 19:19). So, there were several other Jewish Temples in operation during the Persian, Greek, and Roman periods including Leontopolis, Elephantine Island, Arad, and Mt. Gerizim. During the Second Commonwealth most Jews chose to live outside Judea and many of them may have had their own altars and Temples. Finding a Temple in Jerusalem would not vindicate the principles that it stood for, if they happened to be false in the first place.

      • Lightbringer
        July 17, 2011, 4:03 am

        what are you talking about? both parties deny access to the ground underneath Al-Aqsa mosque? where they are digging?
        Anyplace else, but not underneath the Dome of the Rock itself and surrounding square.

        I’ve been inside in 1996, seen the Foundation Stone (rather amazing sight btw, Al Quds is beautiful, as well as small cage with the stone with Muhammad’s (? uncertain) bare footstep which emanates an unusual and pleasant scent) – only those who haven’t visited this place could deny it’s importance and authenticity.

        are you trying to highjack the thread?No, I’m only explaining my position, but since I’m unable to create new threads it might occasionally slide onto something less relevant.

      • talknic
        July 17, 2011, 3:07 am

        Lightbringer

        “There is no “palestinian” language “

        Arabic actually. There is no American language apart from American Indians and English/American dialects. There is no Australian language except for the Aboriginal languages, English and it’s Ozzie bastardizations. China for example has hundreds of languages, thousands of dialects. Israel’s languages are Arabic and Hebrew, 20% in common with Palestine.

        Your points are of course Hasbara chaff dust, pointless. Language has no bearing on the actual legal status of statehood and territories according to International Law and the UN Charter.

        “or “palestinian” culture or “palestinian” architecture or “palestinian” science “

        So what? Culture, architecture & science have no bearing on the actual legal status of statehood and territories according to International Law and the UN Charter. BTW There is no definitive Israeli culture, language (Hebrew and Arabic), architecture or science.

        “Because all parties related – Jews and Muslims – know perfectly well what is buried beneath the Temple Mount.”

        History? Whatever it is irrelevant to the actual legal status of statehood and territories according to International Law and the UN Charter.

        There is no definitive Israeli culture, language, architecture or science. There are elements of Jewish culture, Jewish language, no purely Jewish sciences, Jewish symbolism at best (very little that can be strictly called Jewish architecture although there have been/are Jewish & Israeli architects)

        Your attempt to wipe Palestine/Palestinian/Palestinians from the history book does a great dis-service to the Jewish folk who remained in Palestine for 3,000 years, spending the majority of that time, from at least the Roman era to May 15th 1948 as Palestinian Jews. Far longer than many Jewish Kingdom or Jewish State. Simple maths and a non-partisan history book ought set you straight, though I doubt the rot is only surface deep.

      • RobertB
        July 17, 2011, 4:45 pm

        Hmmm…lightbringer…

        Are you stating that Palestine/Palestinians don’t have a language…culture…architecture…etc… Hmmm? Really!!! Where did you read these lies at?

        Ahad Ha’Am knew better & had greater wisdom!

        ~~~~~~~~~

        1856-1927

        Ahad Ha’Am, a liberal Russian Jewish thinker and a leading Eastern European Jewish essayist, who visited Palestine in 1891 for three months.

        In 1891 Ahad Ha’Am opened many Jewish eyes to the fact the Palestine was not empty, but populated with its indigenous people when he wrote:

        “We abroad are used to believe the Eretz Yisrael is now almost totally desolate, a desert that is not sowed ….. But in truth that is not the case. Throughout the country it is difficult to find fields that are not sowed. Only sand dunes and stony mountains …. are not cultivated.” (Righteous Victims, p. 42)”

        Ahad Ha’Am warned that Jewish settlers must under no circumstances arouse the wrath of the natives, he said:

