After Nearly 150 Years, the French Government Will Open to the Public the Burial Ground of an Ancient Jewish Queen

Although the tomb of Queen Helena of Adiabene (a kingdom located in what is now Iraq) is located in the West Bank city of Nablus (Shechem), it has been under French control since 1885. French authorities announced that, for the first time, it will be opened to visitors. Hagay Hacohen explains the site’s history:

The people of the ancient kingdom of Adiabene had converted to Judaism in the 1st century CE, while Queen Helena moved to Jerusalem to build palaces for herself and her sons, Izates bar Monobaz and Monobaz II, [who are buried there as well]. The French archaeologist Louis Félicien de Saulcy, who studied the site in 1863, thought he had found the burials grounds of the House of David.

The Jewish community, outraged by de Saulcy’s removal of human remains—which is against Jewish religious law—demanded he stop his work. The French archaeologist eventually did so, but not before he made sure the discovered sarcophagi and other findings would be shipped to Paris, where today they are preserved at the Louvre.

To prevent further damages, the site was bought by the French-Jewish Péreire family and given to the government of France on the condition it would keep the site for the benefit of the Jewish people.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, France

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media