The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Bible last week in a case brought by the Palestinian Authority in which they tried to have archaeology in Judea and Samaria declared a crime. Undeterred, the PA turned to UNESCO to intervene while threatening archaeologists around the world with litigation if they participate in digs in Israel. One archaeologist, a Christian who has been sifting the sands of the Holy Land for Decades, stood strong as he was singled out for attack.
Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh, two left-wing Israeli nongovernmental organizations, filed the original petition in a Jerusalem District Court. The petition demanded that the location of the digs, the names of the archaeologists conducting them, and details of any findings be made public. The District Court rejected the petition so the two groups then appealed the decision with the supreme court. Citing the Freedom of Information Act, they demanded the government reveal the locations of any archaeological work being carried out in Judea and Samaria. The petition also called for the government to make public the identities of the archaeologists working there.
Unlike archaeological work in other areas of Israel, archaeological work in Judea and Samaria falls under the auspices of the Civil Administration, which is part of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a part of the Defense Ministry.
The supreme court ruled against making the names of the archaeologists public since it would make them vulnerable to academic boycotts, a tactic used by the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement. Israeli and pro-Israel professors are frequently prevented from publishing their research, giving lectures, participating in academic conferences, or obtaining stipends and research grants.
“There’s a clear and genuine fear that publishing the names of the archaeologists … could cause concrete damage to their professional and financial interests, as well as those of the institutions with which they are affiliated,” Justice Yosef Elron wrote, explaining the decision. “Publishing the archaeologists’ names exposes them to academic boycotts in a manner that could genuinely damage their research work and their academic futures.”
“In addition, I’ve been convinced that publishing the archaeologists’ identities could even undermine their ability to complete the specific digs about which information has been requested and to make their future results known through academic publications,” Elron wrote.
The court also reasoned that the results could undermine Israel’s “interests in the framework of future negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, and could even serve as a tool of attack for parties that seek to harm Israel in the international arena.”
The PA responded to the decision by the Supreme Court by issuing a warning to archaeologists around the world that participating in research in Israel “would expose them to legal accountability” and mar their academic record. In their official statement released on Tuesday, the PA asked museums and international institutions to examine all artifacts originating in Israel and refuse to accept any piece “stolen from occupied Palestinian land.”
Dr. Scott Stripling (Courtesy)
Dr. Scott Stripling, the provost of The Bible Seminary in Texas and Director of Excavations for the Associates for Biblical Research. Dr. Stripling has been sifting the sands of Israel for over 20 years. Dr. Stripling and his organization were individually named in the suit brought by the NGO’s.
“They wanted to get the names of the board members and even the names of the donors in order to bring pressure to bear on them,” Stripling told Breaking Israel News. “It’s not going to affect us either way. We don’t care because what we are doing is way too important.”
For perspective, Dr. Stripling is currently digging in Shiloh, which he surmises may be the true site of the Tabernacle, a site of immeasurable archaeological and Biblical significance.
“Not all the Palestinians object to what we are doing,” Dr. Stripling said. “This is, after all, the study of the history of the land.”
Dr. Stripling explained the claims against him, as he understood them.
“They claim we are destroying the artifacts and robbing the Palestinians people,” Dr. Stripling said. “That is the PA and the UN position.”
He refuted these claims out of hand.
“We don’t care who is in charge,” Dr. Stripling said. “Philosophically we are more closely aligned with Israel but regarding archaeology, we are apolitical. We cooperate with whoever is in charge. We are quite simply salvaging the artifacts. If there is a change in government, everything is here in storage for them and we would cooperate with them.”
Dr. Stripling emphasized that Palestinian archaeologists do not excavate in areas that are currently under Israeli control.
“If they apply for a permit to dig in Israel, they would be seen as collaborating with the Israeli government,” he explained. “Since they can’t dig, it is important for everyone that we be permitted to continue. The real intention of the lawsuit was to stop all digging in Judea and Samaria until the conflict is settled.”
“This conflict has been going on since Isaac and Ishmael,” Dr. Stripling quipped. “It probably isn’t going to be settled any time soon. In the meantime, we have to save the archaeological evidence before it deteriorates.”
Dr. Stripling referred to Khirbet el-Maqatir, the previous focus of his research.
“It’s been totally destroyed since we dug there,” he said. “Houses were built on top of the site, illegally of course. Farmers plowed over antiquities. Antiquities in Area C (under Israeli control constituting about 60 percent of Judea and Samaria) are at risk and we can lose that history.”
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.