Trump Lights the Way: Ancient Israeli Artifacts Set to Return Home

In a significant move symbolizing the unique bond between the US and Israel, former President Donald Trump has announced his intention to return a set of ancient oil lamps to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

The announcement came via a statement from an unidentified spokesperson, as quoted by notable news sources. “These historic items were presented by a representative of the IAA with full support of the organization… the office will be expediting their return to the organization’s representative,” the spokesperson noted.

Earlier reports by Haaretz indicated that the IAA had been requesting the return of these precious artifacts for several months. The oil lamps were initially presented to Trump during a White House Hanukkah party in 2019 as a token of gratitude for his policies that positively impacted Israel. The lamps were a gift from Saul Fox, a Jewish Republican donor from California, who is also an avid supporter of the IAA.

However, the lamps were not displayed as planned after White House officials expressed concerns about possible contraventions of international antiquities law, considering the artifacts may have originated from Judea and Samaria. Following this, the lamps remained in the US due to fears that they might get damaged during transport, coupled with the pandemic’s travel restrictions.

The artifacts were entrusted to Fox for safekeeping. In 2021, Fox brought the lamps in a special box to a dinner party at Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he intended for them to serve as a “permanent exhibit of Israel’s national treasures.”

Upon hearing this, the IAA director urgently communicated that there had been a “miscommunication,” and Fox needed to return the lamps. Fox resisted this request, interpreting it as offensive. To help facilitate the return of these historical treasures, the IAA engaged the support of Ron Dermer, the former Israeli ambassador to the US, and former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

As these precious artifacts prepare for their journey home, we’re reminded of the deep and abiding ties that bind Israel and its diaspora. The return of these artifacts is a symbol of the respect and appreciation the world has for Israeli history and culture.

The State of Israel, rich in history and steeped in tradition, continues to be a beacon of resilience and innovation. This incident serves as a testament to Israel’s ongoing commitment to preserving its national treasures and the invaluable legacy they represent. With every artifact returned, we are not just reclaiming a piece of history but also reaffirming our commitment to our cultural heritage. As these lamps find their way back home, they illuminate the path to Israel’s vibrant past and promising future.