Hey, PA: Stop Destroying Jewish History!
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has crushed part of the site of Joshua’s Altar on Mount Ebal in the city of Nablus, or Shechem. They are using the stones from the destroyed altar to build a road to connect to an Arab village. Some archaeologists believe this site is the same altar Joshua constructed after the battle of Ai in Joshua 8. Others suggest it may be the altar the Israelites built in Deuteronomy 27. Despite pressure and petitions to stop the PA’s actions, the IDF and Israel’s Civil Administration are not legally able to interfere, as the site is in Area B of Judea and Samaria, out of Israel’s jurisdiction.
The PA “has a history of destroying Jewish archaeological sites in an effort to erase Jewish ties to the land,” according to worldisraelnews.com. Jordan began this tradition when it destroyed Jewish sites from 1948 to 1967 when it controlled Judea and Samaria and part of Jerusalem. Archaeologists date the altar to the 13th century B.C., and there is little dispute as to its identity as an ancient Jewish altar because only the bones of kosher animals were found sacrificed at the site.
It’s incredibly frustrating to watch Israel’s enemies try to blatantly rewrite history. This altar is significant to Israel, and there’s no reason it has to be broken down to build a road; there are many other ways to accomplish their task without this obviously hostile and disrespectful act. In this case they’re essentially using a loophole to destroy the altar, as they’ve found a way to damage Jewish historical sites without fear of government intervention. As it always is in these cases, the root of this action is the sinful desire to hurt Israel and delegitimize Jewish historical ties to the land. It’s a pattern that should not be allowed to continue, so our hope is that the Israeli government or the IDF will be allowed to prevent these kinds of passive-aggressive attacks in the future.