Archaeologists Find a Coin in Jerusalem Commemorating the Revolt against Rome

Dec. 14 2016

After the repression of the Great Revolt and the destruction of the Second Temple, the Roman emperor Vespasian issued coins reading “Judea has been captured.” But before that, Jews were minting coins bearing the inscription, “Freedom of Zion.” Herb Keinon writes:

[Israel’s] culture minister Miri Regev unveiled the coin at Sunday’s cabinet meeting as part of a presentation she gave about preparations for next year’s celebration of 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem. The coin was uncovered during an excavation about a month ago of a recently discovered road in Jerusalem. . . .

The ancient coin was one of a series minted during the Jewish revolt against the Romans. The flip-side of the coin bears the inscription, “The second year of the Great Revolt,” which dates it to 67 CE.

“Exactly 1,900 years later, in 1967, the paratroopers entered Jerusalem’s Old City and renewed its freedom, and ours,” Regev said.

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More about: Ancient Rome, Archaeology, History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism, Jerusalem, Judean Revolt, Second Temple

No, Israel Hasn’t Used Disproportionate Force against Hamas

Aug. 15 2018

Last week, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza launched nearly 200 rockets and mortars into Israel, in addition to the ongoing makeshift incendiary devices and sporadic sniper fire. Israel responded with an intensive round of airstrikes, which stopped the rockets. Typically, condemnations of the Jewish state’s use of “disproportionate force” followed; and typically, as Peter Lerner, a former IDF spokesman, explains, these were wholly inaccurate:

The IDF conducted, by its own admission, approximately 180 precision strikes. In the aftermath of those strikes the Hamas Ministry of Health announced that three people had been killed. One of the dead was [identified] as a Hamas terrorist. The two others were reported as civilians: Inas Abu Khmash, a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman, and her eighteen-month daughter, Bayan. While their deaths are tragic, they are not an indication of a disproportionate response to Hamas’s bombardment of Israel’s southern communities. With . . . 28 Israelis who required medical assistance [and] 30 Iron Dome interceptions, I would argue the heart-rending Palestinian deaths indicate the exact opposite.

The precision strikes on Hamas’s assets with so few deaths show how deep and thorough is the planning process the IDF has put in place. . . . Proportionality in warfare, [however], is not a numbers game, as so many of the journalists I’ve worked with maintain. . . . Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against the anguish that the action might cause to civilians in the vicinity. . . . In the case of the last few days, it appears that even intended combatant deaths were [deemed] undesirable, due to their potential to increase the chances of war. . . .

The question that should be repeated is why indiscriminate rocket fire against Israeli civilians from behind Gazan civilians is accepted, underreported, and not condemned.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict