Surrounded by countries as unstable as those in the Middle East, Israel has to consider every diplomatic step and comment.  In Israel, every step and comment is diplomatic.  A whisper in Jerusalem is shouted in Syria, distorted in Lebanon and charged as a war crime in Iran.  With that kind of political pressure; would I, as Israel’s leader, want to unearth treasures from the past “knowing” they will stir global emotion and excitement?  Even the most righteous rabbi in Israel, aching to worship G-d as he is required, will consider the ramification of such a thing.  Israel is not weak and is capable of great resolve but that strength came with a great price.  Israel also knows…a misstep could double that price, testing their strength beyond endurance.

 In America we can piously beat our chest and say, “Trust in G-d my brother Israel!”  “Stand for Ha Shem my Jewish brothers!”  Such brave words of devotion and faith can come easily from a person whose family is out of missile range.  That, my Copper Scroll friends, is the dilemma we face as we move forward; genuinely showing informed tolerance for those Israeli leaders burdened with that decision.

The project is entering a new phase and this one, will be political.  We have proven with considerable certainty the items of the Copper Scroll were or are at Qumran.  Now we must prove that we not only care about recovering the dowry of Israel, we care about Israel’s safety and the impact such a discovery will have on their lives.  Israel is longing for lasting peace and, prosperity is at her door.  The intellect of Israel’s youth is phenomenal, technology and agriculture is blossoming and Israel “must” hold on to it.  So, would the risk of such treasures be worth it?

Allow me to drop another fly into the pudding.  It is enormously arrogant for anyone to speak on behalf of Israel telling them what to do.  Yet, that is exactly what the U.S. is doing.  Our Secretary of State is negotiating land in Israel for…something?  There is talk of an international airport in Jericho and deals for Kibbutz Kaila, and may even secretly include Qumran.  Personally, I say don’t ever, ever, give them a single stone from The Land.  And, yes, my family is out of missile range.

I gave a presentation the last day of January the last day of my trip to Israel of 2013.  The meeting was arranged with the Head of Israel’s National Park Authority, their head archaeologist, the Director of Qumran and important staff members.  Chris Knight and I were on our way to Ben Gurion Airport, rental car loaded with luggage and after a fantastic month in Israel we were anxious to get home.  This meeting, however, was major and not to be missed.  We simply needed to pull off Highway 90 into their compound only meters from guess where…Qumran.  Bare with me, there is a purpose to this story (completed in another article).  We laid out the research and got their attention.  Near the end of the presentation I, out of a sense of responsibility, told them what I am telling you now focusing on the Palestinian issue.  The Director of Qumran, an older gentleman, looked intently at me and said, “Mr. Barfield, there are always problems from our neighbors no matter what we do, don’t let that hinder you.”  If you are wondering, yes, his family is well within all danger zones.  He is correct.  Nothing diplomatic has ever worked for a lasting peace from the day of Israel’s rebirth till now.  Give away what they will; “nothing” will appease those around the mighty little country, it – will – never – happen.

So, again, what options are on the table?  It may be that a major event such as the recovery of Israel’s treasures will instill respect among the Arabs, if not for the people of Israel then the holy items that represent the G-d of Father Abraham (as the Arabs call him), handed down from the esteemed Prophet Moses (Musa as the Arabs call him).  I once heard a saying in Jerusalem, “If the Jews would do what their Book says we (the Arabs) would not have to do what our book says.”  Paraphrased but accurate within reason.

So, in the remote chance that a leader in Israel reads these words, maybe, “it is time” to step out of the box and try it Ha Shem’s way.  Maybe thousands of years of wisdom contained in the Torah can do more than just hold down a decorative doily as it does in so many homes in America.

I say let us try.  I will be there with you and will commit to standing with you if things become difficult should the treasures of your nation rest at Qumran.  I will stand with you well within missile range and do what I must to help.

Well my Copper Scroll Project friends…what would you do?

Jim Barfield  16 July 2013

ark of the covenant, copper scroll, copper scroll project, excavation qumran, jim barfield, qumran

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