Jews “invaded” western Jerusalem and all of “Palestine,” says PA daily column
Excerpt of a column by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily
Headline: “The destruction of the Mamilla Cemetery is the destruction of human values”
“The geography of the western part of Jerusalem – and the intent is to the neighborhoods that the Palestinians built and dwelled in before the plague of Zionism spread over them and before the 1948 Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) – continues to exist and stand firm. But the difference is that those who currently live there are not their original and true owners, but rather invaders who came from all ends of the earth. Our neighborhoods in western Jerusalem are: Ein Kerem, Katamon, Talbiya, Baka, Lifta, Jaffa Street, Malha, Mamilla, the Greek Colony that was built by the Greek Orthodox patriarchate and where Christian and Muslim Palestinians lived, the German Colony, and other neighborhoods.
Whoever tours the western part of the Palestinians’ heart [sees] that every home – whether modest or a palace – was built by Palestinian hands, and that a Palestinian family lived in it. If these stones could speak, they would tell the invaders one word: ‘Leave!’ because your presence bothers us and we do not understand your language.
On a hill a kilometer or slightly more away from the walls of the Old [City of] Jerusalem, the Arabs who accompanied Omar ibn Al-Khattib (i.e., one of the companions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad), May Allah desire him, in his journey to Jerusalem chose… to establish a cemetery, and from that time on it has been called the Islamic Cemetery. In the Mamluk Period, its name became the Mamilla Cemetery…
Since the Nakba the Zionist Judaization bulldozers began to gnaw away at the cemetery grave after grave, to crush the bones of the dead, and to steal the land of the cemetery whose territory is 200 dunams gradually and with different excuses. Today the government of the invaders is attempting to eliminate it entirely while using the construction of the Museum of ‘Tolerance’ as a pretext (see note below -Ed.). What kind of tolerance is built on top of gravestones of the dead? This is the Museum of ‘Hostility and Hatred,’ and it can have no other name…
Dozens of invaders have passed through Jerusalem and Palestine throughout history, and they all left while Palestine and Jerusalem remained. The fate of the present invaders will be no better. When they leave, we will preserve for them one line written in blood in our land’s history.”
The mention of “the construction of the Museum of ‘Tolerance’” refers to the Museum of Tolerance that is partially built on land that was once part of the Mamilla Cemetery. However, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that construction on the museum could continue since the area in question had already been converted into a public parking lot roughly 50 years prior with no complaint.