A Day at the Museum
by Bat Ye’or
Translated from the French by Jean Szlamowicz
Last December, as I had been invited to give a lecture at a conference on anti-Semitism in London (2nd December 2012), I decided to make a quick visit to the British Museum. I used to visit this shrine dedicated to memory quite frequently with my husband when we were students at the Institute of Archaeology. But this solitary visit was a pilgrimage to me.
Right from the main entrance hall you could see the spectacular sculptures from Assyria and Egypt. There were the breathtakingly realistic bas-reliefs from the palace of Assyrian King Sennacherib (705-681 BC) in Nineveh. Their stone engravings told the Biblical story of the siege of Lachish, in Judea, around 701 BC. You could see figures of people fighting from the top of the ramparts, others fleeing the fortress through secret doors and lines of men, women and children in shackles being taken away. Reduced to slavery the Hebrews were going to the far away land of Assyria where the enslaved Judeans would also be deported a century later by Nebuchadnezzar. They would weep on the shores of Babylon, longing for the beauty of Jerusalem and Zion. Three thousand years later their lament, echoed through history from generation to generation, would inspire the genius of Verdi. In his opera Nabucco, he gave life to their songs in his magnificent ode to freedom”” the Hebrews” chant.
Further along stands the black obelisk of Shalmaneser (859-824 BC) with five engraved tiers where you can see a procession of figures bearing tribute from the vassal kings. Each scene bears a script naming them. On the second register a figure brings the tribute from King Jehu of Israel (841-814 BC) to the King of Assyria. As former keeper of Western Asiatic Antiquities at the British Museum T.C. Mitchell points out in his book, the museum is host to many pieces that bear witness to Biblical history.
But why am I telling you all this?
Well, Palestinian propaganda and its cohorts of EU bowdlerizing troops have also visited the Museum. Which is why all the information notes pertaining to the artifacts that mention the history of the Kingdoms of Judea and Israel now also mention the word “˜Palestine–” even three thousand years BC “” while the name was only given to the land in 135 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian when he incorporated it into the Roman Empire.
The Judean Kingdoms are nowhere to be found!
This anachronistic view is even more comic in Mitchell’s book, The Bible in the British Museum: Interpreting the Evidence. His interpretation is very much a contemporary one as no map of the ancient Near East ever mentions Judea in his book. On the other hand a small map claiming to depict a 2000 BC territory across both banks of the Jordan is called “˜Palestine” (p.18).
This is the only anachronistic name “” the other places all bear their ancient names, even the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires, which ceased to exist six hundred years BC or even Phoenicia, the distant ancestor to Lebanon. It is true that three pages are devoted to the chronology of the Kingdoms of Judea and Israel, running over a thousand years BC to 66 AD. But these kingdoms are missing from all the maps! How strange “” kingdoms without lands! The name “˜Palestine” has replaced them while, strangely enough (but only innocent minds would find it actually strange), the very same map carries the names Edom, Moab and Ammon “” and not Jordan, which was founded there by the British in 1922 AD.
The anachronistic name “˜Palestine” is mentioned several times
The author offers a lot of very sophisticated historical and archaeological accounts about many artifacts and texts that refer to the history of the people of Israel and confirm the Biblical narrative. Strangely enough though, all these descriptions feature the anachronistic name of Palestine several times. This reminded me of Steven Baum’s lecture at the Conference on anti-Semitism. Baum told us that many of his articles had been rejected by various academic publications on the grounds that “˜Palestine” had to be mentioned whenever “˜Israel” was being mentioned “” whatever the actual topic was.
Palestine, a European colony, the mirror of its anti-Semitic bias
As a matter of fact, since 1973, the EU has devoted its resources to “˜invent” a Palestinian people that was meant to replace Israel. The insidious war or Europe against the Hebrew State goes beyond its political dimension, beyond the constant propaganda, libel, misinformation and the poisonous attacks intended to paralyse Israel’s defence system. Such a war is also based on the billions stolen from European citizens and appropriated for the creation of a false state that is bound to operate on a dysfunctional basis, that is to say contemporary Palestine, a European colony and the mirror of its anti-Semitic stance.
The ancient Kingdoms of Judea and Israel whose names have been erased from maps
Suffering from division and teetering on the verge of bankruptcy hate-filled Europe has still been able to find the means to sponsor an army of pen-pushers who fastidiously label products from the ancient kingdoms of Judea and Israel whose names are no longer mentioned in the maps of its museums. Such a tag points to Israeli products as coming from the Euro-Palestinian colony and, as such, excludes them from European markets “” where one can find in abundance exports from countries where dictatorship, ethnic and religious cleansing, corporal and genital mutilations as well as terrorism reign supreme”” all in the name of Human Rights.
Palestinizing Biblical archaeology
Through the network of the Anna Lindh Foundation various forgers are busy palestinizing Biblical archaeology, surreptitiously stealing one people’s history to attribute it to another. Crossing out one word, censoring another, they dismiss artistic projects, discard literary works or the research of historians. They exclude Israelis from universities, blaming them as living proofs of the falsity of the Palestinian narrative they are forging. European leaders get together, think and plot the exclusion from scientific programmes of their colleagues “” whether Jews or Christians “” who stand for the extraordinary historical epic of Israel.
This large net of hatred devised by the European Commission embraces all Europe. The ethics of science and knowledge, the stable and rational reference points whose legacy harks back to Greek civilisation, seem to have disappeared. Koranic knowledge has now precedence through the “˜Palestine” narrative that calls jihad fighters “˜freedom fighters”.
A few days after my visit to the British Museum the EU was indulging itself with a Nobel Prize for Peace to the applauding cheers of the finest members of the elite of political cynicism. Obviously such an outrageous ceremony could only take place in Oslo”¦
Bat Ye’or is the author of Eurabia, Islam and Dhimmitude, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, The Dhimmi, and Europe, Globalization, and the Coming of the Universal Caliphate.