David Collier: Bloodthirsty – in the mind of the anti-Israel activists
One of the biggest lies currently being sold to populations in the west is that anti-Israel activity is related to a movement of peace or justice. Relying on a strategy of intersectionality, this deception has permitted violent, racist ideologies to take a firm foothold within other well-known ’causes’. Infecting them and leading them astray. These people may call themselves members of ‘solidarity movements’ or ‘pro-Palestinian’ but they are nothing to do with ‘peace-makers’ in the traditional sense. I’ve been inside these movements, pretending to be an activist, infiltrating their social media groups and I’ve been researching them for years. Anti-Israel activity is full of little but fake news, hate and demonisation. In their twisted world, Palestinians are sacrificial, and these movements act as a bloodsucker, leeching onto the conflict, yearning for blood and only satiated when it flows.
The situation between Israel and Gaza is a complex one. Anyone who thinks this is about ‘strong’ Israel battering weak ‘Palestinians’, has no understanding of the conflict at all. Many of the shortages in Gaza are the result of Fatah-Hamas power-struggles. Egypt’s own issues with the Muslim Brotherhood play a major role. In addition, Hamas rule is brutal and Gazans face a violent crackdown when they protest.
An interesting note can be made here. I recently wrote about ‘independent reporters’ operating from Gaza. I suggested they were not independent at all and that their massive online social media accounts allowed for Hamas propaganda to be delivered directly into the veins of anti-Israel activism. It raises a question – how many of those accounts I monitor, which spill out ‘news’ 24-7, even mentioned the public protest and Hamas crackdown? The answer is – just one. All the other ‘independent reporters’ – telling ‘the truth’ from Gaza – didn’t see anything at all. As Gazans were arrested, beaten and tortured, all those people ‘reporting’ on life in Gaza, like Muhammad Smiry and Walid Mahmoud, didn’t see a thing.
Anti-Israel activists swallow *anything* whole and without question. Look at this post. Walid Mahmoud, (who did not see Hamas thugs beating up and torturing Gazan demonstrators) blames a broken lens cap on the Israelis, turning it into a ‘near-death’ incident. The post received 787 likes and 680 shares. I’ve no idea how this happened but I do know he is a propaganda agent. Every trip, every broken I-phone screen, every accident, is used to turn Israelis into blood-thirsty monsters – and it is all devoured ravenously by a truly insane crowd.
Numerous Jewish students at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia woke up yesterday to find fictitious “eviction notices” produced by pro-Palestinian activists posted on the doors or their dorm rooms or private apartments.
The notices were produced and distributed by the Emory chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine organization and Emory University’s Office of Residence and Housing Approval gave permission for the notices to be distributed.
Sophia Weinstein, the manager of the Emory-Israel Public Affairs Committee (EIPAC) organization, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that at least 30 students had informed her about the stunt, and that Jewish students with mezuzahs on their doors had noticed that the “eviction notices” had been posted on their doors, but not those of neighbors without mezuzahs.
The notices declared that the student’s residence was scheduled for demolition in three days, and that all the contents of their apartment could be destroyed if it was not vacated on time.
It went on to make various allegations about the use of eviction notices against Palestinians by Israeli authorities, saying the practice was part of “the state of Israel’s ongoing attempts to ethnically cleanse the region of its Arab inhabitants and maintain an exclusively ‘Jewish’ character of the state.”
It noted at the bottom that it was not a real eviction notice and designed to draw attention to “the reality that Palestinians confront on a regular basis.”
Weinstein said that the notices had made her feel that the secure environment of university was being stripped away.
“It is one thing to criticize Israel. Dialogue is encouraged. It is another to target students and mislead with false information,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Jewish students with Mezuzahs on their doors @EmoryUniversity woke up this morning to these “eviction notices”.
It’s not the Jews, it’s just Israel they said.. pic.twitter.com/5zSIEwbH1r
— Leibel Mangel (@LeibelMangel) April 3, 2019
Joe Rogan Experience #1276 – Ben Shapiro
Abe Greenwald: In Thrall to Anti-Israel Propaganda
What Thrall never mentions is that Americans’ ties with Israel run deep for reasons having nothing to do with Jewish campaign money. From the Founders’ generation on, America’s purpose has been thought of in terms of religious destiny reminiscent of God’s promise to the Jews. Israel is a democracy in a sea of autocracy, and supporting democracies under threat has long been a staple of American foreign policy. There are also many practical ties between the two countries, having to do with intelligence, security, and commerce. And for America’s Evangelical Christians, Israel security is a paramount concern.
