The Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University offers academic credit to international students who take part in the archaeological digs in the City of David, located in East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighbourhood. Although publicizing the City of David and excavations there, the school does not provide information on its website that the City of David is located in occupied East Jerusalem and that the digs are financed by a nationalist-settler NGO accused of selectively using archaeological finds to bolster its extreme narrative in which Palestinians have no place.
Excavation in the Givati parking lot of the City of David (Photo: City of David National Park)
One of the five “Archaeological Field Summer Schools” offered by the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University for summer 2013, the City of David’s Givati parking lot is described as the largest archaeological excavation in Jerusalem today.
The Rothberg International School website emphasizes that “the application process for participation in the excavation must be done directly with the field school”. However, the Hebrew University academic director of the programme and the field school representative are listed as one and the same – Dr. Doron Ben-Ami of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology. Those wishing further information and an application form for this excavation are directed to contact Dr. Ben-Ami at his Hebrew University email account.
Hebrew University is further making money by providing academic credit to those participating in the City of David excavation. After an application fee of $80, $360 will get you 3 academic credits (three-week excavation) and $720 for 6 academic credits (six-week dig). All money is to be paid directly to the Hebrew University.
Requests for information from Hebrew University in this matter were not answered.
Propelled by its own desire to further base Israeli claims over East Jerusalem, together with increasing government moves toward privatization and a steadily decreasing budget, the Israeli Antiquities Authority awarded the right to manage the City of David National Park to the right wing, settler-affiliated Elad Association.
Despite repeated requests by the AIC (Shir Hever, forthcoming), the Israeli Corporations Registry failed to locate financial reports for the Elad Association, although it is one of the largest NGOs in Israel and closely tied to the government. The submission of yearly reports to the registry is an obligation of all NGOs registered in Israel.