49 thoughts on “Israeli Knesset Bars Reporting Names of Soldiers Accused of Killing of Palestinians – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I would say that prohibiting publication of names is silly in this day and age just because for practical matters it won’t work. In the same vein I also think that laws against “revenge porn” or publishing celebrity hacks (fappening) is just as silly – it doesn’t work.

    If they wanted this to work, then they should have stipulated that all IDF personnel should use a nom de guerre throughout their service (like the French foreign legion (at least in the past)).

    Regarding application in the United States – I don’t think it is as far fetched as you describe. Following the death threats, extreme danger, and loss of livelihood of Darren Wilson (and his immediate family), an officer that was cleared of all charges regarding his shooting of an assailant who attacked him (punching, turning back, and charging) during a stop after he was involved in a violent robbery (of a convienance store) –
    Such a policy would not be far fetched in America, definitely not far fetched under a possible Trump administration.

    regarding Rockefeller museum – it is even more complicated than you state as the museum itself has finds from all of Mandatory Palestine (including areas held by Israel from 1948, and including not). I think it also contains finds from outside the mandate (or to be more precise the post transjordan mandate) – British standards of where finds belong (look at the royal museum in London….) were quite different back then….. So it is not just a question of the museum as a whole – but rather a find-by-find (or exhibit by exhibit) question.

  2. “There is only one purpose for this law”

    To protect wrongly accused soldiers who may want to venture abroad at some time in their lives?

    “defenceless Palestinian victim”

    The ‘victim’ was the Israeli soldier that the deceased had stabbed.

    “a great deal of the cultural patrimony of the Palestinian nation”

    Really? What is Palestinian about Egyptian, Jewish, Greco-Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman relics?

    1. @ Trippin’ Jon:

      The ‘victim’ was the Israeli soldier that the deceased had stabbed.

      No, there were two murdered Palestinians that day. The boy Azarya killed had not wounded the Israeli soldier. He had accompanied the other Palestinian who had stabbed him. So Azarya murdered a boy who hadn’t done anything wrong at all.

      As for whether we should define an Israeli with a light stab wound or a murdered Palestinian shot at point blank range as a “victim,” I know which one most reasonable people would choose to call victim.

      What is Palestinian about Egyptian, Jewish, Greco-Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman relics?

      Archaeological relics and artifacts are under the control of the country in which they are found. So anything found on a country’s sovereign territory belongs to that country. Most of the world recgonzies Palestine as a sovereign country. Israel is almost the only state that recognizes its Occupation land grab. That means that the contents/assets in the Rockefeller Museum, whatever their origin (Byzantine, Roman, etc.), belong to Palestine, not Israel.

    2. In support of Richard’s reply, I will add that it’s not even a crime to attack, wound, or kill military personnel of an occupying power on active duty. The right to resist occupation is protected under international law. What is a crime, a war crime, is killing either civilians or soldiers who pose no immediate threat. The soldiers of the Israeli Occupation Force are adept at fulfilling the overt and covert racism and brutality of their society, and I look forward to hearing their and their superiors’ use of the Nuremberg Defence being struck down.

  3. You completely misrepresnt the Rockefeller Museum case.

    First, Israel isn’t going to “move its entire library and collection” but only the library. Huge difference. Why would you make such false claim?

    Second, it isn’t “cultural patrimony of the Palestinian nation”. The are artifacts there from all over British Mandate territory. Again, why would you make such false claim?

    The museum location happened to be in East Jerusalem but that is simply randomly there. A site near King David Hotel was considered as well ( https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%96%D7%99%D7%90%D7%95%D7%9F_%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%A7%D7%A4%D7%9C%D7%A8 ) which proves the site chosen has little to do with the origin of the artifact.

    1. Your first sentence makes you guilty of your own charge of “false claim“ by exagerating a (if it is) misunderstanding of the degree of the “Move“. The degree of the crime, not proof of or even claim of innocence of what is a crime. This is evidence of prejudicial morals which I find when exposed publicly would help the weak minded to believe the worst of Jews. Please tell this forum you are not Jewish., pretty Please?

      Moving along,
      You are(whats the euphemism?) mis-speaking (again?) : The museum with it’s library does house a collection gathered from and created for sharing just what you seek to deny, the patrimony of Palestine and the peoples-cultures which surrounded and influenced them. This all done by eminent professionals with that their stated goal. Result of your 2 cents ? See fears above.

      The arguement (SIC??) that the museum “is simply randomly there.“ that another site was possible, before there was an “israel“ with the implication being AGAIN to justify criminal acts of-by Jews-zionists is so sleazy and despicable. Again the misrepresentation of Jews as ethically challenged , bankrupt or phobic is the sort of Harm which the Wiesenthal inst. would pursue to the full extent of the law, if it represented the well being of Jews and Jewish values instead of Zionism and Zionist “morality.

      PLEASE work more intelligently on your ..? critique’s..? sensitive to the fact that Jews are misrepresented already too much to our lasting harm and that authors such as Mr. Silverstein,( whatever you might think of their writing).perform a most invaluable service that to supply our chance of being seen and known fairly and as part of the answer to a problem, not just THE problem.

      1. @ Darrell: I don’t see any reason to introduce “Jews” into this thread. Let’s discuss Israel and Israelis and be very careful when we conflate them with Jews. Also, the Wiesenthal Center is completely off topic. Stay on topic. Only comment on the subject of the post itself.

        1. The original official name of the Rockefeller Museum was Palestine Archaeological Museum. When “Israelis” took over in 1967 the museum the name was officially changed and the Palestine Archaeological Museum name was “erased”. And “Israelis” begun then fast to “Israelize” the history of the area, of which one proof is the present action. The Museum is currently jointly managed by the Israel Museum and the Israel Antiquities Authority. And as from their internet page of the Rockefeller Museum we can read that in 3 museums existed in Eretz-Israel before this Museum. Palestine is in that “presentation” totally “erased” by “Israelis”.

          How on earth can about the long conflict in question can be discussed without the J.. dimension. Israel is declared to be the Jewish state. The term Israelis means all citizens of Israel. With the term Israelis the real core of the “conflict” vanishes totally. It was not a multicultural secular movement, like which conquered Israel. The whole “idea” was built on religious, historical assumptions and believes. Also the influence of religion on the side of Israelis (in this case the two major blocks) becomes more and more obvious every single day. Sadly it is only the religion of the invader which gives the excuses to take the lands and forms most of the frames how the country is in reality ruled. Israel is a theocracy, not yet ruled by priests but increasingly obviously religious and hostile towards “others” .

          1. SimoHurtta; I am new to this Blog and wish to respect Mr. Silverstein’s parameters even while they are strange to me so I will just restrict myself to thank you for expressing what troubles and even angers so many of the Gentiles I speak with on this occupation.

          2. @ Simohurrta: I told you I didn’t want to continue on this path & you promptly ignored me.

            Israel may be declared by some to be “the Jewish state.” But not all Jews see it that way. If you have a beef with those who define Israel as a supremacist Jewish state, this isn’t the place to take it up. I define Israel as a state of all its citizens, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc. THose are the terms on which I’d prefer us to engage. I don’t want to fight on behalf of anyone who defines Israel differently.

            Actually, Zionism originally was an entirely secular movement. That’s why Bibi himself is completely secular as are a number of Israeli Zionist politicians. Their understanding of Jewish identity is solely historical & nationalist and not based on religion at all except as a historical dimension.

            Today of course that’s entirely different. Religion has infused itself into both the Zionism and Palestinian nationalism. As such, it has largely poisoned both. Or at least made them much more toxic than they were before.

