First, the Palestinian Arab spokesmen claimed that Jesus was a Palestinian. Now King Herod. They do have a better shot of laying claim to Herod, who was not Jewish, but an Idumean. Due to the Arab Islamic policy of wiping out native cultures and beliefs, it is quite possible that the Idumeans were wiped out and absorbed into the Arab mix, but considering that Herod was an illegitimate Roman appointee, it doesn’t give them much of a claim to Israel.
If the Arab Muslims want King Herod, they can have him. A foreign usurper who presided over the destruction of the Second Jewish Kingdom is not much of a prize. And Herod did have a great deal in common with the Palestinian Authority rulers. He was a liar, a thief and a murderer of Jews. What they cannot have however is any artifacts from the period, which come from Jewish settlement of the land.
The real story here is the sloppy and biased reporting of the New York Times. Jodi Rudoren has been absolutely shameless in shoving a pro-terrorist angle into any Israeli story and her reporting is inept at best.
The original story about an archeological exhibition about King Herod interviewed a Palestinian Authority figure and an Israeli leftist, but failed to get an actual response from the exhibition director. That had to be added in later, which suggests that some adults at the New York Times have once again been forced to step in to try and make Jodi Rudoren look marginally competent.
Jodi Rudoren’s story focuses on West Bank “anger” over “cultural artifacts” supposedly stolen by Israel for the exhibition. At no point in the story does she spell out what these artifacts are. That’s a bizarre and glaring omission. And it raises the question of whether Jodi Rudoren is just incompetent as a reporter or whether this was a deliberate omission to avoid dealing with the question of who left these artifacts behind.
It’s rather doubtful that an exhibition about Herod included any Islamic or Arab artifacts. And it is the height of Chutzpah for Arab Muslims to lay claim to artifacts from the Jewish period found in the West Bank simply because they occupied the territory later. And yet that is what they appear to be doing.
The Palestinian Authority says the exhibition is a violation of international law because much of its material was taken from near Bethlehem and Jericho, both in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Hamdan Taha, director of the Palestinian Authority’s department of antiquities and cultural heritage, said that while Oslo provides for Israel’s excavation in the West Bank, exhibiting the material was another story. He complained that the Palestinians were never consulted about the project, which he called “an aggression against Palestinian cultural rights in their own land,” and said it would “not help to reconstruct peace between the Palestinians and Israel.”
“Palestinian” cultural rights can only extend as far as Arab and Islamic artifacts. They can try to lay claim to Third Party artifacts, e.g. Phoenician, though any such artifacts that predate the Arab conquest are part of Jewish history, not Arab history.
For the Palestinian Authority to claim artifacts from the Jewish period as part of their cultural history is a brazen deception. No one has cultural rights to the culture of another people.
Unless the Palestinian Authority wants to claim that it’s really Jewish, then it can stick to Islamic artifacts that postdate the Arab conquest and settlement, without attempting to seize Jewish cultural history, as they have already seized Jewish land.