Archaeologists Discover the Oldest Extant Inscription Using the Modern Spelling of “Jerusalem”

Oct. 10 2018

In the oldest Hebrew inscriptions and manuscripts that mention the city of Jerusalem, the city’s name is spelled “Yerushalem” or simply “Shalem,” as opposed to the spelling “Yerushalayim,” which did not become standard until the end of the 1st millennium. The Jerusalem Post reports:

The limestone column that dates to the Second Temple period was discovered ten months ago on an excavation site near the International Convention Center in Jerusalem. The words “Hananiah son of Dudolos from Jerusalem” were etched on the column, which was part of a building that stood in a Jewish potters’ village near the entrance to Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago. . . .

The word Jerusalem was found on silver coins dating before the time of this column, but they were written in Aramaic.

Details of who Hananiah was and why he etched his name on the column are yet to be uncovered; however, what can be confirmed is that he was Jewish. . . . According to Dudy Mevorach, the chief curator of archaeology at the Israel Museum, “It is likely that [Hananiah] was an artisan or the son of an artisan” and [that the word] Dudolos was not [the name of his father] but an homage to the mythical Greek artist [Daedalus].

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More about: Archaeology, History & Ideas, Jerusalem


For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror