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Jordan's claim

It is dismaying to see that Jordan has asked Canada to seize the Dead Sea Scrolls from the
Royal Ontario Museum.

Jordan officially renounced its claim to the West Bank, never recognized internationally except
by Britain and Pakistan, in 1988. It therefore appears Jordan has no legal basis or authority
for its request. We trust Canada will act appropriately by refusing to act upon it.

Still, it raises disturbing questions. Jordan and Israel have a peace agreement, signed in 1994.
Moreover, the Oslo accords, signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, but
witnessed by Jordan, stipulate that Israel is the recognized custodian of artifacts like the Dead
Sea Scrolls, and that the ownership of these artifacts is to be determined through negotiations
between Israel and the Palestinians. Why, then, would Jordan interfere in a process in which it
has no direct involvement or valid legal claim?

This is, in effect, a ploy aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish aboriginal claim to Israel, for which
the scrolls are a living testament. It is unfortunate that the scrolls, which attest to the ancient
Jewish presence in Israel and are an essential part of Jewish heritage, are being used in such
a cynical manner.

Moshe Ronen, chair, Canada-Israel Committee, Toronto