Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Truth from Tel Shiloh

Yesterday, MK Zehava Galon minimized the value of Tel Shiloh. 

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On attacked the decision to fund Tel Shiloh. Netanyahu's "extreme right wing government is isolating Israel from the international community," she said.

A more neutral observer notes

The motivating force of practical Zionism since 1967 has been the attempt to turn the historical attachment to all parts of the Land of Israel, which nobody disputes, into a political right. To translate the desire to return to Shiloh, Beit El, Anatot and Hebron—the cradle of the nation — into a diplomatic right over which there can be no compromise because it is impossible to compromise on a right granted thousands of years ago. By means of that same right, claim those who hold it sacred, the Zionists came to the Jezreel Valley and Jerusalem, and afterward to Shiloh and Hebron.

And that is correct.  We are not isolating ourselves but instructing the world and our immediate neighbors that that sacred right is not a myth.  It is not fancifal or fake.  It is real.  It comes out of the ground we dig, and out of our minds and hearts.  It is who we are as Jews.  Isolated or not, that is the truth and truth is as sacred as our beliefs.

The Jewish people possess not only a right, but a heritage, a legacy.  It is religious, cultural, historical and legal.

Today, some two dozen Tel Shiloh guides underwent an intensive half-day seminar.

Some pictures:

And those were from just the 1st century Roman period until the late Byzantine and early Muslim periods, 5th to 7th centuries.  You can see an olive press (one of those weights is Second Temple period), walls, a possible stone-engraved relief, store rooms, plumbing and more.

Soon, we will be seeing more as a new excavation should begin mid-March in the area that may have contained the Tabernacle court.


Follow up from yesterday:

Some government officials suggested that the decision was motivated by fear of worldwide condemnation. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expressed concern that inclusion of the two sensitive sites would escalate tensions in the region, and U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said the sites were “of historical and religious significance not only to Judaism but also to Islam and to Christianity as well.”

Hershkowitz submitted a letter to Hauser, Army Radio reported, demanding that Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs be added back to the list.

“Omitting Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs is like denying our elementary heritage,” he wrote in the letter, according to Army Radio. “They are the burial sites of our three fathers and four mothers. The state of Israel extracts its entire heritage from these sites.”

Army Radio quoted a Prime Minister’s Office statement as saying that “the projects slated for approval today are sites that require immediate and urgent renovation. Rachel’s Tomb is already undergoing extensive renovation anyway and no specific problems were identified at the Cave of the Patriarchs.”


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