31 October 2010

Looting the Holy Land

Great video produced by AlJazeera (thanks for the tip, Yo and Mo) about looting of cultural heritage in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. I wonder, is there a similar Israeli-produced video to give perspectives from the other side?

Filmmakers: Mariam Shahin and George Azar
Synopsis: Since 1967 countless artifacts have been unearthed and removed from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Many are displayed in Israeli museums and private collections, while others are sold to tourists.

For Israel, archeology has been a key tool in buttressing its territorial claims to historic Palestine. Archeological findings are used to assert ownership and to rename the territories they occupy.

Palestinians see the cultural heritage of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza as a central part of their ancestral birthright and ownership is key to building an economy based on pilgrimage and tourism.

Is the removal of historic treasures from the occupied territories a case of cultural preservation or stealing a heritage? What role has the science of archeology played in the Arab-Israeli dispute?

Al Jazeera searches through the evidence, unearthing the facts and exposing a power struggle in which every stone has meaning.

More than just property, the control of a cultural legacy is at stake.

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