Wednesday, February 24, 2016

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: Britain's New Mainstream Racists?
The British Labour party is currently led by a man, Jeremy Corbyn, who has described Hamas and Hezbollah as "friends" and has spent his years in the political wilderness with Holocaust deniers, anti-Semites, terrorist-sympathisers and all manner of other undesirables. Now that he is the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, he has tried to present himself as a more moderate force by stressing that he has spent his life fighting racism and anti-Semitism. In fact, he appears to have spent his life being remarkably content with exponents of both.
His Shadow Chancellor spent the same period in similar company, but with an even more fervent devotion to the terrorists of the Irish Republican Army.
The communications chief of this whole disastrous enterprise is one Seamus Milne, who devoted his career at The Guardian to keeping the scent around Joseph Stalin rosier than it ever ought to have been. If a fish, as the saying goes, rots from the top, who can be surprised if there is rot also from the tail up?
Last week it was the turn of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) to throw their wares open for public view. Thanks to the unusually principled resignation of the co-chair of the organization, Alex Chalmers, we now know that apparently a large proportion of the youth branch of the party also has "problems with Jews." Indeed, it appears that anti-Semitism has moved from the margins to the very centre of University Labour life.
According to Chalmers, among the delights of the organization from which he resigned was that the OULC decided to endorse Israel Apartheid Week. This is the annual anti-Semitic hate-fest that takes place across university campuses in the West. Racist students build fake security walls, stage "die-ins" and pretend that murderers who carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis are instead the suffering victims of gratuitous aggression.
Why Mandela Would Be Run Out of Ramallah Today
I’m scratching my head over The Guardian.
How can the same people who blew up innocent civilians in cafes and buses have the gall to claim Nelson Mandela’s legacy?
As the Christian Science Monitor aptly pointed out, the Palestinians embrace of Mandela’s mantle is very, very limited.
But much of Palestinians’ praise is for how Mandela pushed back against an apartheid regime, rather than on how he embraced the language, literature, and leaders of that regime in a search for national reconciliation.
After the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Mandela famously donned Springbok gear to present a trophy to the Afrikaaner team. South Africans still talk about it as a big moment in national reconciliation.
In contrast, just getting Israelis and Palestinians onto the same soccer field today means overcoming the powerful Palestinian anti–normalization campaign.
Reconciliation? Mandela would’ve been run out of Ramallah for using that dirty word.
Renowned British Historian: Anti-Semitism Causes Anti-Zionism
The antipathy displayed by many on the Left towards Israel is not an example of anti-Zionism morphing into anti-Semitism, but a sign that anti-Zionism is caused by anti-Semitism, the distinguished British historian Simon Schama argued in the Financial Times Friday.
Schama noted the escalation of anti-Israel events in the UK in recent months. Most notably, former Israeli intelligence chief Ami Ayalon’s speech at the Kings College London Israel Society was “violently interrupted by a chair-hurling, window-smashing crowd.” The resulting atmosphere of intolerance towards Israel prompted Alex Chalmers to resign as co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club, saying that the student Left “have some kind of problem with Jews.”
Schama observed that some on the Left, such as Guardian columnist Owen Jones, have made efforts to “confront this demon head on.” However, “criticism of Israeli policies has mutated into a rejection of Israel’s right to exist.”
He cited a number of examples. French Jews can’t walk outside wearing a yarmulke without fear of assault; Holocaust memorial posters have been defaced; Former MP George Galloway declared in 2014 that his district was “an Israel-free zone.” These incidents exemplify what the professor Alan Johnson called “anti-Semitic anti-Zionism.”
Schama observed that the terrorist who killed four Jews in a Paris supermarket last year didn’t ask if their victims supported the Israeli government, “because in the attacker’s poisoned mind all Jews are indivisibly incriminated” as oppressors of the Palestinians. The international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement disregards any Israeli claim of self-defense and singles out Israel for its outrage. But they remain silent about the Russian destruction of Syria.

There's no shame in Zionism: we must reclaim the word from anti-Semites
"The Left have succeeded in persuading us that the term Zionist refers to West Bank settlers, Israeli imperialists and Palestinian-haters"
Quick question: how many black African MPs sat in the South African parliament during the apartheid era?
