Friday, January 01, 2010

Jordan Asserts Its Claim To The Dead Sea Scrolls--And So Do The Palestinians

I don't recall ever hearing international law being invoked so often and in so many different contexts:
Jordan asks Canada to seize Dead Sea scrolls

2,000-year-old Hebrew artifacts, which Jordan claims were illegally taken by Israel in 1967, are on display in Toronto

Jordan has asked Canada to seize the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls, on display until Sunday at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, invoking international law in a bid to keep the artifacts out of the hands of Israel until their disputed ownership is settled.

...While Jordan has acted only recently in asking Canada to take custody of the scrolls, the Palestinian Authority has made its position known since April, when Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper concerning what it argues is the illegal use of the scrolls.
But it wasn't the issue of international law that caught my eye, rather it was the conclusion of the article:

Palestinian experts acknowledge the scrolls are Jewish, but argue that they are also part of Palestinian heritage just as ancient Roman and Byzantine ruins comprise part of their history.
And of course, the regard of Palestinian Arabs for historical artifacts is legendary, if not downright mythical:
The Taliban's destruction of ancient Buddhist cultural treasures in the Bamian Valley of Afghanistan during 1998 should have sounded a warning throughout the world over radical Islam's disregard for the religious heritage of others. The Taliban's extremism was partly a result of the influence of their guest, Osama bin Laden, and their Saudi Wahhabi paymasters more generally.2
Israel has witnessed a similar and more widespread pattern of actions by Islamists in support a pre-eminent, if not exclusive, Islamic claim to the Holy Land:
  • In Nazareth, Muslim zealots have sought since 1997 to construct a large mosque that would dwarf the Christian Basilica of the Annunciation.3

  • On October 7, 2000, after constant attacks by Palestinian mobs, the Jewish holy site of Joseph's Tomb in Nablus (Shechem) was sacked and burned, and later converted into a mosque. Five days later, the ancient Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue in Jericho was sacked and burned by Palestinians.4

  • Rachel's Tomb at the Jerusalem-Bethlehem border has come under repeated Palestinian sniper attack.

  • In April 2002, Palestinian Tanzim gunmen from Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and controlled the site for weeks at gunpoint.
However, the activities by the Muslim Waqf and the Israeli Muslim movement on the Temple Mount represent an unprecedented attempt to deny any legitimacy to the ancient Jewish heritage in Jerusalem.
After September 2000, the Muslim Waqf closed off the Temple Mount entirely to any archeological oversight by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Then, in order to complete new underground mosques at the site, it removed to city garbage dumps some 13,000 tons of rubble from the Temple Mount that included archeological remnants from the First and Second Temple periods.
Read the whole thing.

It just strikes me as a just a little odd to hear such protestations in the interest of history and culture from a people who have no history or culture as a Palestinian people, demanding a Palestinian homeland that has never existed.

Technorati Tag: .

Post a Comment