Archeology and Palestine is a mismatch simply because there are no archeological Palestinian sites. At best archeology can inform us about Muslim life and culture since the 7th century AD. This is of little use to archeologists who are willing to compromise their discipline in the name of political agenda.
If one would ask about Zionists harnessing archeology for their political ends, they have done that, but they at least didn’t have to fabricate Jewish archeology. Archibald Sayce didn’t fabricate the Siloam Inscription and Yigael Yadin didn’t forge the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Further still, no Jewish archeologist was ever involved in institutionalized destruction of Muslim artifacts and systematic elimination of evidences of Muslim presence in the Land of Israel.
Palestinian archeologists and their sympathetic comrades are doing whatever they can to subvert archeology in such a way as to erase any Jewish link to “the Land of Palestine.” Jordanian official Raef Yusuf Najm is representative of this official Palestinian policy, claiming that “throughout history, Muslims and Christians have lived in Al Quds (Jerusalem) as one Palestinian people. Their coexistence was marred only by the Crusade invasions, then the Zionist and colonialist Israeli invasion which is trying to judaize the land and the people through all forms of crime and tyranny.”
This effort to erase Jewish archeology as a way of weakening Israel is supported by the New Israel Fund (NIF), a subversive organization whose real aim is to turn Israel into a democratic, rather than a Jewish-democratic state.
In one of its latest Facebook posts, NIF proudly announced its support of Emek Shaveh, an organization of Israeli archeologists that has teamed up with their Palestinian counterparts. So unaware of their betrayal of their academic discipline, Emek Shaveh proclaims on its website that the group is made up of “archaeologists and community activists focusing on the role of archaeology in Israeli society and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
One of archeology’s roles is to dispel the notion that it can support the Jewish claim to the land. The founder of Emek Shaveh, archeologist Gideon Sulimani, exited NIF when he said that “a nation or religion should not use archeological artifacts as a proof of land ownership.” This, however, is a strange accusation considering that Jews have prayed to return to Jerusalem long before the idea of archeology was ever conceived. At worst, Israeli archeologists were trying too hard to produce scientific evidences for the traditional Jewish claim of Israel being the land of their fathers.
Emek Shaveh has radically departed from “Zionist archeology.” If fact, this organ is not interested in proving anything, least of all proving Jewish presence in this land.
Truth is not what they are after. These “scientists” are in the business of peace, and for the sake of that goal truth can be manipulated, denied and locked in post-modern gobbledygook.
A masterpiece of truth-evasion is found in their brochure entitled “Frequent Questions about Jerusalem’s Old City.” Consider this sentence alone: “Archaeology can support different historical scenarios, but it neither conclusively proves nor absolutely disproves them.” In other words, if one so wishes, archeology can support the Palestinian narrative. All that needs to be done is to say that David is not conclusively Jewish. Likewise, since no blood stains or pieces of priestly garments can be found on the Temple Mount, evidences of ancient Jewish religious warship there can’t be regarded as conclusive.
Though seeking peace is admirable, one has to wonder how such damaging dishonesty can advance it.