Israel this week is hosting a beer festival on the grounds of a prominent historic Muslim cemetery in occupied Jerusalem, the Gulf News reported Thursday.
The local Israeli military authority had already dredged vast swaths of the Maamanallah cemetery and removed most of the graves, renaming it “Independence Park.” But Palestinians say the two-day beer festival is adding insult to injury and is intended as a clear provocation, reminiscent of the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s 2000 visit to the Temple Mount that triggered the second Intifada, or uprising.
“The festival aims to humiliate Muslims and insult their culture,” Palestinian activist Mazen Abu Qalbain told Gulf News. “The festival has truly become a tradition ripe with vicious provocation.”
According to an announcement for the event, the festival will feature “120 different varieties of local and international beers on offer over two days”.
“How can Muslim accept Jews drinking alcohol and dancing at the gravesite that contains the remains of known figures of the early Islam,” Qalbain told Gulf News.
“Jerusalem is spacious and the festival can be held anywhere over the city, but the Israeli choice of this particular historic Muslim gravesite aims to send a clear message to the Muslims around the world,” he said.