Monday, March 09, 2009

A REBUTTAL to the comments of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the Silwan land controversy has been published in the Jerusalem Post. Excerpts:
The Jerusalem Municipality, moreover, has acted with utmost care and in legally airtight fashion. It has, if anything, conducted this affair with greater circumspection, moderation, tolerance and restraint than would any American municipality given similar circumstances.

Not that the circumstances anywhere else can compare to those of Emek Hamelech (King's Valley or Silwan). This area, part of a First Temple royal enclave, perhaps King David's own, is of matchless historical significance and includes sites holy to all three monotheistic religions.


WHAT THE spokesman did not specify is that the area is a prime archeological site and that the illegal construction, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority, has already wrought considerable, often irreversible damage to some of the world's most unique biblical-era relics.

Paradoxically, Arab illegal construction in this particular area is recent and wouldn't have been possible without Israeli technological improvements. King's Valley was regularly flooded each winter, until the municipality devised means to drain it some 20 years ago. Since then, Arab squatters flocked to the reclaimed land and illegally constructed a variety of structures on what was earmarked as an archeological park.
(Via Joseph I. Lauer's list.)

Background here.