The seal impression of King Hezekiah unearthed during the Ophel excavations at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount.
(photo credit: COURTESY OF DR. EILAT MAZAR AND OURIA TADMOR)
Challenges to the inexorable connection of Jews to Jerusalem have been unequivocally disproved by archeological discoveries, the chairwoman of the US’s House Subcommittee on the Middle East & North Africa said on the floor of the US House of Representatives last Friday.
The comments, made by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), represented a sharp rebuke to increasing international efforts to delegitimize Israel’s connection to Jerusalem despite numerous relics recently unearthed proving an ancient Jewish presence there.
“For quite some time, there has been an effort at the United Nations to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel, and to try to whitewash the Jewish peoples’ historical and Biblical connection to Israel,” said Ros-Lehtinen.
“Denying the historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem is false. Amazing archeological discoveries are frequently made that prove the roots of the Jewish people are in Israel.”
The impetus for her address reportedly stemmed from an announcement earlier this month of the discovery of an unprecedented impression of King Hezekiah’s royal seal from the First Temple period, dating back to 727-698 BCE.
The antiquity was unearthed during the capital’s noted Ophel excavations, at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount, under the direction of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Dr. Eilat Mazar.
“This marks the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever been discovered within the context of an archeological excavation,” Ros-Lehtinen said on the House floor.
“It proves that not only is Israel the religious center for Jews, it is their ancestral and historic homeland.”
Moreover, Ros-Lehtinen said that the recent archeological find, among many others which have illustrated Jewish heritage in the capital, led the congresswoman to plan an upcoming visit to Israel to see the discoveries for herself.
“I look forward to visiting the City of David in the near future, to see firsthand the rich history of the Jewish people,” said Ros-Lehtinen, who formerly served as chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.