LOS ANGELES - The Syrian government on Thursday accused Israel of conducting a clandestine operation, together with Turkey, to remove ancient artifacts from a synagogue near Damascus.The artifacts reportedly include manuscripts. The claim is that they were smuggled to Istanbul and then New York.
In a formal complaint sent to the United Nations Security Council, Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari accused the two countries of cooperating with “terrorist groups” to remove valuable items from the 2,000-year-old Jobar temple.
The Jobar Synagogue was badly damaged in the Syrian fighting in 2013 and then substantially destroyed in 2014. I followed events as they were reported. See here and links.
Two thoughts on the current report. First, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN gave a good response to the Syrian accusation. But I don't see a denial of the accusation in it. Second, I do not condone such activities. But if there were any ancient artifacts in the ruins of the Jobar Synagogue, I hope they are safe.
Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.