        2. Dear Sir, I did not “conflate Jews with israeli`s“ I resent the accusation, if you knew how long and thru how much hardship I have worked to keep them seperate you might understand. As for “Jews“ being “inappropriate“ I will blame my being confused (?) by the title of this blog , knowing where it comes from, what it admonishes me to do and even the inclusion of it in Hebrew . The subtleties of your goals as regards discourse are too likely to find me re-offending, so I shall excuse myself. I will continue to read your very good articles where I may do no harm to my blood pressure.

          1. The “Jewish” dimension of discussions of Israel/Zionism is unavoidable inasmuch as world Jewry supports Israel, certainly American Jews support Israel. “Israelis” is an insufficient identification of the party at issue in such discussion even though it reflects citizens or people carrying Israeli passports perhaps. It is a grammatical commonplace to attribute a state’s actions to the “people”; in the case of Israel, it would not be wrong to attribute such actions to “Jews” as such.

            If we say “The Germans invaded the Soviet Union” we know this to be a falsehood as no every German participated in the invasion, yet the majority of Germans supported the government which did so. Likewise, Jews worldwide support Israel’s government and can be cited as the actors by using the grammatical shorthand.

            The word “Jew” is already heavily laden with politically correct guidelines and is rarely used. I think these prohibitions need to be busted if progress on I/P is to be forthcoming. When a bomb falls on Gaza, it is the Jews (in the shorthand sense) who are dropping this bomb, not Israelis, a term not even the Jewish Israelis seem to like.

          2. @David: I completely disagree. Israel doesn’t represent all Jews & the notion that it does violates everything that is important to me.

            There is a vast difference between “Germans” and “Jews.” Germans have a government which represents them and speaks in their name. Jews have no overarching governing body which represents them, and it is certainly not Israel.

            Diaspora Jews may support Israel in a vague undefined way. But no Diaspora Jew would agree that Israel should represent them in the same way that the Germans or U.S. government represents Germans or Americans. If that were so then all Jews would be citizens of Israel wherever they lived, and not just when they make aliyah.

            I don’t care what your views on this subject are. If you conflate Israelis & Jews such views will not be welcome here.

    2. @ Danny:

      Israel isn’t going to “move its entire library and collection” but only the library. Huge difference. Why would you make such false claim?

      No, actually YOU are the one who is wrong as this account of the ruling shows:

      The petition was submitted following the Israel Antiquities Authority’s decision to transfer the library to West Jerusalem along with a collection of coins recently taken out from the museum.

      Why would YOU make such a false claim? Not to mention that once Israel moves the library and the coin collection there is nothing stopping it at a later date from completely dispossessing the rest of the collection. If you believe Israel would never do such a thing I have a bridge to sell you & some beachfront property in central Florida.

      The are artifacts there from all over British Mandate territory. Again, why would you make such false claim?

      Again a false claim:

      part of the artifacts originate in the West Bank

      Why would YOU make such a false claim? YOu’ve violated one of my cardinal rules: if you wish to dispute any claims I make read EVERY source to which my post links BEFORE you write a comment. Do NOT waste my time making claims which the sources themselves would show were false. The Emek Shaveh source I used is clearly linked in my post. Yet you thought better of spening 90 seconds reading it. Instead you waste my 3 minutes here writing this comment.

      I’m amused that you thought that John D. Rockefeller spent several million dollars in 1938 on building a museum on a “random site.” Do you think Donald Trump built the Trump Tower on a “random site?” Better yet, did Zionists choose Israel as a random site to build a state? Or ancient Israelites choose to settle in Israel as a “random site?” Is New York City built on a random site–could it just as easily have been built say, in Binghampton or Nome, Alaska? Of course not. Nor is the Rockefeller sited randomly. It is in Palestinian East Jerusalem. All the contents of the Museum are Palestinian, not Israeli. Nor does the world recognize Israel’s annexation of Palestine, its land, or cultural assets. Hence, this is a flagrantly illegal & provocative act of cultural despoilation.

  4. Thanks Richard. I agree things almost have to get worse before they get better, and they are definitely getting worse.

