Jerusalem court rules to protect archeologists from BDS attack

Court rules to protect the careers of archeologists and to avoid damage to foreign relations and to "peace talks."

Shlomo Vile,

Archaeological digs in Judea
Archaeological digs in Judea
Yuli Schwartz, IAA

A Jerusalem district court on Monday rejected a Freedom of Information petition from two left-wing organizations demanding that the state reveal the names of archaeologists who are working on excavations in Judea and Samaria.

Judge Yigal Marzel accepted the State’s argument that disclosing these names would expose the archaeologists to academic boycott by BDS-influenced institutions which could damage their careers. A few of the archaeologists did voluntarily consent to having their names revealed regardless.

The court also rejected the request to reveal the storage location of the artifacts that have been found for fear of theft or damage to peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. In addition, the court rejected the request for a list of where artifacts are on loan in other countries for fear of hurting relations with those nations.

However, the court ruled in favor of the petitioners’ demand to receive a list of the excavations that have already been completed.

The two organizations who petitioned the court were Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh, both funded by various European governments and the EU.