OK, that one was too easy, I accept. So here’s another, and this one only demands a simple Yes/No answer: were all South African citizens, irrespective of colour, guaranteed the right to vote under apartheid? Honestly, these are not trick questions.
Throughout the country, and particularly on our university campuses, it is being suggested that, in moral terms, nothing separates the appalling white supremacist apartheid regime of South Africa with the Israeli state. It was reported yesterday that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had ordered his officials to complain that posters comparing the two regimes had been illegally placed in the London Underground.
It’s an old trick frequently used by the hard of thinking: think of a country or person you don’t like; think of another, entirely separate, country or person that everyone dislikes, then say that country or person A is the same as country or person B.
Perhaps the protesters and poster-putters-up are too young to remember when apartheid was actually a thing – a bit like those youngsters who celebrated the death of Baroness Thatcher, even though they were babes in arms when she was forced out of Downing Street. But being young is no excuse for ignorance of the facts, which are that Israel isn’t just a democracy – it’s a social democracy, where women enjoy equal rights, where there exists a flourishing LGBT community, where trade unions are well organised and strong and where the press is unfettered and critical of the government.
The Illogic of Land Swaps
There are a number of issues regarding using the 1967 lines and subsequent land swaps as envisioned by J Street.
The 1967 Lines Rewards Aggression. Using the 1967 lines as a starting point for negotiations rewards aggression. When Israel declared itself as an independent state in 1948, it was immediately attacked by five Arab armies from Egypt; Jordan; Syria; Lebanon; and Iraq. The 1967 lines were the Armistice Lines where the warring parties stopped fighting in 1949.
Imagine that Egypt conquered the entire southern part of Israel, all of the way up until Bethlehem, and Jordan conquered the entire eastern part of the country, leaving Israel as a narrow sliver of coastline from Tel Aviv to Rosh Hanikra. Consequently, imagine that it is this small state becomes recognized by the United Nations in 1949, within Armistice Lines with Egypt and Jordan.
Further consider that history played out precisely as it did: in 1967 the Arab armies once again threatened to destroy Israel, so Israel pre-emptively attacked Egypt and Syria and then Jordan attacked Israel. Egypt and Jordan lost all of the territory that it took from the 1922 Palestine Mandate for a Jewish homeland in the war.
How would the world react? Would the world demand that Israel needs to return to a stub of a state and give Egypt and Jordan all of the land past the 1949 Armistice Lines? Even if Egypt and Jordan ultimately relinquished their claims to the land in favor of Palestinian Arabs, would those borders somehow be considered the appropriate borders for Israel and Palestine?
Of course not.
The Huffington Post’s Guide To Boycotting Israel?
There has been a widespread backlash against the UK’s proposed legislation against anti-Israel boycotts, and accusations that it is an attack on free speech and democracy.
While the British government is making things more difficult for the BDS movement, for the Huffington Post this was apparently an opportunity to make things easier for anyone wishing to boycott Israel.
In what appears to be a free promo for the boycotters, the Huffington Post’s article includes:
A revealing list of items prescribed for boycott on the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement’s website highlights the goods targeted by the campaign – and which may soon be protected by government.
Under each product the article gives details such as where they typically originate from, where in the UK they are stocked, how they are labeled, and in the case of Medjoul dates, the fact that “The BDS movement renews its advice before Ramadan each year — as the dates are traditionally used to break day-long fasts.”
US students mobilize against BDS
As some people around the world mark "Apartheid Week," indiscriminately condemning Israel, many students have chosen not to remain silent and are fighting back.
Corinne Malachi lives in New York and is a student activist for Mishelanu, an organization dedicated to Israeli-American campus life. Ilan Silnikov is from Minnesota and recently met with Students Supporting Israeli, a pro-Israel international movement active on 48 campuses in North America.
Silnikov told Ynet that "Apartheid Week" actually last until mid-April. "During these weeks, we see anti-Israeli activity on all US college campuses, which the Students for Justice in Palestine, famous for erecting a walls symbolizing evil Israel, largely organize," he said.
Malachi, who studies at Yeshiva University, noted: "On our campus most students are Jewish and we do not have BDS, but we send students to other campuses to help by talking to people and telling them the truth."
