Friday, November 21, 2008

They Say Its Just a Parking Lot

(BBC Photo- "Israeli Racist Occupation violets the dead as well as the living")
The Simon Wiesenthal Center claims that the site given to them to build their "tolerant museum" is a parking lot and its been so for the past 50 years. Rabbi Heir the found of the Wiesenthal Center says- (in an interview with the Jerusalem Post in 2005)

"We never would have accepted a site if the government of Israel or the Jerusalem Municipality had said it was a Muslim cemetery."

"We would have laughed. It would have been preposterous. We never would have accepted it."

If that were the case then why, after finding 250 bodies does the Museum of Tolerance construction continue?

Was it not enough for Rabbi Heir to know that 250 bodies, marked or unmarked, makes for something of a graveyard? In fact archeologists are suggesting that under this initial layer of bodies there is most likely another five or six layers of graves. In fact at Mamun'Allah cemetary was the largest Muslim cemetery in Palestine, with an estimated 15,000 bodies buried there. It included Sahaba and mujahedeen who fought with Salaha-udin to take back Al-Quds from the Crudsaders, sufi saints and hanafi scholars, qadi's, mufti's and the rich of Al-Quds, the poor and destitute, along with countless others- Jews and Christians-before the Muslims arrived there.

So when Rabbi Heir says it was a parking lot for the past 50 years and Muslims (extremists) are only doing it becuase it offers a chance for "land grab" in West Jerusalem, it should shame us all into action!

How can a Rabbi, a person who is responsible for peoples lives, morals, principles, entrusted with the sacred rituals of birth, marriage, community and DEATH be so cold and distant as to say that Jews should not be held to a higher standard then Muslims hold themselves when it comes to their dead.

Since when are the dead, of any faith treated wtih this sort of dignity. Since when can you tell a family whose ancestors are buried in the graveyard that "your religious leaders said its not sacred anymore, that once they were buidling a school on all of it, that they built a parking lot on it, that they built a hotel on it". Did ever cross the Rabbi's mind under what conditions those decisions were made, by whom and for what purpose those decisions were made?

The Rabbi, for promoting understanding and tolerance, has no inkling that those "Muslim scholars and trustees" he refers to are not accepted by the vast Palestinian diaspora as being representative of their will, that they are appointed by the Israeli government and many times rubber stamp decision already made by the Israeli government.

All this aside, how can a Rabbi think that a finding bodies under the ground would mean the continuation of building a Museum of Tolerance? I mean imagine if Europe decided to destroy derilect Jewish cemeteries in Poland or Germany or France, or worse to "develop with luxury apartments and districts" by bulldozing concentration camps and "sealing under the foundation" the bodies of those countless Jews who were murdered by the Nazi's. Would it be acceptable if instead that development was a "Museum of Understanding" to uplift and bring business to a really hard press region?

I would hope Muslims would be the first to stand up and say "No" to such a thing, as I would hope a Rabbi representing an organization that purports itself to be a international "human rights organization" would be the first to step and say, "this is wrong, I will not desecrate the resting place of the dead in order to build a Museum of Tolerance."

When the Rabbi and the proponents say its "just a parking lot" then my response is does a parking lot have hundreds if not thousands of graves? And how would we, in any corner of the world, treat the graves of any of our deceased? Does a parking lot look like this:

Does that look like a parking lot to you?

Take action, dont be bullied into silence on this issue. Check out what you can do here


Zahra Billoo said...

I'm saddened/surprised at how long it's taking folks to sign the petition. The numbers are progressing ridiculously slowly,

Affad Shaikh said...

I know, what can we do? I have placed adds on facebook, emailed reminders? I think its just the time but honestly this should be exponentially growing? Whats wrong with it?

Are people just to politicized out? Obama mania rubbing off? I dont know. Please lets have a discussion, get some ideas on how we can push this.