        “Yet what do our brethren do in Palestine? Just the very opposite! Serfs they were in the lands of the Diaspora and suddenly they find themselves in unrestricted freedom and this change has awakened in them an inclination to despotism. They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause and even boast of these deeds; and nobody among us opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination …”
        The same lack of understanding he found in the boycott of Arab labour proclaimed by Jewish labour … “Apart from the political danger, I can’t put up with the idea that our brethren are morally capable of behaving in such a way to humans of another people, and unwittingly the thought comes to my mind: if it is so now, what will be our relation to the others if in truth we shall achieve at the end of times power in Eretz Yisrael? And if this be the Messiah: I do not wish to see his coming.” (UN: The Origins And Evolution of Palestine Problem, section II)

        link to palestineremembered.com

  12. American
    July 15, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Contrast the Zionist destruction of Muslim graves with the US Federal agency — deceptively named “The United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad”.
    But which operates 99.9% for the preservation of “Jewish” sites and cemeteries abroad.
    We have no such other agency for the maintaince of any thing related to any other specific US religious or ethnics abroad.
    The only agency we do have is the American Battle Monuments Commission for up keep of US military graves abroad.
    Why do Jews think their tribe members graves abroad have anything to do with American heritage?
    I don’t see Jews who died in Europe as in any way related to American history or heritage.

    link to heritageabroad.gov
    Reports & Surveys
    Reports
    Report to the Congress and the President 2009

    2004 | 2001 | 1997 | 1994 | 1992 | 1991

    Newsletters
    2000 | 1999 | 1998

    Surveys
    Jewish Heritage Sites of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2011
    Jewish Heritage Sites and Monuments in Moldova, 2010
    Historic Jewish Sites in Romania, 2010, Picture Appendix
    Selected Muslim Historic Monuments and Sites in Bulgaria, 2010
    Roma Historical and Cultural Heritage Sites in Poland, 2009, Appendix
    Jewish Cemeteries, Synagogues, and Monuments in Slovenia, 2006
    Jewish Heritage Sites in Croatia, 2006
    Jewish Cemeteries, Synagogues, and Mass Grave Sites in Ukraine, 2005
    Sites Associated with the Lives and Deeds of Foreign-born Heroes of the American Revolution, 2002
    Jewish Monuments of Slovenia, 2nd revised edition, 1996
    Survey of Historic Jewish Monuments in Poland, 2nd revised edition, 1995
    Survey of Historic Jewish Monuments in the Czech Republic, 1994

    The Commission was created by an act of Congress in 1979. It’s chief founder, Rabbi Zvi Kestenbaum of Brooklyn, New York, a holocaust survivor, developed the concept of a commission to preserve Jewish cemeteries, monuments and other holy sites throughout the world. He was instrumental in getting federal legislation introduced into Congress to establish the Commission.

    The Commission is headed up by a Chairman, appointed by the President of the United States. In addition, there are 21 “commissioners”, also appointed by the President of the United States. These commissioners meet with local officials and heads of state, as well as genealogical and historical societies, and leaders of religious groups. They tour cemeteries and historic monuments in desperate need of repair. Through these meetings the Commission is able to establish partnerships to restore cemeteries and monuments.

    Now maybe some think I overdo pointing out the many “special” agencies and benefits for Jews given by the US who is in no way responsible for anything that ever happened to Jews.
    But as I have said before, most people, even informed ones on here, have no idea of the thousands of Jewish specific programs and benefits financied by we taxpayers. The ‘aid” we all know about is a drop in the bucket. Whether it’s the Dept of Homeland Security allocating 93% of their entire domestic security budget to Jewish schools and institutions or a small agency like the so called American Heritage Abroad, it all reflects how Jewish centric interest has inflitrated our government at every level.
    We should not even funding the Holocaust Museum, it’s not part of “US” history–it’s part of a small, less than 2% of the populations history that the US and Americans had nothing to do with. And the US certainly should not be paying for the Holcaust Museum in Poland. Either Poland, or the Jews or Israel should pay for it.
    No wonder the zio have so much money to send on buying politicians, we Americans pay all their other bills.

