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Israeli archaeology unearths controversy

The discovery of an ancient architectural structure from the Hasmonean era in Jerusalem, the latest in a series of archaeological findings that connects the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, has become an ideological tool for Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, among others.
A worker for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) works at an excavation site where a compound containing an oil press, a wine press and mosaics was exposed near the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh September 18, 2014. The compound, dating to the Byzantine period, was very likely a monastery, Excavation Director of the IAA archaeologist Irene Zilberbod said in a statement on Thursday. REUTERS/Nir Elias (ISRAEL - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR46QDX

The June 16 post that Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of education, wrote on both his Hebrew and English Facebook pages couldn’t be more conclusive: “Memo to Mahmoud Abbas and others who scream ‘occupation’: A 3,000 years old jug bearing the inscription Ishba’al son of Beda was recently discovered near Beit Shemesh. Ishba’al is a name mentioned in the Tanach (Bible) and is unique to the period of King David. This is yet another example of the many facts on the ground that tell the story of the Jewish state that flourished here in this land 3,000 years ago. Back then there was communities that collected taxes, had a strong economy, provided transportation, education institutions, a military - just like today. A nation cannot occupy its own land.”

Nearly 12,000 people liked the Hebrew language post, and close to 1,200 people shared it. The English Facebook post was shared by 550 people. 

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