But that’s not all Thrall leaves out. There are a few more things he fails to mention:
The Palestinian leadership is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Israeli leaders want Jews to live peacefully in a Jewish state and have no interest in destroying their Arab neighbors. When Israel pulled Jews out of Gaza in 2005, Gaza became immediately and permanently a terrorist state whose national purpose is killing Jews. The Palestinian leadership has mercilessly oppressed generations of its own people. Arab citizens of Israel, on the other hand, enjoy a degree of freedom and human rights that simply don’t exist in any Arab-ruled countries (let alone the Palestinians territories). Countless countries receiving American-aid dollars have—unlike Israel—abysmal human-rights records and face no left-wing BDS campaign.
There is only one just resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict: The Palestinians give up their defining goal of destroying Israel and turn instead to the business of building a functioning state. If that were to happen, Israeli leaders and citizens would be thrilled to make a real peace with their long-suffering neighbors. Left-wing attacks on Israel only prolong the Palestinians’ misery by giving hope and aid to their ruinous leaders. Israel can withstand the propaganda of the New York Times just fine. Can the New York Times?
In a March 7th UK Media Watch post (cross posted at The Algemeiner), we refuted the claim by Peter Beinart, in his Guardian op-ed published earlier in the day, that anti-Zionism is not in fact antisemitic.
Here’s a brief excerpt from the UKMW post:
Zionism is the belief that Israel has a right to continue to exist. Anti-Zionism is the belief that says Israel has no right to exist and shouldn’t continue existing. It is not a theoretical position. It’s an effort to forcibly dispossess over six million Jews of a right they currently have. It doesn’t say that nation-states shouldn’t exist, just that the Jewish state – the only safe-haven for Jews around the world – shouldn’t exist.
It also seems predicated on the premise that millions of Israeli Jews in the Middle East would, in the long run, be safe and have their rights protected in a country with a Palestinian majority and a Palestinian government – confidence that only makes sense if you ignore endemic antisemitism in the region and the experience of hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled from Muslim majority countries since World War 2. Anti-Zionism isn’t just antisemitic in theory. In practice, it would almost certainly have a profoundly dangerous antisemitic impact.
On April 1st, Israel Talk Radio host Tamar Yonah interviewed UK Media Watch managing editor Adam Levick about the op-ed, as well as the broader issues concerning the surreal debate over Israel’s very right to exist.
According to a widespread myth, writes Elliott Abrams, unprecedented unity among Americans in general and American Jews in particular won Soviet Jews the freedom to emigrate. But this is wrong on both counts: first, U.S. Jewry and the Soviet Jewry movement were deeply divided internally and faced hostility from powerful figures in American politics; second, what achieved results was not rallies on the streets of New York but the prudent application of American economic power.
[H]ow did American Jews leverage their own country’s power to affect the internal affairs of the USSR, a great power itself and an enemy of the United States? . . . It is very clear that demonstrations and speeches in the United States did not move the USSR. What moved it was that persecution of Soviet Jews became very expensive. As Natan Sharansky himself has made clear, it was Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, more than anyone else, who applied the pressure [with the 1975 Jackson-Vanick amendment, which tied trade with the USSR to human-rights issues]. . . .
The Soviets gave ground on banning Jewish emigration when those limitations appeared to cost them more than they were worth. Governments violate human rights because they think it is in their interest to do so. Lecturing them is appropriate, but it will not force change. . . . It is absolutely true that the Soviet Jewry movement was on the side of the angels, and that helps explain its very broad support in the United States. But that isn’t what the Soviet regime was worried about; trade, loans, and money were.
As for the argument of the Nixon administration that the demands of realpolitik and the importance of détente with Moscow trumped concern over the fate of Soviet Jewry, Abrams writes:
Revisiting Bernie Sanders’ Socialist Roots in Israel
MUST WATCH: What is BDS about?
BDS targets Israel while ignoring rest of the world. It’s the same antisemitic force that convinced @coreyinnyc to oust a Jewish councilman for stating a fact while @ilhan gets a free pass on her antisemitism from the Dems.