    I found a link to this post on Yakov Hirsch’s twitter feed. If you are not reading him, he’s well worth the time.

  5. “Please tell this forum you are not Jewish., pretty Please?” – Of course I am. But why you ask about my religion and not my nationality. There is a name for that and it is not islamophob!

    “exagerating a (if it is) misunderstanding of the degree of the “Move“” – Oh, please. Are you saying Richard can’t read?

    1. What a shame. I guess the sort that Ben Gurion wanted when he said that “ Jews will have to rid themselves of their Jewishness in order to become israeli.(sic)“. And interesting the “nationality “ request as the one nationality the israel supreme court will not describe is israeli because it would be only Jewish and they-the government know just how henious that would reveal the enterprize to be. kind of an aryan – not aryan thing but you can’t see that.

      I was trying to give both you and Mr. Silverstein the benifit of the doubt when I wrote. He by my not discrediting his forum by appearing blindly in his corner and you when I acted as though you were able to understand the words that make up reading. I see my effort was misplaced, in one case.

      As disheartening as it is to interact with …Some people..sometimes, I would like to thank-you for helping, albeit inadvertently, to disprove the old racist tropes that “Jews are all smarter than Gentiles“ and that “the Jews stick together and all agree with whatever israel does.“ Way to help out..there….. Danny(?)
      Hope you make it to the beach today.

      1. DARRELL – your cute neo-anti-semitism doesn’t fool anyone.

        I’m not going to argue with someone who hates me for the religion I was born for especially when, I must admit, most for your arguments has nothing to do with Mr. Silverstein article. Can’t wait for him to ban you.


        1. @ Danny: If you sneezed you’d tell us you had cancer. An awkward comment doesn’t constitute anti-Semitism. And I’ve informed the commenter that I found the introduction of Jews into his comment to be inappropriate. But I don’t need you to advise me of what my editorial policy should be.

          1. Seems like you are way more sensitive about Islamophobia then about antisemitism.

            Guys like that who wink at anti-Zionism while making antisemitic statements are the reason why so many fall into the trap of blaming all anti-Zionism as antisemitism. I believe anti-Zionism is completely legitimate which is exactly why provocateurs like DARRELL are dangerous to the dialog.

            It is sad your blog, Richard, harbor such behavior.

          2. @Danny: Oh, I don’t know. There are commenters who might say the same about harboring Palestine deniers, Islamophobes, and Kahanist racialists here.

            In case, you hadn’t noticed, this blog wasn’t created to satisfy your editorial standards.

  6. “The Museum, founded in 1938, pre-dates Israel’s existence and contains a great deal of the cultural patrimony of the Palestinian nation.”

    1938 predates Israel’s existence as well as the Palestinian nation, which has actually yet to come into existence itself.

    1. @ John F. : Despite my reminders to do so, you clearly never read the comment rules. Palestine denial (as well as Israel denial) is a capital offense here. I could ban you. But I will moderate you so that comments which respect the rest will be published. Do not post another comments here without reading the comment rules.

  7. “The less the public knows about crimes committed in its name the less it will clamor for accountability.”

    Gee, you are optimistic…
    As the things stand now, the Israeli public is mostly interested not in accountability of the soldiers or the policemen who killed Palestinians without justification, but in having those soldiers and policemen considered heroes in any case. Yaalon and Eisenkot say they don’t want the IDF to be a gang. Well, a gang is just what the public wants, provided that it be the strongest gang in the neighborhood. (In the long run it cannot work that way, and career generals are trained to think about the long run, but who heeds them in this era of populism?)
    I think this law is stupid, but if it can do anything to the accountability of security personnel accused of murder (and other crimes), it will rather strengthen the said accountability. Information leaks, especially when it is produced from the outset by non-Israeli sources. So the name of the next Azarya will be publicized everywhere but Israel. Big deal. The name and the story will still be around, the military authorities will have to investigate the matter, but the common crowd will be unable to put out support shows for the next accused the way it does for Azarya. The unintended consequences of the law can be quite ironic.