Silnikov said that he and other people are not only responding to provocations and protests by BDS supporters, but they are also organizing their initiatives. "Instead of fighting against the boycott and defending ourselves at pro-BDS events or against pro-BDS student council legislation, we are mobilizing a campaign to support Israel through pro-Israel student council legislation."
Did Britain Just Ban Boycotts of Israel? Not Quite.
There has been much ado internationally this week over claims that the British Government has “banned boycotts of Israel.” Indeed, the move has been both praised and condemned for allegedly prohibiting publicly funded bodies, including local councils and student unions, from boycotting or sanctioning Israel. But the British Government has not banned boycotts of Israel. That is a myth. The truth is substantially more mundane and less draconian than many (including yours truly) were led to believe, thanks in large part to misleading media coverage on this issue, stating that “Britain Bans Public-Sector Boycotts of Israeli Suppliers,” as one Reuters headline read.
So what did the British government assert? On February 17, the UK Cabinet Office published a Policy Procurement Note on the seemingly bland matter of “ensuring compliance with wider international obligations when letting public contracts.” Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, praised a proposed measure—a “bill,” he called it—but there is no actual legislation, only a guidance note that clarifies the existing criteria for the awarding of public contracts.
Strictly speaking, the Policy Procurement Note does not introduce a ban on boycotting anything. Instead, it clarifies that, in the British government’s reading of its own existing rules, public authorities are not allowed to discriminate against foreign suppliers on the basis of national origin. They may not boycott Israeli products, for example, simply because they come from Israel, nor may they do so with respect to any country (Israel is not even mentioned).
This British government made these clarifications for two reasons. First, it argues that a boycott of certain foreign states, including but not limited to Israel, would be a violation of international law. Britain and Israel are both signatories to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement. This binding international treaty prohibits trade discrimination between signatories on the basis of national origin. In this controversial note, the British Government is stressing that the legal prohibition on discrimination applies not only to the central government in Westminster, but to subsidiary public authorities too. National origin is only a relevant criterion where the UK Government has already imposed formal legal sanctions, embargoes, and restrictions, which, in the case of Israel, it has not.
Discrediting academia in solidarity with Jasbir Puar’s demonization of Israel
Supporters of the BDS campaign that singles out Israel for boycott, divestment and sanctions have been circulating a letter addressing the “Controversy concerning Jasbir Puar’s Talk at Vassar.” The letter responds to a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) op-ed entitled “Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar” by Mark G. Yudof and Ken Waltzer; it denounces the op-ed by the two respected academics as “ugly” and rejects the “heinous and misinformed attacks [that] are the direct result of the talk Prof. Puar presented at Vassar on Feb. 3.”
ACF has already published two posts in response to Prof. Puar’s talk at Vassar (see here and here), and it seems fair to assume that her supporters would view these posts with as much disdain as the WSJ op-ed.
But while the letter of Puar’s supporters is highly partisan, it contains one claim that should arguably be welcomed by her critics. Thus, the letter asserts: “As anyone who heard her Vassar lecture […] can attest, her words are carefully chosen.” This is obviously very important when evaluating Puar’s statement about Palestinian accusations that Israel “mined” the bodies of killed Palestinian terrorists “for organs for scientific research.” Puar not only failed to distance herself from these utterly baseless speculations that so obviously echo ancient blood libels, but also suggested later on that Israel might be pursuing “a weaponized epigenetics where the outcome is not so much about winning or losing nor a solution but about needing body parts, not even whole bodies, for research and experimentation.”
If Puar’s words are indeed “carefully chosen,” they would seem to indicate that she endorses Palestinian speculations about Israel’s theft of organs from dead Palestinians. This conclusion seems all the more warranted given the context of her lecture, where she emphasized that she regarded her project “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters” as “a solidarity project” that presents Palestinian views while excluding any Israeli perspectives. Furthermore, Puar’s own speculations that Israel might be pursuing “a weaponized epigenetics where the outcome is […] about needing body parts […] for research and experimentation” would have to be understood as “carefully chosen” to lend further credence to this modern version of the age-old blood libel.

Two Labour activists who held influential roles in electing Jeremy Corbyn as leader are facing anti-Semitism investigation
Two Labour activists who played influential roles in the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the party's leader are being investigated over anti-Semitism allegations, it emerged today.
