Denial of Heritage

A review of Nadia Abu El-Haj, Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning In Israeli Society  The politicization of archaeology is nothing new. What is new in Facts on the Ground, is the length to which author Nadia Abu El-Haj of the Columbia University Anthology faculty has gone to ignore, distort, revise, imply and assert the inaccuracy of historical fact. Her political motive is to deconstruct the legitimacy of the State of Israel.  Consistent with her goal, she cites the "issue" of place names and where they should be situated (p. 96). She not only claims that there were imperial colonial motives underlying the work of the Naming Committee (Va'adat ha-Shemot), thereby tainting their work, but that the new naming pf places by new inhabitants was, somehow, a unique event, a conscious and illegitimate effort to obliterate Arab claims of a continuous and uninterrupted presence on the land.  What Ms. Abu El-Haj does not...(Read Full Article)