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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The "new" neighborhood in Maale Zeitim

From Getty Images:
A Jewish settler girl in her living room during the inauguration ceremony of new settler homes on May 25, 2011 in the Jewish enclave of Maaleh Zeitim in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud in east Jerusalem, Israel. Maaleh Zeitim was financed by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz who has bankrolled other settlement projects in the occupied West Bank, and east Jerusalem.

Interesting which "facts" Getty choose to highlight in the caption. In fact, the land was purchased by Jews in 1928 and Israel has upheld that purchase, and allowed Moskowitz to buy it legally.

But there is something else that is interesting about the Ras al-Amud:

Settlement remains dating to different phases of the Middle Canaanite period (2200-1900 BCE) and the last years of the First Temple period (eighth-seventh centuries BCE), including an inscription in ancient Hebrew script that mentions the name “Menachem”, were recently exposed in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting in the Ras el-‘Amud neighborhood, prior to the construction of a girls’ school by the Jerusalem municipality.

Among the remains from the First Temple period is a handle on which the Hebrew name (ל)מנחם  meaning (to) Menachem, is engraved. According to archaeologist Dr. Ron Beeri, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority,
I have a feeling that the area was not always known with the Arabic name of "Ras al-Amud."