Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ridiculous Irony

In occupied Palestine the mayor of Jerusalem is currently defending the decision of the Israeli government to build the museum of “Museum of Tolerance and Human Dignity” on an old Palestinian graveyard (does one laugh or cry?).

The museum is sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and is an extension of the current MOT in L.A which was designed to examine racism and prejudice with a strong focus on Holocaust history. It also aims to foster tolerance within occupied Palestine’s diverse Jewish communities – are these guys serious???-

One of the primary criticisms of the museum is the excessive use of multimedia technology to appeal to and manipulate the emotions of children. The museum uses fast-paced skits, dioramas, films, and interactive computer-controlled exhibits in an effort to make an emotional impact on visitors and actual historical artifacts are absent for the most part. Other critisims range from the design to the location and of course the fact that the museum does not focus at all on building tolerance between Arabs and israelis, the more pressing issue one would think.

The Mamilla Cemetery whose land has been appropriated for the building of the museum is  historical and dates back hundreds of years and contained the graves of many important Islamic saints and scholars, as well as several Mamluk tombs and archeologists have found 4 layers of graves within the cemetery.

Construction has been stayed a few times and in February 2010 fifteen of the oldest families in Jerusalem filed a case before the United Nations in Geneva and held news conferences there, in Los Angeles and in Jerusalem. Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University has members of his family buried there and calls it the further desecration of a cemetery that they have been nibbling away at for over three decades, despite many protests: "The fact that it was desecrated in the ’60s doesn’t mean that it’s right to desecrate it further.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can't expect justice, fairness, or objectivity from initiatives like this. Propoganda is propoganda - no matter what name you call it, or how politically-correct the wording you use when you try to sell it.