  8. My dear Mr Silverstein:
    1) The law defines that any soldier or officer accused of a crime cannot be identified until after establishment of guilt. For any alleged crime. This is quite logical, as to prevent innocent people from spending the rest of their lives with a stain of having ‘been accused.’
    2) As for the museum artifacts – Any artifacts uncovered in Israel, be it ‘Israel proper’ or Judea and Samaria – such as places live Hebron, Shilo, Beit El, etc. are certainly the property of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. There never was a ‘palestinian people’ culture or anything else. Period.

    1. @ George Habash: Apparently you didn’t ‘read the memo’ or comment rules. Palestine denial is a banning offense. You are now moderated. Respect comment rules in future or you will lose your privileges completely here.

      1. Apparently you take Palestine denial a lot more serious than antisemitism.

        Classy neo-liberal. Surprising for a Jewish man.

        1. @ Danny: No, I take both equally seriously. But unfortunately for you, when you have a cold I know it’s a cold. When you have a cold, you’re confused & think it’s cancer. We have entirely different definitions of anti-Semitism. Mine is reasonable. Yours is the shrill cry of the Boy who Called Wolf.

          Move on. You’re done in this thread. Make your comments directly related to the post. I have no interest in discussing my editorial decisions of how I define anti-Semitism or Palestinophobia. Get bogged down in this & you won’t be long for this blog.

  9. In the Netherlands it is the custom not to publish the name of anyone accused OR CONVICTED of any crime. The first name and the initial of the last name is the only thing that appears in newspapers.
    In case of famous crimes, such information can be found on the internet (think of the murder of Pim Fortuyn, or Theo van Gogh) but in general anonimity still rules.

    The idea is that you do your time, and afterwards should have a chance of a normal life again.
    I cherish this custom, although it may not survive.

      1. Still, I would like to see people prosecuted as Elor A., Alon B, Bibi N. etc. As long as they are prosecuted. The failing of the system in Israel is not to do with naming the accused soldiers or border guards, but with the fact that they are simply not accused at all, whatever they do.

  10. Given that a significant chunk of the Dead Sea scrolls were housed in the Rockefeller Museum prior to 1967, would you say that these scrolls are the national patrimony of the Palestinian people and should be placed in their custody?

    1. @ pea: Since the Essenes who created those scrolls were rebels who defied both Roman power and Judean religious leaders & society, on what basis would Israel make a claim to them? If the Essenes lived today they’d reject Israeli power as readily as they did Roman power. So yes, the Rockefeller Museum should be a Palestinian museum and its holdings should be administered by Palestine. Of course, both Israeli & Palestinian museums should agree to share their holdings in terms of lending for exhibitions, when the artifacts of one museum are relevant to the other.

      An alternative would be to have a single state in which all the museums assets are controlled by a unitary state incorporating both Israeli Jews and Palestinians. I’d find that acceptable as well. And it would end this nonsense over who should own what; and it would end the theft of assets by one side of the other’s.

      1. The Essenes were Jewish and the writings of the Dead Sea scrolls were all Jewish. But again, barring a one State solution, do you advocate returning the scrolls to a competent Palestinian authority? And while I’m here, again, barring a one state solution, should the Jewish Quarter in the old city be emptied of its Jewish residents and should the Kotel be controlled by a competent Palestinian authority as well?

        1. @ pea: You’ve been commenting here long enough that you’ve read, or should have read my answers to some of your questions. Please don’t ask me questions I’ve already answered in the past. It bores the crap out of me.

          Spinoza was Jewish too. As Jewish as the Essenes were. Why do you think they lived in caves in the dessert? Because they were so fond of the rest of Judean society and leadership?

