Last night I saw a collection of Israeli and Palestinian short films about Jerusalem, one of which (made by an Israeli) took a look at the Museum on the Seam. The museum describes itself like this:
The Museum is committed to examining the social reality within our regional conflict, to advancing dialogue in the face of discord and to encouraging social responsibility that is based on what we all have in common rather than what keeps us apart.
And it describes its location like this:
The Museum is situated in a building constructed in 1932 by the Arab-Christian architect, Anton Baramki.
While Jerusalem was divided (1948-1967), the building served as a military outpost (the Turjeman Post) which stood on the seam line between Israel and Jordan across from Mandelbaum Gate, the only crossing point between the two sides of the divided city.
The Museum on the Seam was established in 1999 with the generous support of the von Holtzbrinck family of Germany, through the Jerusalem Foundation and by the initiative of the designer and curator of the Museum, Raphie Etgar.
What it fails to mention is that Baramki and his family lived in the house until they were displaced during the war in 1948 and that ever since 1967 the Baramki family has tried in vain to reclaim their house. The museum has refused to give them their property back, relying on the Israeli law of “absentee” landowners that has allowed the Jewish state to confiscate Palestinian land.
Social responsibility indeed.