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The cemetery has no sanctity [View All]

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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-01-06 01:24 PM
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The cemetery has no sanctity
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In an article called "The hypocrisy of tolerance," from February 9, Meron Benvenisti joined the Muslim chorus protesting against the construction of the Museum of Tolerance in the Mamilla Quarter in Jerusalem on the grounds that it is being built on a cemetery. Among other things, he determines that Muslim clergy arguments contradicting the Jewish-Israeli expert's ruling that the sanctity of the spot had been lifted, were "rejected with contempt."

I am the expert, and my opinion on behalf of the museum was delivered to the High Court of Justice in response to a petition by the Al Aqsa society against construction of the museum.

I did not contemptuously reject arguments by learned Muslim clergy, but actually relied on the actions and rulings of Haj Amin Husseini, the supreme Muslim authority at the time of the British Mandate, responsible for the management of the Islamic Waqf's property with regard to cemeteries. Indeed, there was a cemetery at the site but 75 years ago, its sanctification was lifted and purpose changed.

In 1927, the Supreme Muslim Council, headed by the mufti, built the Palace inside the cemetery. As Benvenisti himself wrote in his book City of Stone, the mufti ruled that there should be no more burials there, and even ordered skeletons found at the site moved to another burial ground.

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