A Clay Seal from the 7th-Century-BCE Governor of Jerusalem

Last week, archaeologists presented the mayor of Jerusalem with an ancient clay seal, discovered on the Temple Mount and inscribed with the words, “belonging to the governor of the city.” Amanda Borschel-Dan explains its significance:

According to the site’s excavator Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, “this is the first time that such an impression was found in an authorized excavation. It supports the biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2,700 years ago.”

The minuscule clay seal impression . . . was found while researchers were examining the dust from a First Temple structure 100 meters northwest of the Western Wall at a site that the Israel Antiquities Authority has been excavating since 2005. The excavations have offered up insights into Jerusalem’s Second Temple and Roman periods, as well as a massive Iron Age [i.e., First Temple-period or earlier] four-room building where an eclectic collection of six other seals were uncovered, whose origins point to a thriving cosmopolitan center or settlement.

“The seal impression . . . served as some sort of logo, or as a tiny souvenir, which was sent on behalf of the governor of the city,” said Weksler-Bdolah, . . . [who explained] that the governor most likely functioned much like today’s mayor. The role is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible: in 2Kings, someone named Joshua is listed as the governor of the city in the days of King Hezekiah, and in 2Chronicles, Maaseiah is noted as governor of the city in the days of King Josiah.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, History & Ideas, Jerusalem, Temple Mount

While Pursuing a Thaw with Israel, Saudi Arabia Foments Anti-Semitism at Home

July 18 2018

For the better part of this century, Jerusalem and Riyadh have cooperated clandestinely to contain Iran’s growing power. The kingdom has also increasingly aimed its diplomatic and propaganda efforts against Qatar, whose funding of Islamist groups—including Hamas—has damaged both Saudi Arabia and Israel. But, writes Edy Cohen, there’s a dark side to Riyadh’s efforts against the enemies of the Jewish state:

The [Saudi cyberwarfare agency’s] Twitter account tweets daily, mostly against Qatar and Iran. It uses anti-Semitic terminology, referring to Qatar as “Qatariel,” a portmanteau of Qatar and Israel, and claiming the [Qatar-sponsored] Al Jazeera network “belongs to the Israeli Mossad.”

“‘The deal of the century’ is a Qatari scheme to sell Palestine to the Zionist entity,’” one tweet reads, while another alleges that the “Zionist” Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the father of [Qatar’s ruler] Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is scheming to divide the Arab states to fulfill the dreams of the “Zionist entity” and Iran. Yet another tweet alleges that Qatar is “trying to destroy the Arab world to serve the enemies of the Muslim world: Israel and Iran.” These statements penetrate deep into the Arab consciousness and increase existing hatred toward Jews and Israel.

The Saudis, then, are playing a double game. Behind the scenes, they send the Israelis the message that Iran is a common enemy and goad them to fight Iran and Hizballah. At home, however, they say the enemy is first and foremost the state of Israel, followed by Iran. Their formula is clear: covert ties with Israel coupled with overt hostility to the Jewish state to satisfy the people, a majority of whom hate Israel.

The Saudi double game is reminiscent of the Egyptian model under President Gamal Abdel Nasser in that dozens of anti-Semitic articles are published daily, while the Israeli populace is not exposed to the phenomenon and the politicians close their ears. Following the signing of the 1994 Oslo Accords, the Palestinians asked Israel for permission to incite “moderately” against the Jewish state for “domestic needs.” This incitement turned deadly and was used as live ammunition for the boycott, sanctions, and divestment movement (BDS). We must not give in and accept the incitement against us, and that is also true when Saudi Arabia is concerned. Incitement translates into action, and that action comes at a price.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israel & Zionism, Qatar, Saudi Arabia