Saree Makdisi, a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed page who calls for the dissolution of the Jewish state of Israel, argued Feb. 12 against the Simon Weisenthal's planned Museum of Tolerance, slated to be built over a parking lot which was formerly a Muslim cemetery. His impassioned plea to prevent the alleged desecration of Muslim graves took a huge hit last week with the revelation of a 1945 Palestine Post article about Muslim plans to build over the very same site. The Jerusalem Post reports:
However, a November 22, 1945 article from The Palestine Post (the pre-state name of The Jerusalem Post), which was forwarded to the Wiesenthal Center on Monday after being posted on a blog, reports Muslim plans to build directly over the cemetery.
The report states, “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,” the article continues.
“A six-storeyed building to house the Supreme Moslem Council and other offices, a four-storeyed hotel, a bank and other buildings suitable for it, a college, a club and a factory are to be the main structures. There will also be a park to be called the Salah ed Din Park, after the Moslem warrior of Crusader times.”
The 1945 article also describes plans by the council to transfer remains buried in the cemetery to a separate, “walled reserve” and cites rulings from prominent Muslim clerics at the time allowing for the building plans to progress.
“In an interview with Al-Wih-da, the Jerusalem weekly,” the Palestine Post article continues, “a member of the Supreme Moslem Council stated that the use of Moslem cemeteries in the public interest had many precedents both in Palestine and elsewhere.
“The member added that the Supreme Moslem Council intended to publish a statement containing dispensations by Egyptian, Hijazi and Demascene clerics sanctioning the building programme. He pointed out that the work would be carried out in stages and by public tender. Several companies had already been formed in anticipation, and funds were plentiful.”
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