Max Shanley and James Elliott, who both hold positions in the Labour party's youth wing, face allegations that they harassed and intimidated Jewish students.
The claims have rocked the Oxford University Labour Club, whose co-chairman Alex Chalmers quit earlier this month after complaining that many of its members 'have some kind of problem with Jews'.
The University's Jewish Society, known as JSoc, said it had heard reports of slurs and songs sung that amount to anti-Semitism.
The two Labour youth activists are members of Momentum - the organisation formed out of Mr Corbyn's Labour leadership campaign.
Mr Elliott, a 22-year-old third-year history student at St Edmund Hall at Oxford University, helped to write Mr Corbyn's youth manifesto and is being backed by Momentum in his bid to become the youth representative for Labour's ruling national executive committee.
Alex Chalmers, pictured, quit as co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour club after he complained that a large number of members 'have some kind of problem with Jews'
Mr Shanley, 25, attended Ruskin College, Oxford, and is believed to be a key ally of Momentum's firebrand founder, Jon Lansman and is a representative for south east members of Young Labour.
Guardian letter accuses Oxford U Jews of ‘crying wolf’ about antisemitism
Among the letters published today in the Guardian in response to their Feb. 18th article on charges of antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club was one signed by several pro-BDS British Jews well-known to readers of this blog (including Tony Greenstein and actress Miriam Margolyes).
First, the signatories write that “antisemitism is conspicuous by its absence in your article on ‘antisemitism’ at Oxford University Labour Club”, ignoring these truly disturbing examples of reported anti-Jewish bigotry revealed by Oxford University Jewish Society.
Members of the Labour Club’s committee have been known to sing the song “Rockets over Tel Aviv” and have specifically expressed support for Hamas’ tactic of launching indiscriminate attacks against Israel’s Jewish citizens.
One Labour Club member stated specifically that it was “not antisemitic” to allege the existence of a “New York – Tel Aviv axis” that rigs elections, and said that “we should be aware of the influence wielded over elections by high net-worth Jewish individuals”. He also stated that it was “not antisemitic” to allege the existence of an international Jewish conspiracy, even though he did not endorse the idea himself.
One Labour Club committee member stated that all Jews should be expected to publicly denounce Zionism and the State of Israel, and that nobody should associate with any Jew who fails to do so.
Khalid El-Awaisi and FOSIS – A Perfect Pairing
“We are coming Palestine, you tried to kill us and you will die, it will be the end of Palestine, God willing!”
What kind of welcome would a man who had made this annihilationist death threat receive on a British university campus? I think he’d be lucky to get anywhere near one.
Flip it around. Meet Khalid El-Awaisi, a dubious academic type and a scheduled speaker at the Islamist student group FOSIS’s annual Israel hatred conference, which will be held at UCL on 5 March. El-Awaisi is perfect for FOSIS. From 3:25 in this clip, he rages:
Who’s going to be on the next ship from here? This is our response, Israel. We’re all going to be on that ship, and you tried to kill us, and you will die, and it will be the end of Israel, the end of Israel, inshallah, by the will of God.
The video is from a rally for the Gaza flotilla of 2010. As long term readers of this blog will remember, the flotilla was an enterprise of the Hamas UK network and IHH, the Turkish Islamist charity which supports Hamas and even the mass murderer Shamil Basayev. The main ship was the Mavi Marmara and El-Awaisi’s brother was on board. Perhaps he enjoyed these “Khaybar” chants for murderous antisemitism as the ship sailed to the fight with the IDF that Hamas and IHH wanted?
The hypocrisy of the foreign media
The distorted media reporting is not only the result of an inherent bias, but is very often compounded by an appalling ignorance of facts.
This ignorance stems from the same source as the bias, namely that most journalists are schooled in a "Palestinian narrative" and not in anything rooted in historical or current facts. Abu Toameh mentions how some of these journalists assured him that before 1948 there was a Palestinian state here with east Jerusalem as its capital. When he told them that prior to 1967 the West Bank was under the control of Jordan while the Gaza Strip was ruled by Egypt, this was news to them.
The interview with PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi from Tuvia Tenenbom's book "Catch the Jew!" inevitably comes to mind. In this interview, Ashrawi tells Tenenbom: "To me, the startling fact is that the Palestinians have been living on their land historically for hundreds and thousands of years and suddenly they are told that they have to give up most of their land and that another state will be created."
