Israel’s Supreme Court have ruled that the government may destroy part of an ancient Muslim cemetery to build a new “Museum of Tolerance.” The cemetery contains the bones of past leading Muslim clerics and the warriors of famed Saladin who retook Jerusalem.
The building itself (above) is a beautiful design — a $250 million design by Frank Gehry. Yet, Muslims are understandably outraged that the Museum of Tolerance will literally be built on the graves of their heroes and leaders. It is located inside West Jerusalem.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, dismisses the complaints as much ado about “derelict land”. He argues that “Jerusalem is a city built on top of thousands of bones – Jewish and Muslim. If we declared the whole of Jerusalem one huge cemetery, we’d never be able to build anything.”
The Supreme Court agreed and noted that no objections were lodged in 1960 when part of the graveyard was made into a car park.
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9 thoughts on “Israeli Supreme Court Rules That “Museum of Tolerance” Can Be Build on Top of Ancient Muslim Cemetary”
And Bruce proves my point about poor reasoning.
Big deal. The Al-Aqsa mosque is built upon the ruins of the Jewish 3rd Temple. It was built there specifically as a show of domination over Judaism and the Jews who had been vanquished from the land of Israel at the time. And the Muslims continue to desecrate the holy sites of both Jews and Christians. So big deal if the Jews put up a building on Islamic holy ground. They asked for it.
It goes without saying (but must be said anyway) that if an ancient Jewish cemetery were being buried beneath construction in an Arab or Muslim country, it would likely make the front page in the United States. It would certainly do so in Israel where it would instantly (and probably rightly) be labeled anti-Semitism.
As it happens, there was a comparable case in New York City. Construction _next_ to a Jewish cemetery in Manhattan lead to damage of some memorials. People were rightly and understandably outraged. (“Debris Falls on Historic Jewish Cemetery”, New York Times, June 9, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/09/nyregion/09cemetery.html?scp=1&sq=jewish%20cemetery%20damage%20manhattan&st=cse)
The sad fact is that neither mainstream Israeli nor mainstream American media (most especially the American) can either admit or address the profoundly racist, anti-Arab character of modern Israel.
So, ti properly phrase my remarks I should prove my heritage? Where and from who do I come? Are we really Hebrew? Israelites or Jews? We need a refresher course. By a good muslim, Right?
Yep. It’s an appalling double-standard, but it keeps the trolls down to preface. Coffee grounds for political aphids. However, I will continue to point out when appropriate that Israel collectively has the statesmanship skills of a monkey humping a football. Not that their neighbors do any better, but there it is. You might be surprised at the number of my Jewish friends who feel the same way. Not a majority, but certainly a strong minority. I’ve noticed it seems to be the ones who identify themselves as American first and anything else second. Anecdotal for sure, but a significant enough personal trend to be noticeable.
Agree with what you say. Too lazy to write that much myself. However, when ever anyone in the U.S. talks about Isreal, why are we required to preface it with “…let me start by saying, some of my best friends are….”. We don’t do it when we talk about all the stupid shit Arabs pull. So what gives? (by the way, some of my best friends are Jewish)
Buddha, you hit the nail on the head. I just don’t get what the Israeli’s are thinking. In an time when we all must work with all our neighbors to truly attempt to work our our problems, the Israelis decide to deface a Muslim cemetery. Is it arrogance or stupidity that leads to an insulting decision like this one?
And in 1960, most people didn’t object to or think that smoking was bad for you. You could smoke IN HOSPITALS.
What the Hell kind of reasoning is that? That’s the kind of reasoning that would tell you that since no one objected 1650 to someone being drawn and quartered, it must be fine to do it now.
I won’t address how stupid the message being sent by building a tolerance anything over the graves of people you are supposedly trying to make peace with is except to point out the obvious as did Prof. Turley. It’s blatantly oxymoronic – intolerant on its face. It is, however, nice (?!?!) to see that there is a Supreme Court somewhere more screwed up than ours.
Israel. Before I start I will state EXPLICITLY that I am not anti-Semitic in any way, shape or form. I defend your right to practice Judaism. Freedom of Religion is important. Any trolls out there run the risk of being fed into a verbal wood chipper if you want to take me to task on this – so fair warning and preemptive apologies to JT if I have to throw out some smack down in defense. I really do like both Jews and Judaism, but this is the kind of mindlessness that makes me (almost?) despise Israel as a nation state. A portrait in poor reasoning resulting in bad actions. Wonder why your neighbors hate you so, I mean besides the fact that you displaced a long standing, pre-existing population to recreate your “historical home” instead of taking half of Germany as war reparations? Israel is a near failure as a state, a perpetual train wreck, and this kind of “it’s okay with us and what WE want so everyone else can suck it no matter how flimsy our excuses are” thinking is a large part of the reason why.
Yes, in the case at bar, promoting tolerance is important. Yes, in a historical and political context, you needed a homeland so I am not denying your sovereignty as invalid, just stating it’s misguided in inception. Yes, the Holocaust was a true tragedy that no one should ever forget – genocide is perhaps the most monstrous of all crimes.
None of this, however, gives you carte blanc to ignore other’s concerns and/or objections without consequence. “Ignore” and “Ignorant” have the same Latin root for a reason.
The PAST is the PAST. NOW is NOW. And people are objecting NOW. Deal with the issue NOW or don’t whine when it blows up in your face LATER. Since reasoning doesn’t seem to be the Israeli Supreme Court’s forte, might a suggest a book written by and for your very own Mossad : “An Elementary Approach to Thinking Under Uncertainty” by Ruth Beyth-Marom & Schlomith Dekel. It’s hard to believe one of the finest logic textbooks ever written (so good I keep a copy on my desk to this day) and this court’s short-sighted, biased and illogical decision came from the same place.
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