Thursday, June 20, 2013

Archaeological Battles at the New York Times

I left this comment:

Claiming this is nigh ridiculous: "Palestinians may be taking for granted that the land around them, and its buried heritage, is theirs."

Arabs are well aware of its importance for they are actively attempting to disinvent the Jewish historical presence by destroying or covering up finds, especially at the Temple Mount.

The Tel of Shiloh was attacked by Hamdan Taha, the Palestinian Authority minister of antiquities and culture, a pioneer of the new Palestinian revisionism. Taha is a master of the Palestinian denial to cancel any trace of Jewish presence in the Holy Land.  Shiloh is his target. Despite finds at Shiloh indicating continuous Jewish residency from around 1200 BCE through to 135 CE (and then evidence of foreign conquerors and occupiers including the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and others, and bolstering the Biblical narrative of Shiloh as the capital of the Jewish nation for nearly four centuries, Taha attempts to convince the ignorant that Jewish Shiloh never existed saying, “In Shiloh the settlers pretended to have found the tabernacles,” he proclaimed. “They can find the chicken bone my grandfather ate 50 years ago and say it was a young calf for ancient sacrifice.”  He knows little of the scientific digs conducted here.

One last point: if it weren't for Jewish/Israeli archaeologists and indeed Christian ones, the Arabs wouldn't know their own history in this land starting from 638CE when they invaded from the Saudi Peninsula and overran it.

at this NYTimes blog post, which includes this:

Latitude - Views From Around the World (why are my views never invited to be there?)

June 20, 2013,
Stones Unturned

Walking through the hills around Ramallah, where I have lived for many years, I often come upon archeological ruins and remnants: Byzantine tombs, Ottoman olive presses, pottery shards. They lie there, scattered among stone walls and olive trees, unmarked and unstudied.

But a few days ago at Khirbet El Tireh I was pleasantly surprised to find under a green canopy the archeologist Salah Hussein Al-Houdalieh and his students from Al Quds University loading off buckets of stones, scraping dirt and dusting a mosaic floor...But the dig isn’t being supported by the Palestinian Authority itself.

...And when historical sites in the West Bank aren’t being built over, they are often left unguarded and unmaintained — leaving them at risk of being damaged or looted...

[and who is looting and thieving?]

and then he gets nasty:

...I also suspect a surprising kind of complacency: Despite their longstanding struggle to win political rights from Israel, Palestinians may be taking for granted that the land around them, and its buried heritage, is theirs.

...most the artifacts displayed at the recent exhibit about King Herod the Great at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem were removed illegally from sites in the occupied West Bank.

and then quotes an anti-Zionist:
“Archaeologists are in the business of creating collective memories,” the Israeli archaeologist Raphael Greenberg has argued. This is something the Israelis understand only too well and the Palestinians, apparently, too little.

Actually, archaeologists discover history which is a real memory.


And now I've added this to someone's comment:

actually Jews were not really "long gone".  Our political power, administration and military ability as an independent sovereign state was were destroyed by successive conquerors and occupiers, including Muslims, Mamelukes, Crusaders, Ottomans and British, or withheld from us.  Jews were present, throughout the country, including Judea, Samaria and Gaza, what local Arabs now refer to as "Palestinian occupied territories".  But during the Mandatory regime of 1922-1948, Arabs succeeded in ethnically cleansing Jews from Hebron, Shchem/Nablus, Gaza, the Old City of Jerusalem, and new agricultural communities in the Etzion Bloc, Neveh Yaakov and Bet HaAravah, to name several.  And now they seeks to further erase all historical memory of Jews in this land.

The first one is up here.  

And I liked this one:


  • Joshua Schwartz
  • Ramat-Gan, Israel

With all due respect to Raphael Greenberg's views, Israeli archaeology, even over the Green Line adheres to the highest standards of archaeological science in all aspects.

As it happens, the West Bank, particularly the central mountain or hill region, contains areas that were predominantly Jewish during Biblical times and Second Temple period times.

The Moslem presence was not necessarily to the dominant one.

Unfortunately, much archaeology and many archaeological sites have been destroyed by Palestinians during recent years, particularly if those sites indicate Jewish presence.



Anonymous said...

In the words of Fathi Hamad,a minister of Hamas: “Half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other Half are Saudis”.

see - watch?v=CbuM91PeSOs

Many are also originally from Syria.

And most of them came to the country after various arrival of European Jews- What more does anyone need to know!

Ruth Jaffe Lieberman said...

Sadly, its been proven over and over that in order to protect anyone's history in the Land of Israel, it must be under the authority of the Israelis. Otherwise, historic/political/religious rights are tossed aside and sites are even demolished or left to rot.

Under the PA, so-called caring for history is a farce. Take a myriad of examples, from Joseph's tomb (burnt and demolished, stone by stone until forced to be put back together by the Israeli govt), to Sebastia, ancient city and home to many peoples - overgrown at best and dismantled continuously.

Not to mention the Temple Mount.

Trusting world heritage to the Arab Palestinians is akin to throwing away the site, often unable to be repaired after deliberate damage is incurred.

Israelis, Jews, Christians, any non-Moslems would be wise to support Israeli government authority over every heritage site in this region, if they want to retain any sort of historic presence in the future.