Unfortunately, it is this kind of "startling fact" that foreign journalists subscribe to, and therefore it is little wonder that we end up with the kind of biased and hopeless reporting we are dealing with now. As Abu Toameh writes: "Some correspondents from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe are both very knowledgeable and very fair. Unfortunately, however, these represent but a small group among mainstream media in the West."
Washington Post's Singling Out of Israel is in the Bag
Furthermore, though the news of the $55,000 Israel package being offered in the gift bag sparked efforts by advocates of the “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” (BDS) movement to have the certificate removed, Booth overstates the movement’s success. He uses Omar Barghouti, founder of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, as a credible source on the matter, despite Barghouti’s hypocrisy. While advocating boycott of Israel even in academia, Barghouti himself obtained a graduate degree from Tel Aviv University. His explanation of this? “My studies at Tel-Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no interest in commenting.” Barghouti has repeatedly obfuscated the fact that the intention of BDS is not a two-state solution, but dissolution of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state in its place. According to Barghouti, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism’s move to have this trip included on Oscar night is proof of the State “desperately trying to fight its increasing isolation through bribes and intimidation rather than ending its occupation and apartheid.” In fact, this is a non-story of a country going about normal governmental and promotional business, yet Booth does not question Barghouti’s statements. There is not any suggestion that, perhaps, such a conclusion is unfounded and biased.
Booth does not point to the overwhelming evidence that directly contradicts Barghouti’s claim that BDS is successfully isolating Israel. There is no mention of Israel having recently signed a new trade deal with Russia, of Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, making an official visit to the State during which she stated her unequivocal support of Israel, or of the EU’s decision not to remove “Made in Israel” labels from products originating beyond Israel’s 1967 lines. All of this despite the unceasing efforts of BDS to seal Israel off from the international community. Rather than finding itself in “increasingly isolation,” as Barghouti and Booth would have readers believe, Israel continues to make and be recognized for its vital contributions to research in technology, medicine, and other industries.
So, why is Israel singled out for taking identical promotional actions as several other countries? Is this evidence of some bias when it comes to Post reporting on Israel? Well, is any other country impugned or maligned in a story as unimportant as the gifts actors and directors can expect to receive at the Academy Awards?
BBC silent on latest Gaza Strip smuggling attempt
Sadly, there is nothing novel about the BBC failing to report on terror-related abuses of the system of entry of goods into the Gaza Strip.
Since the end of the 2014 conflict – during which BBC journalists self-conscripted to Hamas’ PR campaign against the border controls aimed at preventing the entry of weapons and dual-use goods into the Gaza Strip – the corporation has repeatedly failed to report on the issue of Hamas’ misappropriation of construction materials and has also ignored attempts to smuggle substances such as sulfuric acid and TDI into Gaza.
Moreover, whilst ignoring those stories the BBC has concurrently given platforms to the amplification of false information about restrictions on the types and amounts of goods entering the Gaza Strip.
Thai Nightclub Cancels Performance by Comedian Dieudonne Amid Fears of Antisemitic Routine, Offense to Jewish Community
A nightclub in Thailand cancelled a scheduled performance by French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala amid concerns over material in his act that may have been potentially offensive to Jews, the local newspaper Phuket Gazette reported on Tuesday.
A legal representative for the Illuzion nightclub in Phuket, where the show was slated to be held last month, said that the governor of Phuket contacted one of the club’s owners the night before the show and requested that it be cancelled, due to “the unknown content of Dieudonn่e’s speech, which could have disappointed and hurt the Jewish community.”
The legal aide said Illuzion was told that Simon Roded, the Israeli ambassador to Thailand and Cambodia, made a “direct request” to Thailand’s prime minister to cancel the show by M’bala M’bla, who has been convicted a number of times for antisemitism and hate speech. The prime minister then contacted the Phuket governor, who relayed the request to Illuzion’s owners and explained the situation.
“Illuzion immediately cancelled the contract for renting its space to the event organizer,” the legal representative said. “Illuzion management would like to apologize to the Jewish community for the accident and welcome the Israeli ambassador to make direct contact with the Illuzion team for any clarification.”