Is this the new normal? pic.twitter.com/M9o2OBNQkQ
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) April 3, 2019
Last month, an entourage featuring antisemitic activist Linda Sarsour and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad protected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), from an outspoken Muslim critic.
Sarsour has espoused antisemitic smears worse than Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a friend of Tlaib, who remains engulfed in controversy following a string of antisemitic comments.
On Tuesday, Tlaib expressed a need to “protect” anti-Israel figures like CAIR leader Zahra Billoo.
“So good to see you sis! I will always speak truth to power because I got you to protect #rootedincommunity,” Tlaib tweeted in response to Billoo’s praise for Tlaib.
“Not all sheros wear capes,” Billoo wrote, “some like Rep. @RashidaTlaib wear Congressional pins!”
It is unclear whether Tlaib recognizes that Billoo holds discriminatory views when it comes to “community.” Billoo has repeatedly drawn a clear line in the sand concerning who she considers a legitimate Muslim leader.
“I’m really cautious of who I call a Muslim leader,” Billoo said at a November gathering with the Ecumenical Peace Institute, warning others to be aware “as you see countries in the Middle East, and even Muslim activists in the United States, take problematic positions supporting the State of Israel or opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”
The local office of the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) at the Paris Dauphine University was broken into and vandalized on Saturday by two people who urinated on the property.
The perpetrators — who have been identified and are not students at the university — recorded themselves soiling furniture and other items in a video that was shared on Snapchat, UEJ Dauphine said. At one point, they zoomed in on a sign identifying the room as belonging to the Jewish union, indicating “that they acted knowingly,” the group added. No other offices are believed to have been targeted.
“This gesture is reminiscent of many antisemitic acts that took place in other universities and colleges over the past year,” UEJ Dauphine observed.
Jewish student representatives met on Tuesday with university officials, and thanked them for committing to report the details of the incident to the public prosecutor’s office.
In its own statement, UEJF called for strong action against the perpetrators, and pointed to previous attacks on local chapters, including a March 2018 incident when the UEJF office at University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne was broken into, ransacked, and vandalized with inscriptions including, “Long live Palestine,” “Death to Israel,” “long life Arafat,” and “antizionist.” Antisemitic inscriptions were also found at five other universities since the beginning of the academic year, UEJF said.
“This act of vandalism is part of a context of resurgence of antisemitic acts at the University, while 89 percent of Jewish students in France have already faced antisemitism in their student life,” said UEJF president Sacha Ghozlan, referring to a poll carried out in March by the French Institute of Public Opinion.
There is no mental contortion too extreme for European liberals when it comes to covering up the crimes and misconduct of the members of the immigrant Muslim population. The latest example comes from Germany, where a state-funded study concluded that growing anti-semitism among Muslims was in fact a result of “Islamophobia” in the country.
“Many Muslims justify their own Antisemitism and misanthropic attitudes with the fact ‘that they feel devalued and discriminated by growing Islamophobia,’” the German newspaper Die Welt reported, citing the study conducted by the state-run Federal Agency for Civic Education, or BPB. According to the report, the young Muslims were responding to perceived “Islamophobia” by cranking up their Jew hatred.
The study urged native Germans to “take Islamophobic experiences of young Muslims serious.” The Agency for Civic Education advised “meetings” and “shared activities” between Muslims and Jews to “reduce Antisemitism.”
Die Welt reported the study under the headline: “Experts regard Antisemitism among Muslims as a result of Islamophobia.” (h/t MtTB)
A recent presentation by noted Muslim Brotherhood (MB) researcher Mohamed-Ali Adraoui before an audience of about 30 people at Georgetown University’s Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) was unusually balanced for ACMCU, typically a bastion of pro-Islamist and anti-Western views.
Adraoui is a visiting researcher from France, who is on a European Union fellowship at Georgetown. ACMCU director Jonathan Brown moderated the event, while his colleague John Voll and Georgetown’s Muslim chaplain Yahya Hendi attended. The audience also included regular ACMCU event attendees, such as anti-Israel former Foreign Service Officer Benjamin Tua and foreign policy commentator Stanley Kober, a Georgetown alumnus.
Adraoui described recurring patterns among American officials of neglecting the religion’s role in modern life, and the resulting dilemma of dealing with Islamism. American policymakers have recognized that Middle Eastern Islamists “are part of their societies, they are powerful, they are influential, [and] they have some role to play.” Thus, US officials wonder whether they can use Islamists “in order to tame, let’s say, their dark side, in our interest.”