          Since the scrolls were found during the period of the British Mandate, which predated both Israel and Palestine, it’s a complicated issue. Arguments could be made in a number of ways. But since the Rockefeller Museum held the scrolls, then it has a leg up in terms of proving ownership. Since the Museum is located in East Jerusalem, yes the scrolls belong to Palestine. But as I’ve written here, I believe that all artifacts in all Palestinian or Israeli museums that are relevant to the other party should be shared or placed in rotating exhibitions so that they’re accessible to both sides. This would require a willingness to compromise & trust that doesn’t exist on the Israeli side. But if Israel refuses such an arrangement, then the scrolls should remain in Palestinian hands until it does agree.

          Settlers, no matter where they live (in Occupied Palestine) need not be expelled from their homes. Israel has done enough of that to the Palestinians to have it repeated for Jews. But settlers coming under Palestinian sovereignty must agree to be subject to that sovereignty. They must be subject to Palestinian laws & citizenship. Unless an arrangement may be negotiated between Israel & Palestine that gives citizens of the other country special status.

          Jerusalem since 1949 was supposed to be an international city, not a city controlled by Palestine or Israel. Holy sites should be supervised internationally. That would obviate the problem of Israeli control of the Western Wall. Of course, this should mean the Palestinians should cede control of their site to international supervision as well.

          If this can’t be agreed, then given that Israel conquered Jerusalem in 1967 & has never agreed to a peace agreement or to observe international law regarding such conquest, then yes it probably would have to return the territory to Jordanian control. Since it would be motivated to avoid such an eventuality at all costs, this should motivate Israel to come to some compromise on the matter.

          I really hate Gotcha questions like the ones you raised. They’re silly as they’re intended not to elicit information, but to elicit a response you believe would be embarrassing to my point of view. In this case, you failed.

          1. Sigh. There was no attempt at “gotcha.” My questions were sincere and your response (except for the last part) was informative and thought provoking as well as a much appreciated and clear articulation of your position in this area. For instance, I never knew that you felt that settlers could stay as long as they were willing to respect Palestinian sovereignty. Thank you for your response. My question was, I assure you, completely innocent.

          2. @pea: I have expressed my views about settlers remaining a number of times here. I even wrote a post about Rabbi Froman, who pioneered this perspective, where I’m sure I pointed this out.

  11. So back to the “cultural patrimony of the Palestinian nation” – as someone who accepts both Israel and Palestine as sovereign nations, how do you define what belong to whom?
    Basing it on the random 1949 Armistice lines can’t be right. What does that have to do with historic significance of either culture? Does mosaics from a Jericho Jewish Synagogue belong to the Palestinian b/c of its location? Does Historic Islamic artifacts from Acre belong to Israel? The Jewish-Muslim geographical history is so intertwine that basing it on those borders makes no sense to begin with, not to mention, basing it on the location of the museum makes even less sense.

    1. @ Danny: You’re confusing national borders with cultural assets. As I’ve already said (you weren’t paying attention apparently), national borders are determinative regarding control of cultural assets. A piece of Byzantine art discovered in the West Bank isn’t going to be returned to Turkey.

      A perfect example of the problem you’ve exposed is Israel’s belief that any Jewish cultural asset discovered anywhere in the world may be viewed as Israel’s property. This is how the Syrian Aleppo Codex was expropriated from Syria and ended up in the Israeli national library. It was essentially stolen from the Syrian Jewish community and whisked away to Israel without the permission of Syria or its Jewish community. This was an act of cultural plunder.

      If you have a problem with borders, you may solve it by recognizing a single Israel-Palestine state with sovereignty over all cultural assets within its territory. That way, there will be no dispute over who owns what. I’m OK with that. How about you?

      1. 1. So you have no problem with transferring artifacts that were not excavated in the West Bank to Israel? Or is the fact it was housed for a few decades in the West Bank is so significant?

        2. You version of how the Syrian Aleppo arrived to Israel has nothing to do with what actually happened. You elegantly skipped the pogroms of 1947 in Aleppo when it disappeared and many believed it was destroyed. I tried to find anything on the internet the would resemble your interpertation but came empty handed. Can you please share a link to any scholar who also define this rescue mission as an expropriation???

        1. @ Danny: If artifacts after excavation were placed in a Museum in Palestine then they should stay there or revert to it, unless there is an agreement with Palestinian authorities about transferring ownership or sharing them with Israeli museums. You can’t simply unilaterally remove artifacts from one jurisdiction to another as international law makes clear. I note that you’re sidestepping this issue because it’s rather inconvenient to your position.

          Your history of the Aleppo Codex is faulty as usual. The Codex was stolen from Syria in 1958, 11 yrs after what you call “pogroms.” If it was truly in danger why wasn’t it moved earlier? Second, the Syrian Jewish community owned this document. Not Israel. Israel had no right to steal it. Further, once it arrived in Israel it was placed in a research institute, but the President of Israel transferred it to state ownership without the approval even of those who originally transferred it to Israel.

          THere are numerous media articles documenting Israel’s perfidy in this matter. There are Syrian Jews in the U.S. who have protested as well. It’s not my job to compensate for the inadequacy of your research capabilities. But I will in this one case: there are numerous articles listed in Google searches which detail this theft. This is one of them. This article notes that Israel looted many Arab Jewish sacred texts, not just the Codex. And the Syrian Jewish community actually sued Israel for stealing its Codex. At least one entire book was devoted to this.

          You somehow missed all this. I wonder why?

          1. And if they were placed in a museum in London they should stay there as well? Don’t they become cultural patrimony of the British nation?

            As for the codex, the article you attach also describes it as a rescue mission and write it was hidden between 1947 and 1958.

          2. @ Danny: “If” is the operative word. If your mother was married to your brother she’d be your aunt. The British have also plundered Greek cultural treasures and by removing them to the British Museum. This is precisely what Israel has done to the Rockefeller Museum.

            I’m glad to see that even if you can’t do research online you are able to click & follow a link.

            The article I linked to also has this passage you conveniently neglected to include:

            Friedman lays bare a disturbing parallel story of European Zionist snobbery toward Jews from Arab countries that enabled the looting of the Codex, its concealment and its appropriation by an exclusive research institute, headed by President Ben-Zvi.

            The Aleppo Codex is not the only case of such plundering. When the Jews of Yemen came to Israel, writes Friedman, they left all their property behind but brought their books, mostly manuscripts and Torah scrolls, many of them ancient. Friedman explains that Ben-Zvi’s associates had a large appetite for ancient Hebrew books from the east, including those of Yemenite Jews. When the latter group immigrated, they were told to deposit their books with the staff of transit camps. Many of them never saw their books again.

            Ben-Zvi later said that when he visited the Aden transit camp in 1959, he scanned books to see if there was anything of value for his institute. The Yemenite rabbis who asked for their books back found they had disappeared. One wrote an angry letter to the Jewish Agency, asking how the books had been safe in an Arab country, but stolen in the Land of Israel. Another says he was told that if he continued to pester anyone about his books, he would be forced to pay the cost of his immigration to Israel.

            Friedman pays special attention to the proceedings of a trial in which the heads of Aleppo’s Jewish community brought a lawsuit against the State of Israel for stealing the Codex. The state was accused of abusing its power and bribing the emissary in Turkey. Ultimately, the state pressured the Aleppo community to sign a compromise agreement for joint ownership of the Codex, stipulating that it would be kept at the Ben-Zvi Institute and moved only with approval of the joint board of trustees. The stated reason was the welfare of the Codex.

            Please remember my comment thread rule. If you’ve commented more than three times in a single thread, you’ve probably reached your limit. You’ve conveyed all the argument & ideas you have and will undoubtedly begin repeating yourself. So let’s end this now and move on to another thread.

          3. wow.
            You are truly able to read anything you want into any text.

            He may suggest Israel took false ownership but he still refers to it as rescue mission. You brought this as an example to cultural artifacts that should have stayed at their origin.

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