Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Prime Minister, Facebook, and that souvenir coin

OOPS! Fake History: Netanyahu Boasts About 'Ancient Jerusalem Coin' - Turns Out to Be Kids' Souvenir. Netanyahu uploaded (then deleted) to Facebook a photo of the object, describing how its discovery attested to long-time Jewish ties to the Holy Land (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).
Meanwhile, however, Netanyahu had joined the trend, uploading a photo of the item on his Facebook page and writing how the coin, ostensibly a half-shekel dating to the era of the Second Temple, had been found in the province of Benjamin, in the West Bank. The moving discovery, the premier wrote in his post, further attests to the deep ties between the people of Israel and their land – including ties to Jerusalem, the Temple and Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu’s Facebook editor, Yonatan Orich, says the post has been removed until the issue can be clarified.
I don't blame the Prime Minister for being fooled by the story. I and a lot of other people were too. But there is perhaps a lesson here. It is best not to try to score political points off of new discoveries before they have been fully authenticated.

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