Yet, he says, for “years this issue was almost inexistent [sic]” in American policy concerns. The first State Department report on the MB appeared in 1944, in response to an MB letter to the American embassy in Cairo urging American opposition to colonialism and Zionism in the Middle East. The report misidentified the MB’s founding year as 1938, not 1928, and the letter, written in Arabic, prompted the embassy to hire its first Arabic speaker.
A total of 171 Swedish artists, musicians, and other “culture workers” have demanded Sweden boycott the upcoming Eurovision song contest because it is taking place in Israel.
The group advocated the boycott, accusing Israel of committing “crimes against the Palestinian people,” and alleging the country denies fundamental rights to Palestinians in an article published by newspaper Aftonbladet this week.
“We Swedish artists and cultural workers who sign this call can not quietly see how Israel uses the Eurovision Song Contest to hide their crimes against the Palestinian people,” they said.
“As long as Israel, with its apartheid policy, denies the Palestinians their basic human rights, so long we must renounce Israeli participation in cultural exchanges,” they added.
The letter also highlighted the 62 Palestinians who died in May 2018, shortly after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won last year’s Eurovision contest in Lisbon, Portugal.
According to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), at least 24 of those killed during last May’s Gaza riots had been members of terrorist groups including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) April 4, 2019
Yet Australians are not in a position to know about this possible link because they likely know little or nothing about the actual Gaza protests if they get their information solely from Australian sources.
For instance, the Associated Press story on the rocket violence over the last few days published by the Age and Sydney Morning Herald (March 27) made only the most oblique – not to mention somewhat misleading – reference to the Gaza unrest, saying merely:
“Hamas, meanwhile, is under growing pressure domestically because of its failure to get Israel and Egypt to ease their Gaza border blockade, imposed after the 2007 Hamas takeover.”
The extensive unrest and Hamas oppression has become mere “pressure” and the widespread protests against Hamas’ rule and economic mismanagement have become anger about the blockade in this telling. Moreover, given the lack of reporting, few Australians would even know enough about the situation in Gaza to recognise how grossly incomplete this description is.
Given that the Australian media has not done its job in reporting on the protests in Gaza and the Hamas reaction, here is AIJAC’s attempt to fill the vacuum and provide you with some basic facts on them.
If you’re in New York, be sure to check out CAMERA’s new billboard calling out The New York Times for its biased coverage against #Israel. You can’t miss it–it’s right across from the @nytimes building! pic.twitter.com/GfBMZcC2ql
— CAMERAorg (@CAMERAorg) April 3, 2019
Adolf Hitler did not wish to confront the reality of the Final Solution, a documentary on British television claimed on Monday night.
The program alleged the Nazi dictator never visited an extermination camp and pulled down the blinds of his Fuhrer train when a train carrying Jews to their deaths stopped on an adjacent platform.
It also stated that the origins of the Holocaust lay in remarks made by Hitler at a private dinner and noted the lack of a “paper trail” linking him directly to its instigation.
“When it came to the extermination of Jews, Hitler was very hands off,” presenter Dr. Tracy Borman stated in the documentary, entitled “Private Lives,” which aired on Britain’s Yesterday channel.
But doubt was immediately cast on the implication of some of the program’s claims by one of Britain’s leading experts on Nazi Germany, Prof. Sir Richard Evans.
A Warsaw-based Holocaust commemoration group petitioned the Polish border police to block entry to the country for a Holocaust denier planning to give tours of Nazi death camps in Poland.
From the Depths filed the petition last week. The group’s founder, Jonny Daniels, said it was the first legal procedure to block the planned tours by British Holocaust denier David Irving of Holocaust-related sites in Poland.
The border police have 30 days to reply to the request regarding Irving’s planned tour, which is scheduled for early September.
Irving, who has been convicted of Holocaust denial in several countries, “intends to spread his controversial views on the territory of the Republic of Poland that violate the good name of the Polish Nation, the historical truth and the memory of millions of victims of German totalitarianism,” Daniels wrote.
Last month, From the Depths also petitioned the public prosecutor’s office in Poland to bar Irving from entering the country. That petition included a dossier of Irving’s numerous attempts to deny various aspects of historical accounts of the Nazi genocide.
