Shepherd’s Hotel? Redrum! Redrum!


Like a sticky candy wrapper, I can’t shake this graf in the Presidents Conference statement  declaring its "disturbed" affect post-Obama criticism of settlement in eastern Jerusalem:

It is particularly significant that the structure in question formerly was the house of the infamous Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseni who spent the war years in Berlin as a close ally of Hitler, aiding and abetting the Nazi extermination of Jews.  He was also linked to the 1929 massacre in Hebron and other acts of incitement that resulted in deaths and destruction in what was then Palestine. There has been an expressed desire by some Palestinians to preserve the building as a tribute to Husseini.

Was it his house? The Israel Foreign Ministry statement said he built it, but it’s not clear it was a dwelling.

In any case, what exactly does this mean? Why is it significant? He cursed the joint? It needs tahara, bli ayin hara, tfu tfu tfu? "There has been an expressed desire by some Palestinians?" What’s with the passive voice? Did it come to someone in a dream? Who are these Palestinians?

Anyway, it got me to thinking: Meir Kahane’s Kach Party maintained its headquarters for years on Ussishkin Street, the thoroughfare bridging Rehavia and Nachlaot, in West Jerusalem. (60-something Ussishkin, as far as I can remember.) After Kahane’s assasination, nobody needed to "express" any "desires" — it immediately became a tribute, or more accurately, a shrine. (I’m not sure if the party, or whatever its current legal incarnation is, is still at the address.)

So, say a Palestinian-sympathetic Jew buys that building and then fills it with families from eastern Jerusalem (they wouldn’t be able to buy it themselves) — how does that play with the PresCon?

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