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Israel confronts Turkey with restitution claims

July 16, 2007

Israel confronts Turkey with restitution claims

Posted at 12:54 pm in Similar cases

If you can wade through the painful writing style of this article, & set aside any doubts about whether Israel has any real legitimacy on restitution claims from before its existence as a country, the result of this could potentially be interesting – like Italy & the Axum Obelisk, it is going to put Turkey in the situation of both asking for & being asked for restitutions. It will be interesting to see how they choose to handle this.

From:
American Chronicle

Turkey and Israel to expand ties and alliance?
Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
July 15, 2007

An excellent opportunity appears for Turkey to launch a Fraternal Alliance with Israel in view of dramatic changes in the Middle East, involving Turkish Secularism’s imposition throughout the Middle East, eradication of Islamic Terrorism, and a final solution for Israeli presence on Palestine. It could all start from a small, 2700-year old inscription.

Few challenges appear like this, and one could use a symbolic political gesture in order to trigger overwhelming cultural alliances to the benefit of the entire Civilized World, not simply Turkey and Israel.

Last Friday (the 13th), it was announced that Jerusalem’s mayor, Uri Lupolianski, has asked the Turkish government to return a famous 2700-year-old tablet, namely the famous Siloam inscription, which was uncovered in an ancient subterranean passage in the city.

The Ottoman Empire – Irrevocable Shelter and Protector of the World’s Jewry

To many unspecialized readers this may sound odd! Why on earth, the Mayor of Jerusalem asks Turkey to return something that was found in a territory that was never controlled by Turkey? And why did a great monument that was unearthed in Jerusalem is not in the hands of either Israel itself or Jordan, the country that ruled Eastern Jerusalem until it lost it in 1967?

The discovery date says it all! 1880.

At those days, Jerusalem belonged to the Ottoman Empire of which Turkey is the only successor as the Ottoman capital, Istanbul, belongs to Turkey. The Ottoman Empire was not a political institution of Cultural Conscience and Identity as Turkey became thanks to the progressive policies introduced by Kemal Ataturk.

In the late 19th century Ottoman Empire there was little interest for Knowledge, Antiquities and Humanities, as the prevailing cast of religious colleges were followers of the Darkness and the Barbarism diffused six hundred years earlier by Ibn Taimiya, a follower of the un-Islamic Hanbal, a sinister figure of Islam’s second century.

Of course, the Ottoman Empire and the Sultan had not always been under the impact of the Sheikhulislam and his analphabetic religious colleges.

Even more importantly, not all the religious scholars shared Ibn Taimiya’s Dark and Barbaric theoretical system. There had been an ideological, theoretical, intellectual, theological and political fight among two groups of scholars and elites in the Ottoman Empire, and the side of the Enlightenment prevailed until approximately 1550 – 1600. Until then, Anti-Semitism, Hatred, Barbarism and Fanaticism would not be tolerated. Until then, the leading scholars of the Islamic World were of equal level, humanity, erudition and eloquence as their Western European counterparts. Galileo and Copernicus while studying had to get the lights of Ulugh Beg, the Great Turk Astronomer and world’s top Mathematician of the 15th century.

When the Lights lost the battle against the Drakness, it was clear that the Ottoman Empire, and the entire Islam, would head to ultimate extinction, as it happened.

Colonial Inspiration: the Cultural Divide of the Analphabets

As colonial powers launched an aggressive policy against Islam and the Ottoman Empire, starting with Napoleon, France, England, Russia and Italy were able to detach parts of the Ottoman Empire, already before 1880 (Egypt, parts of the Balkans and the Caucasus, Algeria, Sudan, and Tunisia).

As their intentions were absolutely negative and they wished to plunge the local populations into an anti-Islamic, anti-Ottoman, and anti-Turkish hatred, while at the same time pushing them into the typical Cultural Divide of the Analphabets (Blind and idiotic Mimetism vs. pseudo-Islamic Extremism and Anti-Semitism), these realms were pillaged by Western Orientalists who transported to Europe greatly valuable monuments unearthed there.

The local illiterate elites could not understand the value that was being lost, and taken aback, between the Colonial Divide’s Scylla and Charybde, i.e. Mimetism vs. Extremism, consented to the Colonial pillage of Antiquities.

This did not happen but to very limited extent in the territories still under Sultan’s control in 1880.

That is why the Siloam inscription today is not in Paris or London.

The Siloam Inscription: a Source of Inspiration

Discovered in 1880, the Siloam inscription consists in a valuable monument exposed in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. It commemorates the construction of a tunnel geared to channel water from a spring outside Jerusalem’s walls into the city around 700 BCE.

By that time, the Ten Tribes of Israel – known ever since as the Ten Lost Tribes – had been taken into exile in Northeastern Assyria, and Aramaeans from Southern Babylonia had been transported by Sarrukin II (Sargon) of Assyria (722 – 705) to Samaria. The famous, through the Gospel reference, Samaritan Lady was a descendant of those Armaeans.

Around 701 BCE Sinakherib, Sargon’s son and Emperor of the Universe (Ass. Shar Kissati, 705- 681), mounted his pressure over Judah (the two tribe state, of which descendants are today all the Jews) and besieged Jerusalem. The event is widely documented through contemporaneous Assyrian Cuneiform Annals, and later sources, namely the Book of the Chronicles and Herodotus. The three sources give three different reasons for the unexpected termination of the siege that could have given an end to the Jews, due to the undisputed Assyrian supremacy.

It is clear that the tunnel project was considered as critical for the small state that was striving to survive as it truly did for no less than 114 years after Sinakherib’s attack (when it fell to the Babylonian Nabukadnezaar).

The Siloam inscription states in Ancient Hebrew that the two groups that worked in the preparation, starting from the two opposite ends of the tunnel under construction, met one another “pickax to pickax.” In addition we know that “When there were only three cubits more to cut through, the men were heard calling from one side to the other”.

Can Turkey and Israel meet in the same way?

Turkish diplomats in Israel reportedly said that the request would be passed on to the Turkish government. Sources estimate that a transfer of ownership is unlikely, but possibilities are there for Turkey to either lend the tablet for a brief period of time or crate a replica. This is relevant to political myopia and wooden language.

Contrarily to this conventional attitude, Turkey should propose to Israel in parallel two points:

1. the immediate return of the Siloam Inscription to Jerusalem, and

2. the launching of a joint Turkish –Israeli Alliance for the International Castigation of the Orientalist Pillage of all the lands that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, Sassanid Iran, and Mogul India.

Acting together, Turkey and Israel should demand explicit apologies, clearly articulated regret, considerable recompense, and definite return of a great number of Antiquities, mainly addressing their demand to Colonial England and France.

The Orientalist Pillage should be denounced as Crime against the Mankind, as it definitely consists in direct deprivation of an entire nation from the material remains that are the elementary source out of which the country’s modern national and cultural identity is composed.

Acting together against Europe’s most disreputable and inhuman countries, Turkey and Israel would forge a great alliance that would be for Turkey the best ambassador within the World’s Jewry, and for Israel the best Ambassador within the Third World, the Islamic World, and Africa.

They could be also joined by Greece from where decades ago Melina Mercouri had launched the Demand for the return of the Parthenon’s sculptures and bas-reliefs that had been abducted by Lord Elgin.

Even more importantly, isolating the two ominous countries within European Union itself, Turkey and Israel could be coupled by Italy, a great country that recently gave the best anti-colonial example by voluntarily returning the Axum hawalti (stela – erroneously called ‘obeslisk’) that for many decades had left Abyssinia for an odd trip to Rome, and more particularly at Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano.

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