By Geoffrey Paul
October 24, 2010
American Jews associated with the Weisenthal Centre want to build a Museum of Tolerance on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery at the heart of Jerusalem. They are opposed by an unlikely alliance of imams, ultra-orthodox and reform rabbis and historians who say that an ancient graveyard - still containing some bones and gravestones dating back nine centuries - is inappropriate for such a museum.
Muslims want to build an Islamic Centre, with mosque and cultural facilities, on a site bordering Ground Zero in New York where Islamist terrorists killed over 3,000 American citizens in the bloody aerial attack on the World Trade Centre. A survey for Time Magazine found 61 per cent of those polled opposed the construction of the mosque.
But the respondents were not implacably opposed to Islamic religious buildings, with 55 per cent happy to have a community centre and mosque near to their home, just not adjoining Ground Zero. They, like the critics of the Jerusakem museum, found the Ground Zero site inappropriate.
So, how about both sides withdrawing offence to anybody and coming together in the construction of a Museum of Tolerance on the New York site? What could better demonstrate their dedication to goodwill between faiths and tolerance between them than such a joint project?
It would also save Jerusalem having to suffer yet another ugly and out-of-character building….