The nine-day tour, which costs $3,650, is scheduled to visit Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec and Majdanek. Publicity for the tour calls the death camps “controversial.”
A top British Jewish group has condemned a popular Netflix show, “The Umbrella Academy,” for perpetuating an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
According to a report in The Sun, the final episode of the series’ first season featured a villain speaking Yiddish to two assassins after a failed assignment.
“The use of a Yiddish saying by the evil boss of an organisation which controls the world’s timeline is clearly an antisemitic trope,” Amanda Bowman, the vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, was quoted as saying.
“Whether intentional or not, this makes for very uncomfortable viewing,” she added. Netflix should take action to remove the racism from this scene.”
In the new film “The Last,” the 92-year-old matriarch of a New York Jewish family reveals a secret that shakes its members to their core. Claire, suffering from terminal brain cancer, decides to tell her grandchildren and great-grandchildren the truth — that she is a Gentile German woman who has been posing as a Jew since World War II. Moreover, she was a proud Nazi party member who worked as a nurse, assisting murderous doctors at Auschwitz.
It can be difficult to process any deathbed confession, but this one is a total bombshell — and undoubtedly every Jewish family’s nightmare. The revelation takes place early in this cerebral film. The rest of the dialogue-heavy movie’s plodding two-hour running times deals with the emotional fallout, with each family member reacting in a different way over the course of the ensuing week while Claire prepares to fly to Oregon, where she plans to die by physician assisted suicide.
“The Last,” which opens in New York on March 29,” is independent filmmaker Jeff Lipsky‘s seventh feature. In his opinion, some of the best films ever made have been about the Holocaust (he cited “Schindler’s List” and “Night and Fog” as examples in a recent interview with The Times of Israel). However the genocide was not the initial inspiration for his new film. Rather, Lipsky, 65, was intrigued by the decision of his nephew and his convert wife to become Modern Orthodox Jews.
“That was the spark, but I needed a story, a drama,” Lipsky said about how he came up with film’s provocative premise.
In order to ground Claire’s confessed backstory in real history, Lipsky wove into the fictional narrative actual Nazi figures from Auschwitz, including Dr. Carl Clauberg and Dr. Horst Schumann.
A Scottish “Holocaust heroine” and quiet champion of educating girls helped save many Jews in Hungary before dying herself in a Nazi concentration camp, according to a book out on Wednesday.
Jane Haining, who cared for hundreds of Jewish girls at the Scottish Mission School in Budapest during World War Two, died at Auschwitz camp after the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944.
Author Mary Miller said Haining was “an ordinary person who became extraordinary” through her love and courage.
“She was an independent woman and kept an independent spirit throughout all the awful things that were later to happen,” Miller told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Born into a humble farming family in Dumfries in 1987, Haining studied business and became “an early career girl.”
In 1932, she moved to Hungary to work as a matron at the school, which educated Christian and Jewish children together to foster mutual respect.
“They were part of that whole movement to give girls a good education,” Miller said.
Pressure on the school grew rapidly as Jewish refugees poured into Budapest, fleeing persecution elsewhere in Europe.
The New York State Legislature in the US has announced an additional $25 million to fund security for protecting non-public schools, daycares and cultural museums at risk of hate crimes.
For the first time, summer camps will also receive the security grant allocations.
The $25 million is on top of the $15 million in security allocations already made for such institutions this year, funding lobbied for by Teach NYS, a project of the Orthodox Union, which worked with coalition partners including Agudath Israel of America, the New York State Catholic Conference and the UJA Federation of New York to create the original program.
The Orthodox Union, through its state advocacy operation Teach Coalition, has worked for the security funding on the national, state and city levels, and also recently hired full-time staff to provide direct assistance to schools and synagogues in their efforts to apply for state and federal grant funding.
New York City’s police department on Wednesday assured the Jewish community in the five boroughs that synagogues and community centers will receive extra security during the Passover holiday, which begins on April 19.
Rabbis and community leaders received the assurance during an NYPD pre-Passover briefing that highlighted a disturbing spike in antisemitic hate crimes in the city.
“Unfortunately, it has been a horrific first quarter of the year,” Capt. Timothy Hollywood — head of the NYPD’s Bias Crimes Unit — told the briefing.
“We had 115 cases vs. 66 for a 74 percent increase,” Hollywood added.
