Yisrael Medad
Analyst and commentator on political and cultural issues.

This bank is not ours?

The news isUNESCO has…designat[ed] Jordan’s baptismal area on the eastern bank a World Heritage site. The U.N. cultural agency declared this month that the site “is believed to be” the location of Jesus’ baptism…

The decision drew cheers in Jordan…Israel has kept silent while a Palestinian official said the western baptismal site, located in an Israeli-occupied area sought for a Palestinian state, should have been included.

The UNESCO decision also raised eyebrows among some scholars.

It “has nothing to do with archaeological reality,” said Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We don’t have any sites with evidence or archaeological remains that were continuously venerated from the first century on.”

Experts who reviewed the Jordanian application for UNESCO acknowledged that there is no solid archaeological evidence confirming that “Bethany Beyond the Jordan,” also known as al-Maghtas, Arabic for baptism, is the authentic site.

My conclusions:

a) so, scientific proof in the form of archaeologiy and history means nothing?

b) so, now the Pals. and the Jordanians are rivals?  but doesn’t Palestine include the both sides of the river?

c) this must be a first that Israel has kept silent except for bombings in Syria and Sudan.

d) who said the Betar song composed by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, “Two Banks Has the Jordan”, was out-of-date?

About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.