If there is a passion in Israel, it may well be archeology. As a young man in 1968, I had the pleasure of taking an archeology course in Jerusalem. It has remained a lifelong interest. Al Jazeera has produced a documentary called Looting the Holy Land. It is very well done, but untrue. More galling, it accuses Israel of using archeology for political purpose, which is exactly what the Palestinian Authority does itself.
Israel Finkelstein (Tel Aviv University) '"Looting the Holy Land" or Pillaging the Truth?')and labels the film "a piece of political propaganda, aimed – as the bon ton goes today (sic) – at de-legitimizing Israel" and therefore sets out to demonstrate point by point "why this is a worthless film, ridden with manipulations, political propaganda, incorrect facts and even lies". Finkelstein points out that "most of the looting in the West Bank (as well as in Israel!) has been carried out by Palestinians" and not Israelis. He corrects statements made in the film about Hisham's palace near Jericho, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Moshe Dayan and disputed sites in Jerusalem, and claims that the film contains several false allegations.Their recent proclamation that the Western Wall, built by Herod, is not a Jewish site is a glaring example. The documentary contains quotes out of context and half truths. The Jews and Israel have never needed archeology to justify their historical presence, the Old Testament suffices.