More on the Politics of the Scrolls

I earlier noted the White House’s description of the Dead Sea Scrolls as coming from “Israel.” It turns out that this contradicts the official Palestinian position, which is that the Scrolls are looted Palestinian artifacts. The PA made a kerfuffle when the scrolls were exhibited at a Canadian museum a few years ago:

The P.A. and Muslim activists claimed that the scrolls were “stolen” from Palestinian territory and illegally obtained when Israel annexed East Jerusalem — where the scrolls were stored — in 1967. “The exhibition would entail exhibiting or displaying artifacts removed from the Palestinian territories” by Israel, wrote Hamdan Taha, head of the archaeological department in the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities, in a widely publicized letter, calling the show a violation of international law.
Echoing those sentiments on the day of the press preview, Canadian Arab Federation executive director Mohamed Boudjenane called the scrolls “stolen property… seized from an occupied territory,” and repeated the call to close the show on a national newscast.

The BDS forces proposed a boycott and picket of the museum. For them, the Dead Sea Scrolls are Elgin Marbles.

I am sure the Administration did not intend to walk into a fight over the scrolls, but I’m wondering what they would now say to the PA’s claim that they were taken from occupied territory. I look forward to the visit on Thursday, and wonder whether the President will get any flak from the Palestinians/BDS contingent on the issue.

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