[I HATE QUOTING JEWS, but on this topic I will make an exception. There seem to be a few Jews in academic circles in the Jewish shithole of Israel who admit that Israel never existed. Jan]
Did Ancient Israel Exist?
Revisionist archaeologists are casting doubt on the glorious past of Israel depicted in the Bible, but one scholar deems their findings “fragile.”
“Memory in Ruins” by David Hazony, for the editors, in Azure (Winter 2004), 22A Hatzfira St., Jerusalem, Israel.
Are the glories and tragedies of ancient Israel little more than myth? That’s the thrust of a revisionist school of archaeology that has emerged in recent years. In this new archaeology, “the urge to smash myths has overtaken sound judgment,” contends Hazony, a senior editor of Azure.
Between the 1920s and the mid-1980s, biblical archaeologists working at hundreds of sites in the Middle East lent support to the Hebrew Bible’s account of a distinct Israelite people that emerged some 3,500 years ago, was enslaved in Egypt, entered Canaan, and established a unified kingdom under David and Solomon. Some of today’s debunkers, such as Keith W. Whitelam, author of The Invention of Ancient Israel (1996), “have an overtly political agenda,” notes Hazony. Whitelam argues that the traditional account is a fabrication created to justify the dispossession of the Palestinian Arabs. A more scholarly attack has been launched by a group of academics led by Israel Finkelstein, chairman of Tel Aviv University’s archaeology department. Finkelstein and his allies reject any use of biblical sources to corroborate the identification of archaeological discoveries. They argue that the impressive structures unearthed throughout Israel and long believed to have been built during Solomon’s reign in the 10th century B.C. were actually built a century later. Far from being the fabulous city described in the Bible, King David’s Jerusalem “was no more than a poor village,” Finkelstein told The New York Times.
The revisionist attack has won enormous worldwide publicity. Meanwhile, complains Hazony, leading archaeologists who uphold more conventional interpretations have handcuffed themselves. Hebrew University’s Amnon Ben-Tor and Amihai Mazar have confined their responses to academic journals. And unlike their predecessors, these scholars avoid any attempt to construct a coherent history of the period, contenting themselves with “detailed compendia of archaeological finds.” They shy away from research on the biblical era—not a single major biblical-era dig has been launched in Jerusalem. “For scholars like Ben-Tor,” Hazony says, “the question of what archaeology may mean for the larger issue of Jewish history is a danger to the scientific standing of the discipline.”
The revisionist case is “fragile,” in Hazony’s view, but scholars who refuse to seek out fresh evidence or to mold it into a coherent historical account will be poorly equipped to carry out the quest for truth.