Archaeologists Find a Coin in Jerusalem Commemorating the Revolt against Rome

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

How Israel Can Best Benefit from Its Newfound Friendship with Brazil

Jan. 21 2019

Earlier this month, Benjamin Netanyahu was in Brazil—the first Israeli prime minister to visit the country—for the inauguration of its controversial new president Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has made clear his eagerness to break with his predecessors’ hostility toward the Jewish state, and Netanyahu has responded positively. To Emanuele Ottolenghi, the improved relations offer an opportunity for joint cooperation against Hizballah, which gets much of its revenue through cooperation with Brazilian drug cartels. In this cooperative effort, Ottolenghi cautions against repeating mistakes made in an earlier outreach to Paraguay:

Hizballah relies heavily on the proceeds of transnational crime networks, especially in the Tri-Border Area [where] Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay [meet], but until recently, Brazilian officials were loath to acknowledge its presence in their country or its involvement in organized crime. [But] Bolsonaro’s top priority is fighting organized crime. Combating Hizballah’s terror finance is a vital Israeli interest. Making the case that Israel’s and Brazil’s interests dovetail perfectly should be easy. . . .

But Israel should be careful not to prioritize symbols over substance, a mistake already made once in Latin America. During 2013-2018, Netanyahu invested heavily in his relationship with Horacio Cartes, then president of Paraguay. Cartes, . . . too, had a genuine warmth for Israel, which culminated in his decision in May 2018 to move Paraguay’s embassy to Jerusalem. Most importantly, from Israel’s point of view, Paraguay began voting with Israel against the Arab bloc at the UN.

However, the Paraguayan side of the Tri-Border Area remained ground zero for Hizballah’s money laundering in Latin America. The Cartes administration hardly lifted a finger to act against the terror funding networks. . . . Worse—when critics raised Hizballah’s [local] terror-financing activities, Paraguayan ministers confronted their Israeli counterparts, threatening to change Paraguay’s friendly international posture toward Israel. [And] as soon as Cartes left office, his successor, Mario Abdo Benítez, moved Paraguay’s embassy back to Tel Aviv. . . . Israel’s five-year investment ultimately yielded no embassy move and no progress on combating Hizballah’s terror network. . . .

Israel should make the battle against Hizballah’s terror-finance networks in Latin America its top regional priority.

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Brazil, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Latin America