Saturday, June 20, 2009

Footnote to the preceding, Three

The private group mentioned in connection with the project to develop heritage sites to strengthen Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem is Ir David, or City of David, a pro-settler group.
Daniel Seidemann, the founder of Ir Amim, or City of Nations, an Israeli association dedicated to sharing Jerusalem, noted that strategically located Palestinian properties bought by Ir David and other settler groups were to be linked by the new state parks, creating a belt around the Old City that will make it harder than ever to divide Jerusalem as part of a two-state solution. ...

A spokeswoman for the parks authority, Osnat Eitan, was unable to explain how some of its sites came to be contracted out to a settler group.
Unable? I strongly suspect that "unwilling" is a more accurate description.

Footnote the the Footnote: Archaeologists have expressed dismay
about Ir David’s role because of its strong Jewish focus, which many view as a politicized betrayal of the neutral role of scholarship.

Raphael Greenberg of Tel Aviv University, for example, wrote in the February issue of Public Archaeology that the Ir David site at Silwan was promoting a selective history.

“The sanctity of the City of David is newly manufactured and is a crude amalgam of history, nationalism and quasi-religious pilgrimage,” he wrote. He asserted that “the past is used to disenfranchise and displace people in the present.”
Despite that, the same New York Times article said this:
[T]here is a battle for historical legitimacy. As part of the effort, archaeologists are finding indisputable evidence of ancient Jewish life here. Yet Palestinian officials and institutions tend to dismiss the finds as part of an effort to build a Zionist history here.

In other words, while the Israeli narrative that guides the government plan focuses largely - although not exclusively - on Jewish history and links to the land, the Palestinian narrative heightens tensions, pushing the Israelis into a greater confrontational stance.
In other other words, if there's any problem, it's all the fault of those damn, truth-hating Palestinians. Or so says our "paper of record."

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