Culture Minister Miri Regev used an impromptu trip to southern Turkey for a basketball game to offer a different kind of trade: Two elephants for an ancient inscription from Jerusalem currently housed in a Jewish museum, considered one of the most important ancient Hebrew inscriptions in existence.I guess it was worth a try.
Regev was heard making the offer in a video posted online of an informal chat with Gaziantep mayor Fatma Sahin Wednesday. Regev was in Turkey to accompany the Ironi Nahariya basketball team for a Europe Cup game, after Turkish authorities insisted that a minister be present in order for the team to bring their own armed guards.
In the video, Sahin, a politician from the ruling AKP party, speaks of her zoo’s elephant problem: it has just one, and it wants more.
“We’re willing to work for it,” the mayor quips.
Regev is heard telling her aides and translators, “We’ll make a deal. We’ll give them the elephants, and they’ll give us the inscription of Hezekiah.”
For background on the Siloam inscription and the negotiations for its return to Israel, start here and follow the links.