Artifacts and the Fight Against Anti-Zionism: George S. Blumenthal’s Mission

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The struggle against anti-Zionism has found a unique and dedicated champion in New York philanthropist George S. Blumenthal, who has embarked on a mission to showcase artifacts that undeniably tie Jews to Israel. Blumenthal’s efforts are deeply rooted in a belief that physical, tangible evidence can counter claims that Jews are not indigenous to the Holy Land. This belief is embodied in his latest project, Israel Archaeological Proof, a comprehensive website that compiles archaeological and historical documentation to demonstrate the millennia-long Jewish presence in the region.

Blumenthal’s passion for antiquities is not merely a hobby but a vital part of his philanthropic activities. In a recent interview at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem, Blumenthal held up an ancient silver shekel coin from 68 CE, the third year of the Jewish Revolt against Rome. The coin, inscribed with “Jerusalem the Holy” and “Shekel of Israel,” serves as a powerful symbol of the historical connection between Jews and Jerusalem. Blumenthal explained that holding such an artifact creates a palpable connection to the past, reinforcing the historical ties that anti-Zionist narratives attempt to deny.

Image : silver shekel piece from 68 CE

Blumenthal’s journey into the world of antiquities and digitization began serendipitously over 20 years ago. His collaboration with Israeli photographer and imaging technology expert Ardon Bar-Hama led to the high-resolution digitization of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Aleppo Codex, one of the oldest surviving Torah scrolls dating from the early 10th century CE. These projects, alongside his financial support for animated films about Jerusalem’s history and the digitization of Theodor Herzl’s original diaries, reflect Blumenthal’s commitment to preserving and promoting Jewish history.

Born to Holocaust survivors in Cleveland, Blumenthal made his fortune in the telecommunications industry in the 1990s. His transition to philanthropy saw him quietly backing numerous causes, driven by a deep sense of responsibility to his heritage and community. A longtime friend of actor Michael Douglas, Blumenthal has even appeared in several of Douglas’s films, including the iconic “Wall Street.” Despite his wealth and connections, Blumenthal remains approachable and deeply invested in his mission.

The urgency of Blumenthal’s work has been amplified by recent events, particularly the October 7 Hamas massacres in southern Israel and the subsequent rise in antisemitic incidents and campus demonstrations in the United States. The Israel Archaeological Proof website, launched to counter these narratives, presents archaeological findings in a historical timeline, illustrating the continuous Jewish presence in the Land of Israel from the late Bronze Age through the modern era.

Blumenthal’s approach to combating anti-Zionism through archaeology and history aims to provide concrete evidence against false narratives. He recounted how archaeological artifacts, such as the Tel Dan Stele, which mentions the “House of David,” serve as indisputable proof of Jewish historical presence, often corroborated by external sources like the Assyrians and other ancient civilizations. These artifacts document the presence of biblical figures and events, placing Jews firmly within the historical context of the region.

One of Blumenthal’s notable achievements is his collaboration with Chabad groups, such as the one at Oberlin College. He provides them with packets of short archaeological and historical proofs, which have been effective in countering the colonization narrative among students. The reaction from Arab students, who were often unaware of these facts, underscores the importance of education in changing perceptions.

The modern political dialogue often pits contemporary Zionism and the creation of the State of Israel against Palestinian narratives. Blumenthal emphasizes that many people are unaware of historical events, such as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, during which Arab forces attempted to starve 100,000 Jews in Jerusalem by blocking food convoys. This historical amnesia contributes to the misrepresentation of Israel as the aggressor in modern conflicts.

Blumenthal believes that Israel’s struggle with public relations stems from a fundamental inability to communicate its story effectively. He criticizes the Israeli approach as arrogant and disconnected from the broader global audience, which, coupled with deep-seated antisemitism, results in widespread mistrust of Jews and Israel. This communication gap is a significant obstacle in garnering international support and understanding.

Despite the challenges, Blumenthal remains optimistic about the impact of his work. He views the October 7 events as a turning point, galvanizing the Jewish community in the United States and beyond. His efforts to compile and disseminate historical and archaeological evidence are part of a broader strategy to educate and empower people to stand against antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

In conclusion, George S. Blumenthal’s dedication to showcasing artifacts that tie Jews to Israel is a powerful tool in the fight against anti-Zionism. Through his projects, he provides tangible evidence of the Jewish historical presence in the Holy Land, countering false narratives with facts. His work underscores the importance of education and communication in addressing and combating antisemitism and reinforcing the historical truth of Jewish indigeneity to Israel. Blumenthal’s mission is not just about preserving history but also about ensuring that future generations understand and appreciate the deep-rooted connection between Jews and their ancestral homeland.


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