The archaeological excavation site on Mount Gerizim, near Shechem,
was officially inaugurated in a special ceremony on Thursday.
The ceremony was attended by Environment Minister Gilad Erdan
(Likud), Shomon Regional Council head Gershon Mesika, the head of the
Nature and Parks Authority Shaul Goldstein, and the Head of the Civil
Administration in Judea and Samaria, Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz.
Mount Gerizim and nearby Mount Eival are named in the Pentateuch as
the place where the Priests and Levites addressed the tribes entering
Israel after their sojourn in the desert, blessing them at Mount
Gerizim if they kept G-d´s commandments and elucidating the
punishments they would receive at Mount Eival if they did not. Mount
Gerizim is also an important place for the Samaritans, who believe
that the preeminent holy spot is on the mountain and whose Temple was
Mount Gerizim was excavated for more than 24 years and Thursday’s
ceremony marked the archaeological site’s reopening after being
closed for 12 years since the start of the Oslo War, also known as
the Second Intifada.
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan said during the ceremony, “We have a
struggle which is not so simple: these days, when the younger
generation prefers to tack on to a smart phone, to cable TV and to
the computer, we must stand up to the challenge and develop sites
such as Mount Gerizim that connect the younger generation to the
nature, history and heritage of the Jewish people.
“As the Palestinians lead a false international campaign to end our
connection to the Land of Israel, opening sites like Mount Gerizim
will help us show the world that the Palestinian smear campaign is
false and that it is impossible to sever the historical connection of
the Jewish people to its land,” added Erdan.