Contesting Symbolic Landscape in Jerusalem

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More About This Title Contesting Symbolic Landscape in Jerusalem


In 2006, a dispute broke out regarding an initiative by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles (backed by Israeli authorities) to construct a Museum of Tolerance (MoT) in West Jerusalem. The museum was to be built on a plot of land that in the past had been part of the historic Muslim Mamilla Cemetery. Debate centered on whether construction of a museum dedicated to human dignity on Muslim cemeterial land was justified. Yitzhak Reiter presents the public and legal dilemmas at the individual level, the political level, and at the universal level, integrating a multidisciplinary approach involving history, identity politics, and conflict resolution. The Mamilla dispute reflects a microcosm of conflicts over religious and national symbols of cultural heritage as well as Jewish majority–Arab minority tensions within Israel.


Yitzhak Reiter teaches in the department of political science at Ashkelon Academic College and at the Conflict Studies Program of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He formerly served as the deputy advisor on Arab affairs to three Israeli Prime Ministers. He participated in a number of Track 2 diplomacy teams with Palestinians and has been a visiting scholar throughout the world. He is the author of National Minority, Regional Majority: Palestinian Arabs versus Jews in Israel and War, Peace & International Relations in Islam.