A Biblical-Era Farmstead Discovered

Jan. 11 2016

An archaeological excavation near the Israeli town of Rosh Ha’Ayin has uncovered a 2,700-year-old farmhouse, along with several more recent ruins. Ruth Shuster writes (with pictures and video):

A huge farmhouse from the First Temple period, an ornate Byzantine church built over 1,000 years later, and a lime kiln dated to the Ottoman era have been found . . . during an archaeological investigation ahead of building a new neighborhood.

The sprawling . . . farmhouse has no fewer than 24 rooms surrounding a central courtyard, which was a common structure in the Middle East. . . . It was so well preserved that some walls were still standing to a height of more than two meters after nearly three millennia.

The archaeologists also found two silver coins from a slightly later time, the 4th century BCE, . . . bearing the likenesses of the goddess Athena and the Athenian owl. Evidently this farmstead, like similar ones in the area, remained in use for centuries until the region was abandoned in the period of the Hellenistic conquests.

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Read more at Haaretz

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, First Temple, Hellenism, History & Ideas

Palestinian Acceptance of Israel as the Jewish State Must Be a Prerequisite to Further Negotiations

Oct. 19 2018

In 1993, in the early days of the Oslo peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under Yasir Arafat accepted the “right of the state of Israel to exist in peace and security.” But neither it nor its heir, the Palestinians Authority, has ever accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, or the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. Robert Barnidge explains why this distinction matters:

A Jewish state for the Jewish people, after all, was exactly what the [UN] General Assembly intended in November 1947 when it called for the partition of the Palestine Mandate into “the Arab state, the Jewish state, and the city of Jerusalem.”

Although the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state does not stand or fall on this resolution—in declaring the independence of Israel on the eve of the Sabbath on May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council, [the precursor to the Israeli government], also stressed the Jewish people’s natural and historic rights—it reaffirms the legitimacy of Jewish national rights in (what was to become) the state of Israel.

The Palestinians have steadfastly refused to recognize Jewish self-determination. [Instead], the PLO [has been] playing a double game. . . . It is not simply that the PLO supported the General Assembly’s determination in 1975, rescinded in 1991, that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” It is that that the PLO leadership continues to speak of Jews as a religious community rather than a people, and of Zionism as a colonial usurper rather than the national liberation movement that it is.

The U.S. government, Barnidge concludes, “should demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace and security as a Jewish state” and refuse to “press Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians unless and until that happens.”

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Israel & Zionism, Peace Process, PLO, US-Israel relations, Yasir Arafat