...speaking at an Israeli museum opening in the West Bank hours after US President Barack Obama called in a speech in Cairo for a halt in settlement construction...also attended by Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov (Yisrael Beiteinu), Head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank Brig. General Yoav Mordechai and Director-General of the Antiquities Authority Shuka Dorfman, as well as respected persons from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities...[Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin said]:
"The opening of this site as a museum is a refreshing building project in days in which there is a grave threat to the settlements and to the legitimacy of our presence here...Any opening of an important site such as this is a clear and significant statement that we have not abandoned these regions and will not cease in underscoring our national and historic roots in these areas...he added that his dedication speech was not meant to serve as a rebuttal to Obama's speech in Cairo a few hours prior, saying that "our commitment to this piece of land did not start today or with the beginning of President Obama's tenure. Cultural and archeological rehabilitation efforts began over 40 years ago."
...The museum, located along the Jersualem-Jericho road, sits in a spot affiliated with the Byzantine Empire – the location of the story of the good Samaritan. Even in the event of Israeli land concessions that include maintaining position of primary settlement blocks in the West Bank, the spot would not be likely to remain in Israeli hands.
Friday, June 05, 2009
On Historical and Religious Roots