On Hanukkah, Israeli Spelunkers Discover Ancient Etchings of a Menorah and a Cross

The etchings were found on the walls of an ancient limestone cistern, as Ilan Ben Zion writes:

A group of Israel Caving Club members were exploring hidden caves in the Judean lowlands . . . when they discerned the carvings: a three-footed menorah with seven branches similar to the one that stood in the Jerusalem temple, a cross, and a depiction of an ancient key. Other as-yet-unidentified carvings were also found. . . .

Sa’ar Ganor, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, . . . studied the engravings and determined that the menorah was likely carved sometime during the Second Temple period—about 530 BCE to 70 CE—and the cross likely in the Byzantine period, around the 4th century CE.

“It’s rare to find a wall engraving of a menorah,” which is a “distinctly Jewish symbol,” Ganor said. . . [O]nly two menorah engravings exist in the region where it was found: one in an oil press at Beit Loya and the other in a tomb near Beit Guvrin—both east of the modern city of Kiryat Gat.

Read more at Times of Israel

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

Close the PLO Office in Washington

April 24 2017

In the wake of the Oslo Accords, and in order to facilitate futher negotiations, Congress carved out an exception to the 1987 Anti-Terrorism Act to permit the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—a known terrorist group—to open an office in the U.S. capital. The legislation allows the president to extend this “temporary” waiver at his discretion—which every president since Bill Clinton has done. Shoshana Bryen argues that putting an end to the policy is a proper punishment for the PLO’s continued financial support for terrorists and their families.

[The waiver] was conditional on the PLO’s meeting its Oslo Accords obligations, including refraining from terrorism and renouncing international moves that would impede a bilateral agreement on final-status issues. . . .

In 2011, a Palestinian bid for recognition as a full member of the UN failed, but the waiver remained. Over U.S. objections, “Palestine” joined the International Criminal Court in 2015 [in violation of the Accords and thus of the waiver’s conditions]. . . .

[Furthermore], worried about foreign-aid payments from the U.S. and the EU, in 2014 the Palestinian Authority (PA) claimed it stopped paying salaries [to terrorists and their familites] and that future money would come from a new PLO Commission of Prisoner Affairs. . . . [I]n 2015, a year after the PA “officially” transferred authority over Palestinian prisoners to the PLO, it also transferred an extra 444-million shekels (more than $116 million) to the PLO—nearly the same amount that the PA had allocated in the previous years to its now-defunct Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs. . . .

[T]he U.S. government should let the PLO and PA know that we are onto their game. Disincentivizing terrorism by closing the PLO office in Washington would be a good first step.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, PLO, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy