Jordan has asked Canada to seize Israel’s 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls that are currently on display in Toronto.
Jordan claims that the scrolls were found in “disputed territory” that Israel captured from Jordanian control in 1967, and asks Canada to hold them until the question of their ownership is settled. Jordan’s control of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley -which it called the “West Bank” – from 1948 until 1967, was recognized internationally by only two countries: Great Britain and Pakistan.
Jordan made its demand two weeks ago, summoning the Canadian chargé d’affaires in Amman. Citing the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, Jordan claims that Israel acted illegally after 1967 when it took the scrolls from the Rockefeller Museum in eastern Jerusalem and transferred them to the Israel Museum. The Palestinian Authority made a similar request several months ago.
The Dead Sea scrolls are about 900 documents and Biblical texts, discovered in one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century in the 1940’s and 50’s in caves in and around Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. The texts include some of the only known surviving copies of Biblical documents made before 100 B.C.E., and preserve evidence of Jewish life during the Second Temple period.
The Globe and Mail report that the PA acknowledges that the scrolls are Jewish, but claims that they are “also part of Palestinian heritage just as ancient Roman and Byzantine ruins comprise part of their history.”
Claims of this nature are belied by the fact that the contemporary “Palestinian nation” began, if at all, only in recent years. The only time the land once known as “Palestine” was ruled by an Arab sovereign was for about 22 years in the 7th century C.E. “The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 [C.E.] hardly lasted, as such, 22 years…,” the Muslim chairman of the Syrian Delegation attested in his remarks to the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919. ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS