The issue of the construction of the Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance on the site of the Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem’s Mamilla quarter is back in the High Court. In the meantime, on Wednesday morning there will another hearing in the Interior Affairs Committee of the Knesset on this issue. IPCRI is involved in an initiative together with a group of professors led by Shimon Shamir and with the Israeli organization Tolerance to apply to the Court as Amicus – Friends of the Court. Attorney Daniel Seidemann has petitioned to Court to allow us to submit testimony against the construction of the Museum on the Muslim Cemetery. It is difficult to know how the court will decide. If the court decides in favor of the Wiesenthal center we will need to organize politically to prevent this terrible development. Jerusalem has the potential to be the city in the world in which there is a celebration of cultures, religions and diversity. The construction of this museum on the Muslim cemetery in Mamilla will destroy chances for coexistence in Jerusalem – we must prevent it!
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.