    • Citizen
      July 16, 2011, 7:03 am

      Yes, American. And you’ve barely touched the surface of Jewish special privileges paid for by all US taxpayers, 98% of the US population. Yet Dick Witty feels neglected by the US government.

  13. justicewillprevail
    July 15, 2011, 3:26 pm

    The pig-headed stupidity of not being able to understand the irony in pretending that a museum of ‘tolerance’ needs to be built in a country noted for its appalling, insensitive and deliberate intolerance defies reason. And in doing so, practices the intolerance it is renowned for. ‘Tolerance’ in Israeli newspeak apparently means ‘ let us do what the hell we want, we don’t care about anybody else’. I haven’t seen the design, but I fully expect a giant hand on the roof with one finger extended.

  14. richb
    July 15, 2011, 3:57 pm

    A little empathy can go a long away. My Israeli guide spoke with indignation about how the Jordanians desecrated the Jewish cemetery at the Mount of Olives. Take that emotion, apply it to “the other”, see how they would feel, and bingo, understanding.

    The sad part of the history that gets erased showed how people got along and shared the land. Instead, a “clash of civilizations” got projected onto the history so that we have an intractable problem where no one can live together. So, not only was the land stolen but something far more precious, hope.

  15. DC Red
    July 15, 2011, 4:19 pm

    What is this bizzare Zionist conceit that they know what people of other religious/ethnic groups are thinking?

  16. DICKERSON3870
    July 15, 2011, 4:21 pm

    RE: “on Tuesday, the Israeli government gave the Simon Wiesenthal Center the go-ahead to begin digging the foundation of its so-called Museum of Tolerance…on the site of Jerusalem’s Mamilla cemetery…” – Lizzy Ratner

    MY COMMENT: Israel has thereby clearly demonstrated that it cannot be entrusted with the care of Jerusalem. Among other reasons, Israel lacks the requisite degree of “tolerance” and good judgement.
    The city should be given international status and protected from this type of pernicious development/sacrilege. It can still serve as the capital of Israel and Palestine.

  17. RobertB
    July 16, 2011, 1:54 am

    Mamilla Cemetery & Pool

    Aerial view, Jerusalem: Rehavia neighborhood and <B.Mamilla Cemetery and Pool, viewed from west.

    Date Created/Published: [between 1928 and 1946]

    Click for view & image size:

    link to loc.gov

  18. hughsansom
    July 16, 2011, 4:12 am

    A few years ago there was some _accidental_ damage to a Jewish cemetery in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. An adjacent construction site had not adequately protected against possible falling debris. The response to what was unambiguously accidental was fast and angry.

    Contrast the near-silence on the Mamilla cemetery, coupled with the revolting hypocrisy of the Wiesenthal Center. History really is being erased. Any claim that the Palestinian people have to the land west of the Jordan must be dismissed, ignored, or — if too inconvenient, like the people themselves — obliterated.

    The overall picture (filled out by another post currently on Mondoweiss, or arguably by _every_ other post on Mondoweiss) is deeply troubling. It points to looming genocide.

    We know that in this election year, none but the most stalwart American politicians will voice even the faintest criticism of Israel. We know that Israel is cementing (literally) its hold on the West Bank, especially on every resource that makes life tolerable for Palestinians.

    Most important, we see Israel using EXACTLY the facts-on-the ground argument to buttress its claims while denying EXACTLY the same argument for Palestinians. What is a cemetery, or a Palestinian village, or an olive grove, if not a fact on the ground? So Israel, by Orwellian necessity, denies, ignores, destroys the fact of Palestinians.

    This is violence done to a People _as_a_People_ with the calculated intent of obliterating that People. What did Baruch Kimmerling call it? Politicide? If the world is lucky, it may amount only to politicide. But Netanyahu, Schumer, Lieberman (Israel’s and ours), King, and many others in the US and Israel would undoubtedly cheer on genocide.

  19. seafoid
    July 17, 2011, 3:00 pm

    The trees of the Zionists are once again rejected by the land of the Palestinians :

    link to haaretz.com

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