Tuesday, September 27, 2016

France: Archaelogy - historian slams Israel on France Culture radio

Véronique Chemla reported on her blog that during a programme, Concordances des temps on the subject of "the destruction of the memory of the other as a weapon of war", aired on France Culture on September 10, Israel was yet again slammed.  

The host Jean-Noël Jeanneney discussed with Maurice Sartre, a professor of ancient history at the University of Tours, the destruction of Palmyra by Daech.

Professor Maurice Sartre claimed, without citing a single example, that Israelis destroy the "Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank" to connvey the idea that there was no Palestinian presence in the West Bank, or that if there was one it only very marginal.   

Maurice Sartre further added that the State of Israel does not respect the Convention of The Hague of 1954. Archaological searches are carried out by Israeli teams on the "occupied" West Bank and in the "occupied" Syrian Golan - the latter for the last 30 to 40 years.  

He explained that a book published in Israel on the subject had elicited smiles from many archaeologists and historians.  It presented all ancient unidentified buildings in the villages as synagogues. The purpose was to show that in Antiquity the Golan was inhabited by Jews. Professor Sartre acknowled that this is partially true and that there were large Jewish communities in the Golan.  But the way things are presented is a political maneouvre to appropriate historically a territory which has been the object of conflicts between two countries at war for close to 70 years. 

Jean-Noël Jeanneney did not dispute this. 

Véronique Chemla points out that neither historian mentioned the destruction of Jewish archaeological remains by the Palestinian Authority, including the WAQF on the Mount Temple, nor the influence of Nazism on archaeological research in Germany and France nor the role of archaeology in scientific French diplomacy.

read the whole piece in French on Véronique Chemla's blog 

This gives a pretty good idea of how Israel is presented by academics in France.

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