|Mouth of the cave at Qumran.|
Who speaks for the Scrolls?
Call me naive, but on the one hand aren't Palestinian academics and their friends busy challenging Zionist archeologists' evidence of the Jewish past, but on the other hand 'appropriating' and thereby confirming the evidence of the Jewish past? Is this what is meant by having your cake and eating it too? We don't even need to get into the controversy over the Temple Mount and Arafat's famous words about the lack of any evidence that there had ever been a Jewish presence in Jerusalem and, of course the claims that Israel is de-Arabizing/Judaizing Jerusalem.
But we don't have to look to the Palestinians themselves to do the work of decoupling Jewish history from the land. Here is the intro to a paper published by two Cambridge architectural historians on the City of David: "This paper explores Israeli settlers’ ideological and physical uses of heritage sites in the ‘Historical Basin’ of Jerusalem. It focuses on the ‘City of David’ archaeological park, at the foot of the Old City, as a prime example of far right settler associations’ increasing influence over the transformation of Jerusalem’s dense topography of historic sites. It investigates how the settler organisation El-Ad uses a wide array of tourist and heritage practices as ways of extending the infrastructure of expropriation and occupation in East Jerusalem. The ‘City of David’ highlights how the instrumentalisation of varied architectural and visual resources are critical to settler’s exclusivist and antagonistic heritage stewardship."
It seems that there is no difference now between official Israel and 'far-right settlers. In other words the whole enterprise is suspicious; all archeological research in the hands of Zionists is potentially illegitimate.
Elder of Ziyon has a very funny post about the scrolls controversy.