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Emek Shaveh


In their own words“Emek Shaveh is an organization of archaeologists and community activists focusing on the role of archaeology in Israeli society and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”



  • Claims to view “archaeology as a resource for building bridges and strengthening bonds between different peoples and cultures, and we see it as an important factor impacting the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
  • States that its “fundamental position is that an archaeological find should not and cannot be used to prove ownership by any one nation, ethnic group or religion over a given place. We believe that the archaeological find tells a complex story which is independent of religious dictates or traditional stories, and that listening to this story and bringing it to the wider public can enrich culture and promote values of tolerance and pluralism… We oppose attempts to use archaeological finds to legitimize acts that harm disadvantaged communities.”

Political Advocacy

  • While Emek Shaveh claims that it “oppose[s] attempts to use archaeological finds to legitimize acts that harm disadvantaged communities,” it promotes distorted facts and unsubstantiated positions that promote the Palestinian narrative of victimization and sole Israeli aggression.
  • Utilizes highly biased and politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of seeking “to demolish Palestinian village on ‘archaeological’ grounds,” and claims that the Elad Foundation is attempting to “Judaize” Jerusalem.
  • In an interview with 972 Magazine, Yonathan Mizrachi, archeologist from Emek Shave, compared Israeli archeological searching to the Hamas terror tunnels, saying:  “These tunnels, like those of Hamas, are being dug under a heavy cloak of secrecy. As with the Hamas tunnels, they serve as a tool for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They are also being dug under the houses of uninvolved civilians, in this case Palestinians. However, while the Hamas tunnels are described as serving terrorist purposes, these tunnels have been authorized by the Supreme Court of Israel, and all the relevant arms of the state have been mobilized in their support.”
  • In a February 2013 report, “From Silwan to the Temple Mount,” alleges, “Excavation sites are changing the lay of the land, lending force to an historical narrative focusing on the Jewish people, and marginalizing the Palestinian residents from their environment and from their connection to the Temple Mount/al-Haram a-Sharif.” Emek Shaveh thus presents an inaccurate narrative and omits Waqf excavations on the Temple Mount, which attempt to erase Jewish history from the holy area.
  • Maintains that: “If Palestinians and Israelis are ever to enter a serious dialogue on a future of coexistence and mutual respect, Israeli archaeology must end its involvement in the battle of identities, promoting understanding between cultures rather than ethnic exceptionalism. It must broaden its horizons and become much more than a prop to given histories.” This statement altogether omits the Palestinian role.
  • Emek Shaveh lobbies EU decision makers, often the very governments from which it receives funds. EU decision papers often rely on such NGO claims as “facts,” thereby creating a closed echo chamber effect that excludes pluralistic debate.

Funding based on reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits

European Union388,734499,249
Irish Foreign Ministry 93,304
Cordaid (Netherlands)154,012123,339147,553
Royal Norwegian Embassy in Israel130,532228,120250,000
HEKS (Switzerland)304,610109,000172,97784,726
Switzerland (Swiss Foreign Ministry)207,511257,678141,72794,82994,320
Oxfam Novib (Netherlands)6,99664,411
CCFD (France)75,042
NIRAS 111,584

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