Rachamim Israeli

Confrontations at the City of David excavations between Israeli police and ultra-Orthodox extremists were sometimes peaceful. A small segment of the Israeli population, but a politically active one, the ultra-Orthodox protested at the City of David, contending that Area G was the site of an ancient cemetery, and thus should not be disturbed. The dispute was eventually taken to court—all the way to the Supreme Court. The verdict: There was no cemetery, no law had been violated, and the dig should continue. Dig director Yigal Shiloh considered the verdict a victory both for his excavation team and for the state of Israel—an affirmation of Israel as a state of law rather than a theocracy.