Hungarian Jews oppose statue of anti-Semitic official
A key Jewish organization in Hungary is calling for the cancellation of the unveiling of a statue of a Holocaust-era politician who supported anti-Semitic laws.
The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Religious Communities said Tuesday that Gyorgy Donath’s support for the Holocaust made him unworthy of a statue even if he later became a victim of communism. Donath was executed in 1947 after a show trial based on trumped-up charges.
Former Prime Minister Peter Boross and an official from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party are scheduled to speak at Wednesday’s unveiling just a block from the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest.
In December, Hungary cancelled unveiling a statue to another anti-Semitic politician after complaints from Jewish groups and the United States.
Meet 5 Israeli start-ups driving disability tech
After a missile strike during the 1973 Yom Kippur War left Omer Zur’s father paralyzed from the chest down, his dad vowed to continue life as normal. But there was one Israeli pastime he couldn’t enjoy: hiking.
“He’d say, ‘I’ll go in the car and meet you on the other side,’” said Zur, a certified Israeli tour guide. “I said, ‘Why can’t he do this with us?’”
In 2008, Zur decided that he and his wheelchair-user father would complete a 300-mile trek in southern Turkey. With the help of dozens of friends who joined them on segments of the hike, Zur and his father were able to complete the trail, sleep in tents and cook meals over an open fire.
The hike sparked Paratrek, a startup Zur founded in 2014 that aims to make hiking accessible to people with paraplegia by outfitting wheelchairs with accessories that enable them to travel over rough terrain.
The company is one of several start-ups focused on improving the lives of the nearly 1 million Israelis with disabilities.
Israel approves drug that prevents HIV infection
The Health Ministry approved a preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) program to prevent HIV transmission on Tuesday, making Israel one of the first countries to implement it.
PrEP involves healthy but high-risk people taking medications that significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection or of carriers infecting others.
The Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee, headed by Kulanu MK Eli Alalouf, discussed the subject on Tuesday.
Dr. Yuval Livnat, director-general of the Israel AIDS Task Force, said that while anyone can be infected, one cannot ignore the fact that men who have sex with men are the most susceptible and part of the largest group at risk.
While most homosexuals use condoms, those that don’t need PrEP to prevent infection, he added. Many heterosexuals who don’t use contraception are at risk because of their habits, and they need such protection as well.
The drugs are to be handed out at AIDS centers in hospitals and clinics that serve homosexuals, in addition to health fund clinics. The ministry is soon to decide whether to give the drug to those who inject hard drugs and women at high risk.
Gay Iranian poet said to seek asylum in Israel
Iranian poet Payam Feili’s three month visa to Israel is coming to an end, and he now seeks asylum in the country he says he “fell in love” with.
According to a report in the Jordanian Al Bawaba news website, the openly-gay Feili is requesting asylum from Israeli authorities due to the danger posed to his life if he were to ever return to Iran.
The report speculates that though Israeli officials are unhappy with his move to seek permanent residence after entering the country as a visitor, they are inclined to approve his request due to his situation.
Feili fled his native Iran last year because of the persecution he faced over his sexuality.
The 30-year-old poet stands out not only because of his arrival in a country so at odds with his own, but because of his professed adoration for the state some Iranian leaders have dubbed a cancer and have called to be wiped off the map.
Archaeologists discover unprecedented fabric collection dating to Kings David, Solomon
In an unprecedented discovery, Tel Aviv University archaeologists recently uncovered an extensive collection of ancient fabrics in the Arava Valley dating back to the era of Kings David and Solomon, shedding unparalleled light on the historical fashions of the Holy Land.
The excavation – carried out at the ancient copper mines of Timna, and led by TAU’s Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef – revealed the 3,000-year-old collection of textiles, which included diverse colors, design and origin, the university announced on Wednesday.
The area of the dig, located between the Dead Sea and Eilat, is believed by some researchers to be the site of King Solomon’s mines.
“The arid conditions of the mines have seen the remarkable preservation of 3,000-year-old organic materials, including seeds, leather and fabric, and other extremely rare artifacts that provide a unique window into the culture and practices of this period,” the university said.
“The textiles also offer insight into the complex society of the early Edomites, the semi-nomadic people believed to have operated the mines at Timna.”

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