Biblical Archaeology Review 28:4, July/August 2002

First Person: Carrying On Despite the Violence

The excitement of archaeology has not been diminished

By Hershel Shanks

I am heartsick.

As I write these words, Palestinian suicide bombers once again have begun to attack innocent civilians in Israel. Perhaps it will end by the time this appears in print.

BAR tries to stay out of politics. We do not restrict ourselves to writing about excavations in Israel. I have reported on archaeological projects in the Gaza Strip. We have published an article by the director of antiquities of Saudi Arabia. We reported many stories from Jordan and Egypt before those countries signed peace treaties with Israel. We’ve covered archaeology in Syria and even Iraq.

Having said this, we cannot refrain from declaring that whatever grievances Palestinians may have, suicide bombing of civilians is not justified as a tactic to address them. It is nothing less than inhuman. Unfortunately, the anti-Israel and blatantly anti-Semitic education that Palestinians offer their children has incited many youngsters to behave at a level of depravity that is almost unique in the annals of history. What kind of society would encourage its young teenagers, even girls, to attain glory by blowing themselves up as human bombs?

Everything, of course, is affected—including archaeology. Few digs with foreign volunteers will be in the field this summer.

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.