Cemetery YES; Parking Lot NO!

You may have read reports that opponents of a new Museum of Tolerance being built in Jerusalem, having lost unanimously in the Israel Supreme Court, are now taking their case to the United Nations, accusing the Wiesenthal Center of building a museum on the historic Mamilla Muslim Cemetery. 

Hypocrisy and lies

Opponents would have you believe that bulldozers are preparing to desecrate ancient Muslim tombstones and historic markers. The museum is not being built on the Mamilla Cemetery, but actually on an adjacent 3-acre site where, for a half-century, hundreds of people of all faiths have parked in a three-level underground structure without any protest.

Below is a news article from the November 22, 1945 Palestine Post newspaper, culled from the archives of Tel Aviv University, detailing Arab plans for the Mamilla Cemetery.

The article substantiates much of what Israel’s Supreme Court said in its recent ruling: That the Mamilla Cemetery was regarded by many Muslim religious leaders as “mundras,” or abandoned and without sanctity.

Read what was planned for the actual cemetery itself.

Scroll below the article to read a more legible copy…



An area of over 450 dunams in the heart of Jerusalem, now forming the Mamillah Cemetery, is to be converted into a business centre. The townplan is being completed under the supervision of the Supreme Moslem Council in conjunction with the Government Town Planning Adviser. A six-storeyed building to house the Supreme Moslem Council and other offices, a four-storeyed hotel, a bank and other buildings suitable for 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 remains buried in the Cemetery are being transferred to a spot round the tomb of al Sayid al Kurashi, ancestor of the Dajani family, in a 40 dunams walled reserve.

In an interview with “Al Wihda,” the Jerusalem weekly, 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. He quoted the cases of the Bab al Sahira (Herod’s Gate) Cemetery, which formerly stretched down Saint Stephen‘s Gate; the Jaffa Cemetery, which was converted into a commercial centre and Queen Farida Square in Cairo, which not long ago was a cemetery.

The member added that the Supreme Moslem Council intended to publish a statement containing dispensations by Egyptian, Hejazi and Damascene 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, the correspondent concluded.