Monday, November 05, 2012

Academic Archaeological Sabotage at Silwan/Ir David


We are writing following the decision of the Archaeology Institute of the Tel-Aviv University (TAU) to join the excavations of the Antiquities Authority and the settler organization Elad in the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

As reported last week (October 25th) by Haaretz, "TAU to take part in East Jerusalem dig funded by pro-settlement group":

A right-wing organization active in settling Jews in controversial parts of East Jerusalem is providing the funds for excavations by Tel Aviv University archaeologists on a contentious site near the City of David…
This is the first time a university has decided to formally take part in such an excavation. The dig will be conducted by Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology in coordination with the Israel Antiquities Authority, which will transfer funds from Elad to the university…
TAU archaeologist Prof. Rafael Greenberg … is more outspoken: "This is a clear politicization of research. Whoever is familiar with the area is aware that all the diggings are annexed to Elad, supervised by Elad, and separate from the site of the City of David. In practice, the project is to become part of Elad's settlement drive."

In the past, you have expressed support for our demand that excavations in ancient Jerusalem be removed from Elad's control. We now ask that you express your opposition to the university's plan by directly writing to the people who will make the decision. Acting swiftly may prevent the excavations from taking place:
Prof. Aron Shai, Rector -
Prof. Eyal Zisser, Dean of Humanities -
Prof. Oded Lipschits, Director, Institute of Archaeology - lipschit@post.tau.a

In order to help us in coordinating efforts to prevent the excavation in Silwan, we would be grateful if you can send us a copy of your letter to Emek Shaveh at

Additional information on Silwan, archaeology and settlements can be found in Emek Shave's report, "Archaelogy in the Shadow of the Conflict" and Ir Amim's report, "Shady Dealings in Silwan".

Yonathan Mizrahi,
Emek Shaveh Organization

Feel free to use the addresses to express support for the dig as planned.


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