Part of the program of delegitimizing the Jewish state is an attempt to deny a historical connection between Jews and the land, in particular the Temple Mount.
In recent years, the Muslim Waqf, which was given physical control over the Mount by Israel in 1967 in an attempt to address Islamic sensitivities, has conducted construction activities which have done great damage to archaeological artifacts (see my earlier articles here and here) which could attest to Jewish provenance.
The Israeli government has shown remarkable ‘restraint’ (read: fear of Arab violence) in allowing this to go on. Now some private citizens are trying to stop it:
JERUSALEM, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ — A group of 150 Israeli citizens, which represent a broad cross section of the Israeli public, have initiated an unprecedented criminal prosecution of WAQF (Islamic trust) leaders in Jerusalem — alleging that Islamic officials have engaged in the deliberate destruction of ancient Jewish relics on the Temple Mount. The indictment was filed in the Jerusalem District Court today by means of a private law suit. The private indictment is first of its kind in Israeli legal history and utilizes a seldom applied section of the criminal code. If convicted, the WAQF officials face years in prison.
The legal action, which is led by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, accuses members of the Islamic Trust (“the WAQF”) of the intentional demolishing of priceless Jewish artifacts, including the remains of the Second Temple.
In recent months the WAQF has brought in bulldozers and heavy digging equipment to carry out “renovations”. Israeli archaeologists who have sifted through the discarded earth were shocked to have discovered a great number of Jewish artifacts brutally trashed by the bulldozers. A wall from the outer courtyard of the Second Temple is believed to have been completely pulverized.
The court papers contend that the recent accelerated destruction is part of a four decade long campaign by the WAQF to eradicate all evidence of the historical Jewish connection and claim to the Temple Mount.
The idea that the Jews have nothing to do with Jerusalem was a favorite theme of Yasser Arafat, and the controversial Barnard faculty member Nadia Abu El-Haj’s book ‘Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society’ argues that Israel has improperly interpreted the archaeological record to justify her existence.
It is of course exactly in keeping with the Palestinian attitude toward truth that they would on the one hand deny a Jewish connection to the land and at the same time destroy evidence of it!
Update [1 Nov 2154 PDT]: Sources at Barnard College leak that El-Haj has received tenure. More proof that politics has replaced scholarship in the academic world.