Ben-Dror Yemini
Ben-Dror Yemini
Protesters set fires in Jaffa protests over construction plans for a location that used to be a Muslim cemetery

The lie behind the Jaffa riots

Opinion: Days of unrest swept the mixed Jewish-Arab city over the municipality's alleged plan to begin construction over land that used to be Muslim cemetery, but the graveyard in question was relocated a century ago

Ben-Dror Yemini |
Published: 06.20.20 , 13:38
The "al-Aqsa conspiracy" has been floating around the Muslim world for a century and has claimed hundreds of lives, perhaps even thousands.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter
  • According to this tale, first told by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini some 100 years ago, the Jews are intent on destroying the Temple Mount mosques.
    Now, we see a similar phenomenon in Jaffa, and once again, it’s the mufti who is behind all this – but we'll get back to him later.
    המהומות ביפוהמהומות ביפו
    Protesters set fires in Jaffa protests over construction plans for a location that used to be a Muslim cemetery
    (Photo: Israel Police)
    According to this latest plot, the Jews are planning to desecrate an ancient Muslim cemetery with their bulldozers and build a hostel for the homeless on top of it. The secular and liberal Tel Aviv Municipality wasn't aware of the "inherently evil" nature of its plan, but here we are.
    Most of Jaffa's Arab public oppose violence, but there's always this thuggish minority trying to stir controversy.
    Evidence dating back to the late 18th century shows that there was, in fact, a Muslim cemetery on the site in question.
    The thing is, the remains of this cemetery were relocated to the cemetery of the Arab village of Summayl back in 1915, to zhuzh up the face of the city before the visit of the governor of Syria, Djemal Pasha.
    The remains of this cemetery can still be found to this day in what is now Independence Park in Tel Aviv, one of Israel's most valuable real estate locations - because when it comes to real cemeteries, Israel acts with the utmost respect.
    מחאות אלימות ביפומחאות אלימות ביפו
    Protesters set a vehicle ablaze during riots in Jaffa over a location that used to be a Muslim cemetery
    (Photo: Israel Fire and Rescue Service)
    What happened to the land on which the cemetery used to stand? Well, a soccer field was built on top of it for a local Muslim sports club.
    In 1934, Muslim leaders sought to move corporeal remains. That same year, the British needed space to store imported goods. Shmuel Giller, an expert on the history of Jaffa, has unearthed a letter from al-Husseini, who was then president of the Supreme Muslim Council, asking the British to find an alternative location, and the British complied.
    These are the facts – the location that used to serve as a Muslim graveyard was already moved back in 1915 by the Muslims, and there was no dispute on this issue. If there are, indeed, any human remains left there, they should be treated like they are in other similar cases.
    There is no Jewish plot and no one is desecrating any graves. But there are those who try to push this new conspiracy.
    A representative of the Supreme Muslim Council went on Israel Public Radio on Saturday and lamented on air the pain this move has caused to a billion and a half Muslims worldwide. He also claimed that Muslims, unlike Jews, respect Jewish cemeteries.
    הפגנה ליד בית קברות מוסלמי עתיק שבעקבותיו פרצו המהומות ביפוהפגנה ליד בית קברות מוסלמי עתיק שבעקבותיו פרצו המהומות ביפו
    Police face off against rioters in Jaffa at the site that was once a Muslim cemetery
    (Photo: AFP)
    It is impossible to cover all the instances of Jewish cemeteries being desecrated in Muslim countries. Only a few months ago, it was reported that a Jewish cemetery was desecrated and demolished in Aden, Yemen. Jewish cemeteries were also recently desecrated in Egypt and in Aleppo, Syria. A mass desecration of Jewish and Christian graves was also reported in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.
    Even in Jerusalem, the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated when the Arabs took hold of the city's eastern part. Even after the liberation of the city, this graveyard has seen constant waves of desecration and gravestone-smashing ever since.
    The desecration of graves at the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem The desecration of graves at the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
    The desecration of graves at the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Tazpit)
    Every civilized nation should respect the beliefs and feelings of its citizens, and what had happened and keeps happening to Jewish cemeteries around the world should not be repeated in the Jewish State.
    However, the whole Jaffa ordeal is, for all intents and purposes, a conspiracy. A conspiracy that, as always, radical Muslims try to promote.
    The cemetery was relocated as early as 1915, but who needs facts when you've got a chance to perpetuate such mendacious plots for flimsy political gains.
    Talkbacks for this article 0