Israel this week rebuffed the Obama Administration’s objection to a new building project in Jewish settlement of Shiloh, the biblical site that was home to the Ark of the Covenant for centuries prior to the conquest of Jerusalem by King David.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government told the Israel High Court that it intends to move forward with the construction of 98 new homes in Shiloh. The new neighborhood will be used to house Israelis evacuated from the illegally-built Jewish outpost of Amona.
The Obama State Department slammed the decision: “This settlement’s location deep in the West Bank… would link a string of outposts that effectively divide the West Bank and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote.”
Shiloh was the first major holy site following Israel’s entry into the Promised Land. It was there that the Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting) and the Ark of the Covenant stood for 369 years, making Shiloh the primary destination of pilgrimage for the first four centuries of Israel’s existence as a landed nation.
Shiloh’s status is attested to in the book of I Samuel. And today archeologists have uncovered large portions of the religious compound documented in the biblical record.