Palestinian Families Appeal to UN Over Israeli Construction of "Museum of Tolerance" on Jerusalem's Historic Mamilla Cemetery
Palestinian families have filed a petition with the United Nations over the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s plans to build a “Museum of Tolerance” over the historic Muslim cemetery Jerusalem. Opponents of the project have long questioned how a monument to tolerance can be built on the remains of the graves of generations of Palestinian Muslims. We speak to Columbia University professor and author Rashid Khalidi, a petitioner whose ancestors were buried at the Mamilla cemetery; and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is representing the families in their petition.
A controversy over the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s project to build a Museum of Tolerance on a historic Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem has gone all the way to the United Nations.
Today, families defending the 12th century Ma’man Allah or Mamilla cemetery from desecration by Israeli authorities filed their case before the United Nations in Geneva, with press conferences in Geneva, Los Angeles, and Jerusalem. The petitioners include descendants from 15 of the oldest families in Jerusalem whose ancestors have been buried at the Mamilla cemetery for centuries.
Opponents of the project have long questioned how a monument to tolerance can be built on the remains of the graves of generations of Palestinian Muslims. But the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of its construction in November 2008.
The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights is representing the families in their petition to the United Nations to safeguard their international human rights and urge Israel to halt construction of the museum.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, who’s the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, declined our invitation to come on the program but sent us a statement saying: “The Museum of Tolerance project is not being built on the Mamilla Cemetery. It is being built on Jerusalem’s former municipal car park, where every day for nearly half a century, thousands of Muslims, Christians and Jews parked their cars without any protest whatsoever from the Muslim community.”
In response to criticisms that construction on the cemetery grounds has resulted in the disinterment of graves and human remains, Rabbi Heir added: "The Israeli Antiquities Authority has confirmed that there are no bones or remains on the site, which is currently undergoing infrastructure work. Remains found on the site, which have now been reinterred in a nearby Muslim cemetery were between 300-400 years old. No remains from the 12th century era were found.”
Well, I’m joined now by one of the petitioners whose ancestors were buried at the Mamilla cemetery. Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University’s Department of History and the author of several books including “Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East,” and “Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood.” And Michael Ratner the President of the Center for Constitutional Rights also joins us here in New York.
Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University’s Department of History and the author of several books including “Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East,” and “Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood.”
Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights also joins us here in New York.
Palestine Video - A Palestine Vlog
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
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- ***Alnakba [The Catastrophe] - [P3] Ethnic Cleansing [P4] Nakba Continued
- **Al Nakba [La Catástrofe] - [P1] Los Hilos de la Conspiración [P2] Aplastar la Revoución
- **AlNakba [La Catásrofe] - [P3] Limpieza Étnica
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- *Azmi Bishara - Interview:
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- *Azmi Bishara: The Last Colonial Question
- *Blood & Religion, Unmasking the Israeli State
- *De Facto State of Lawlessness
- *Drying up Palestine
- *Edward Said - On Orientalism
- *Edward Said: Lecture The Myth of 'The Clash of Civilzations'
- *Edward Said: Memory, Inequality and Power: Palestine and the Universality of Human Rights
- *Edward Said: Palestine, Iraq and U.S. Policy
- *Francis Boyle - Palestinians and International law
- *From Occupation to Enclosure: Fragmenting the Palestinian State 1 - Diana Buttu"
- *From Occupation to Enclosure: Fragmenting the Palestinian State 2 - Amira Hass"
- *George Bisharat - Ending the Palestinian Nakba
- *Ghada Karmi at Yale
- *Ghada Karmi: Why Israel is a Failed State
- *Ilan Pappe - Interview
- *Ilan Pappe - Israel's 1967 Plan for the West Bank and Gaza Strip
- *Ilan Pappe on the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
- *In the Spider's Web
- *Interview: Ghassan Andoni
- *Israel's Secret Weapon (Israel's WMD)
- *Jeff Halper - Israeli Apartheid and the Paths to a Just Peace
- *Jeff Halper- The United States, Israel and the American Jewish Community
- *Jenin Jenin
- *John Pilger - Palestine is still the issue
- *John Pilger - The War on Democracy
- *Landscapes of Occupation in Palestine
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- *Noam Chomsky - Middle East Crisis
- *Noam Chomsky on Gaza - MIT
- *Norman Fikelstein - The Israel-Palestine conflict: what we can learn from Gandhi
- *Norman Finkelstein speech at Columbia University (3 parts video)
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- *Off The Charts - If Americans Knew
- *Palestine Street -1- The Lost Bride
- *Palestine Street -2- The Bride in exile
- *Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict
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- *Rashid Khalidi - Palestine: 40 Years of Occupation, 60 Years of Dispossession
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- *Salman Abu Sitta: Atlas Palestine
- *Salman Abu Sitta: The Geography of Occupation
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- *Technical Error at Beit Hanoun
- *Tegenlicht ('Backlight') A Documentary on the Israel Lobby -
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- Watch "If Americans Knew" Videos
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- watch ISM Videos
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