(Communicated by Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Monday, 9 September 2013), telephoned Hebrew University's Dr. Eilat Mazar following the finding – in archaeological excavations at the foot the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – of a gold treasure
, including the images of a seven-branched menorah, a shofar and a Torah scroll.
Prime Minister said, "This is a magnificent discovery. Nationally, it attests to the ancient Jewish presence and to the sanctity of the place; this is as clear as the sun and it is tremendous. It is interesting that even then, over 500 years after the destruction of the Second Temple, we see the menorah in an original illustration. This is historic testimony, of the highest order, to the Jewish people's link to Jerusalem, to its land and to its heritage. This is very moving. This find is the essence of our heritage – menorah, shofar, Torah scroll. The essence of the Jewish people could not be any more succinct and clear. This is a wonderful gift to the Jewish people. Thank you."
Dr. Mazar said, "We do not always witness an archaeological find that speaks so clearly. The archaeological work was outstanding. It was very professional. This cannot be denied. I thank you personally. I am moved by your interest and involvement in antiquities and heritage."