Eric Meyers’ article “Israel and Its Neighbors Then and Now: Revisionist History and the Quest for History in the Middle East Today” has been posted on Bible and Interpretation. The article discusses the relationship between the Bible, archaeological and textual research and modern-day ideologies about the history of Israel. He concludes:
Peace will not be found in contesting history; it will be through learning to live together or side-by-side, as did the Canaanites who escaped from Egypt or from the Canaanite city-states, to ally themselves with their disenfranchised brothers and sisters who had also gone down to Egypt and returned. In a way, both Israelis and Palestinians have a legitimate claim to parts of the land. Whether either side will find in the historical record, written or archaeological, a paradigm for pluralism or justification for accepting the other remains the true challenge for today in the Middle East. Maybe the politicians and statesmen ought to look to the Golden Age in Spain or to the Ottoman Middle Ages, when toleration of Jews, Christians, Muslims and others led to unprecedented eras of accomplishment in art, science, and philosophy. So may it be in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, Israel, and throughout the Levant.