The highest number of antisemitic offenses has been registered in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. Several of the recent violent attacks on Orthodox Jewish men in the neighborhood were caught on camera, and the suspects subsequently arrested.
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill told the briefing that the rise was troubling. “We certainly won’t hide from this,” O’Neill promised.
At first glance, Bram Presser looks more like a punk rocker than a sensitive novelist. He has two big lip piercings, a few scraggly dreadlocks and a quirky beard only under his chin line.
And, yes, Presser, 43, was the lead singer and songwriter of Yidcore, an Australian punk rock band that achieved considerable success in the early 2000s with its covers of Jewish songs — such as the entire score of “Fiddler on the Roof” — and original compositions.
Yet this very same dude wrote “The Book of Dirt,” a thoughtful, lyrical examination of his family’s Holocaust past. It begins with a warning: “Almost everyone you care about in this book is dead.” But as the Jewish Book Council noted last month when it awarded Presser its Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction, the book is “so beautifully executed that it authenticates the voices Presser seeks to awaken.”
Those are the voices of his family, starting with his grandfather, Jan Randa, who like many survivors didn’t talk about his wartime experiences. Still, Bram writes, “the nightmares had a way of sneaking out, just like the screams [that] kept my mother awake throughout her childhood.”
Israel has the lowest rate of diet-related deaths in the world, a major analysis of dietary data from around the world has revealed.
The analysis, part of the Global Burden of Disease study, was published in the respected medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday.
In Israel, it reported, just 89 people out of every 100,000 die each year in deaths related to poor-quality diet.
That’s different from obesity, say the researchers, as these are deaths not from overeating, but from nutritional imbalance in the diet — too much salt, or too few fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Alongside Israel in the healthiest-diet category are France, Italy and other northern Mediterranean countries.
The worst-afflicted nations are concentrated in central and southeastern Asia. Uzbekistan had the highest rate of diet-related deaths: 892 per 100,000 people a year, or ten times Israel’s rate.
A report in the BBC on the study noted the finding that some 10 million of the 11 million deaths each year attributed to diet were from cardiovascular diseases, or diseases caused by the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels, often in or near the heart or brain.
Beresheet, the Space IL spacecraft scheduled to land on the moon April 11, successfully completed it’s most critical maneuver on Thursday afternoon.
The maneuver, termed Lunar Capture, was a significant moment in the module’s journey to the moon, as it exited the earth gravitational pull and entered the moon’s orbit.
With the success of Lunar Capture, Israel has become the seventh country to enter the moon’s orbit.
Although the maneuver looked like it successfully completed the mission, engineers from Space IL and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said that it will take several hours to definitively confirm Beresheet’s new path.
The spacecraft has now been captured by the moon’s gravity and will begin circling it. Together, the moon and Beresheet will orbit the earth.
Until today, the spacecraft has been traveling on the Earth’s orbit, and at the beginning of this week reached the closest point to the planet, only 1,700 kilometers away, before continuing it’s path to the landing point on he moon, about 400,000 km away.
A rare well-preserved large Second Temple-period Jewish settlement, watchtower, and subterranean passages are currently being unearthed near Beersheba in Israel’s Negev Desert, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Thursday. Among the artifacts uncovered at this important site is an intriguing depiction of a nine-stemmed menorah, which illustrates a sherd from an oil lamp.
According to IAA archaeologist Dr. Daniel Varga, “This is probably one of the earliest artistic depictions of a nine-branched menorah yet discovered.”
The site is dated to the 1st century CE and was settled until the Bar Kochba Revolt in 135 CE. According to the IAA press release, underground hidden passageways discovered there may have been used by Jewish rebels.
Unearthed on the southernmost border of Judea next to a road that led from Tel Beer Sheva to the southern coastal plain, the 2-dunam (half-acre) site’s finds indicate a continuation of Jewish religious practice on the edges of the kingdom, such as ritual baths, stone vessels associated with laws of purity, and an abundance of pottery and lamps decorated with typical Jewish themes such as grape leaves. Additional finds include olive and date pits and baking facilities.
Despite being on the fringes of Judea, the settlement was not free of the turmoil experienced throughout the Roman-occupied Holy Land during this era: “Signs of a conflagration discovered in some of the structures evince a crisis that the settlement experienced, probably that of the First Jewish Revolt in c. 70 CE,” said lead excavators, Dr. Peter Fabian of the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev and the IAA’s Varga.
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