Erasing the Jewish past in Israel?
January 22, 2001 4:08 AM   Subscribe

Erasing the Jewish past in Israel? Some months ago I had read that there was an attempt being made to eliminate traces of the Jewish past in and near sacred Jewish shrines in order to make Israeli claims invalid in any forthcoming peace this an example of what was meant?
posted by Postroad (13 comments total)
The only way to get an uncontentious dig in that area, I think, is to hand it over to Hindu archaologists.

But this isn't a new thing: the Romans eliminated traces of the Etruscan past, for instance. In fact, the notion that the detritus of the past was worthy of study, rather than just being used as shale for new building, only goes back to the middle 1800s.
posted by holgate at 5:37 AM on January 22, 2001

in order to make Israeli claims invalid

Lest we forget Palestine is an "occupied territory." That's the polite term. The rest of us say they were invaded. It's a wonderous thing how money and power make you seem right.
posted by fleener at 6:38 AM on January 22, 2001

So the Israelis completely rape the land, steal most of it, plunder the water and natural aquifers, try to pretend to the entire world that the Palestinians do not exist, raze their farms, confiscate their land, block their roads, cut down their trees, kill their children, burn their villages to the ground, erect new villages on top of them in violation of all international law, violate any number of other international laws, including developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons...

and you're worried about a small group of international muslims doing some archeology? Get a clue.
posted by cell divide at 10:04 AM on January 22, 2001

cell - what the hell are you smoking?
posted by attitude at 10:53 AM on January 22, 2001

what do you mean? Please point out my errors.
posted by cell divide at 10:58 AM on January 22, 2001

I really don't see how even malicious archaeology can be used be either side to assert a "rightful" claim on the Holy Places of East Jerusalem: we're not talking about discrete strata here -- a game of historical pass-the-parcel that involves stripping off layers of "false claims" until you get to the "true inhabitants".

"We were here first" is the kind of argument used by children fighting over somewhere to sit. "Well, we're all here now" is the point at which negotiations have to begin.
posted by holgate at 11:04 AM on January 22, 2001

Archaeology is not a popular science in Israel, mainly because does nothing to confirm Israeli nationalist claims to the land and often does more to undermine them.

Of course, no nationalist doctrine actually needs facts it only needs myths.

posted by lagado at 2:40 PM on January 22, 2001

Whaddya get for stomping a Palestinian child to death? Why, 6 months community service of course!
posted by fleener at 4:23 PM on January 22, 2001

I had not expected the link I supplied to unleash so much anti-Israeli rhetoric, nor do I plan to defend or to attack either side in the middle east dispute but merely to show how every perceived move that deals with religious and historical remains can elicit very strong feelings. To bring in this or that incident seems going a bit astray, as I have said, so here is an addtional link to the topic, indicating the latest views on the topic at hand.
posted by Postroad at 5:21 PM on January 22, 2001

FYI, The original article has been overwritten; it's already Tuesday morning in Israel.
posted by dhartung at 6:42 PM on January 22, 2001

I had not expected the link I supplied to unleash so much anti-Israeli rhetoric

It sounds like this reaction was pretty mild compared to the notion of Arabs being allowed to dig a hole to lay a pipe.

The whole thing seems like a beat up to me.

posted by lagado at 7:32 PM on January 22, 2001

Especially since the original link is somewhat flamboyant, given the true nature of the article, and the lack of supporting info, besides the post's author's recollection of having read something else on the subject. That sounds a lot more like rhetoric to me, even if the author didn't mean it that way.
posted by chaz at 9:11 PM on January 22, 2001

I'm presuming you meant inflammatory, chaz?
posted by lagado at 10:03 PM on January 22, 2001

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