Clay Seals Provide Evidence of 8th-Century Israelite Refugees Coming to Jerusalem

Sept. 7 2017

Historians have long believed that, after the Assyrians destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 720 BCE, many of its residents fled to the Southern Kingdom of Judah and settled there. The recent discovery of clay seals (technically known as bullae) in Jerusalem—then the Judaean capital—provides evidence of this migration, as Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

A new cache of First Temple bullae discovered in an excavation at Jerusalem’s City of David shows a mixture of names from the kingdoms of Israel and Judah used on official bureaucratic correspondence. . . The dozens of clay imprints were used on letters and documents which were bound by string and sealed by wet clay pressed with the sender’s mark or name. . . . Among the bullae [one] bears the name “Aḥiav ben Menaḥem” [both names used by kings of Israel and thus thought to be Israelite rather than Judaean]. . . .

According to [the excavation’s] co-director Ortal Chalaf, these Israelite names and other findings point to the possibility that after the destruction of Israel, refugees fled the Kingdom of Israel for the Kingdom of Judah, and settled in Jerusalem. . . . [T]he use of their names on official correspondence shows that these Israelites gained important roles in the Judaean administration.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Assyria, History & Ideas, Jerusalem

The EU Violates International Law, Steals Palestinian Land, and Then Demands Compensation from Israel

Nov. 17 2017

Last month, the eight European countries that make up the West Bank Protection Consortium sent a formal letter demanding €30,000 in compensation for two classrooms with solar panels that Israel dismantled in August. The letter, as Ruthie Blum explains, ignores the fact that the structures, located in part of the West Bank called Area C, were built in violation of international law:

[The 1995 agreement known as] Oslo II, which created the Palestinian Authority (PA), divides the West Bank into three geographical sections—Areas A, B, and C—and specifies which government controls each. Area C is under the military and civil jurisdiction of Israel alone. . . . Yet, for years, there has been non-stop building in Area C, . . . in a transparent effort to populate Area C with Palestinians. . . .

[The] Middle East analyst Bassam Tawil [has] noted massive “behind-the-scenes” Palestinian construction, the goal of which is “to create irreversible facts on the ground” and completely encircle Jerusalem. He points out that while Israel is condemned for any and every attempt to build housing in the West Bank and Jerusalem [which it never does in Area A, assigned by Oslo to the sole jurisdiction of the Ramallah], the Palestinian Authority has been undertaking, with impunity, a “colossal” construction project that is “illegal in every respect.” . . .

On a recent tour of the area, [another] Arab affairs expert, Khaled Abu Toameh, explained that this ongoing construction, funded mainly by the EU and Qatar, is made possible through the “confiscation” of privately owned tracts of Palestinian land by unlicensed contractors whose interest is solely financial. . . All they want, he said, is to line their pockets at the expense of helpless landowners, who are told that they must sacrifice their property to help the Palestinian Authority populate the area for political gain against Israel. . . .

It takes particular gall for European Union representatives to express “humanitarian” outrage at Israel for razing illegal structures in the West Bank—while the EU is in league with Palestinian criminals who have been brazenly stealing Arab-owned land.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Europe and Israel, European Union, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, West Bank