Politics and the City of David

An article this week at The Christian Century doesn’t break any new ground on the political dimensions of the excavations in the City of David, but for those looking for an introduction to the subject, this is an easy place to begin.

The Israelis have continued to dig all around Jerusalem, while the Palestinians have tried to stop digs that they see as infringements on their sacred territory. In the 1990s, Muslims undertook their own dig on the southeast corner of the Temple Mount as part of providing new access to the Marwani Mosque (also known as Solomon’s Stables). The dig was criticized by Israelis for taking place without the proper archaeological supervision, and some Israeli archaeologists charged that the Muslim excavators hid evidence of ancient Jewish presence at the site.
Recently, attention has been focused on a site known as the City of David, which lies just south of Jerusalem’s Old City. Archaeologists are exploring a site on and around the stream of Gihon, a site associated with the origins of the city. Jerusalem, like so many cities, was founded on or near a water source.

The article has a few basic mistakes, and each side will disagree with parts of the presentation, but as an introduction to the subject, it serves its purpose.

City of David and Mount of Olives from southwest, tb091306406
City of David (center) and Silwan (right) from south (source)

One thought on “Politics and the City of David

  1. From Alexander Schick:
    The problem with this article is that the writer is very bad informed! The area of Ir David [the City of David] up to the so called "Tombs of the Kings" was bought in the beginning of the 20th century by Baron Rothschild to stop the Parker Mission and their "Christian" dig. Please take a careful look at the airflight pictures from that time in the internet [see links below] and explain the phrase "Sitting above these archaeological sites of the City of David are the homes of Palestinian Arabs, some of whom have been living there since before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948." I am really wondering, where you see this houses. Be careful if someone claims in the orient "my family is living here since centuries". If you research you will be surprised that the centuries will be only decades, like it happened to me when I searched for my own projects dealing with the excavations in this part of Jerusalem. Look carefully in the internet to the pictures from the the 20th century and you will see what happened in the late 70s and early 80s. There was starting a strong building activity by the Arabs. During the occupation by the Jordanians (1948-1967) this was not the case, because the Jordanians did know exactly about the property of the Rothschilds and they did know about the Jewish community which had been expelled from this area former. So the facts looks very different from the arguments in this article and I am wondering that such bad research is published in this Christian magazine. Pleae inform yourself carefully before writing and blaming people. You can be critically about the politic in Ir David and Silwan but please tell the truth and the facts!

    City of David in 1967
    City of David in 2009
    City of David from 1918 to 2009

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