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In the Aftermath of a Storm, an Ancient Winepress Is Discovered in Israel

Oct. 28 2015

Last weekend, major hail and rainstorms hit Israel. Pumping water from a flooded area of the Sharon Plain revealed an ancient winery, thought to date to the 6th century CE. Daniel Eisenbud writes (with photographs):

[The Israeli archaeologist Alla] Nagorski said the well-preserved winery was . . . impressive and rare. “It is evident that great thought was invested in the engineering and construction,” she said. “The wine press is huge—three meters in diameter and two meters deep, and could accommodate twenty cubic meters of wine.”

Nagorski said numerous other wine presses have been exposed in Sharon, where the wine industry once thrived. In addition a warehouse was discovered housing jars.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, History & Ideas, Wine

Mahmoud Abbas Comes to the UN to Walk away from the Negotiating Table

Feb. 22 2018

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, addressed the United Nations Security Council during one of its regular discussions of the “Palestine question.” He used the opportunity to elaborate on the Palestinians’ “5,000-year history” in the land of Israel, after which he moved on to demand—among other things—that the U.S. reverse its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The editors of the Weekly Standard comment:

It’s convenient for Abbas to suggest a condition to which he knows the United States won’t accede. It allows him to do what he does best—walk away from the table. Which is what he did on Tuesday, literally. After his speech, Abbas and his coterie of bureaucrats walked out of the council chamber, snubbing the next two speakers, the Israeli ambassador Danny Danon and the U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley, . . . [in order to have his] photograph taken with the Belgian foreign minister.

Abbas has neither the power nor the will to make peace. It’s the perennial problem afflicting Palestinian leadership. If he compromises on the alleged “right of return”—the chimerical idea that Palestinians can re-occupy the lands from which they [or their ancestors] fled, in effect obliterating the Israeli state—he will be deposed by political adversaries. Thus his contradictory strategy: to prolong his pageantry in international forums such as the UN, and to fashion himself a “moderate” even as he finances and incites terror. He seems to believe time is on his side. But it’s not. He’s eighty-two. While he continues his performative intransigence, he further immiserates the people he claims to represent.

In a sense, it was entirely appropriate that Abbas walked out. In that sullen act, he [exemplified] his own approach to peacemaking: when difficulties arise, vacate the premises and seek out photographers.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Mahmoud Abbas, Nikki Haley, Politics & Current Affairs, United Nations