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

Israel Should Try to Defang Hamas without Toppling It

Feb. 22 2019

For the time being, Hamas has chosen to avoid outright war with the Jewish state, but instead to apply sustained, low-intensity pressure through its weekly border riots and organizing terrorist cells in the West Bank. Yet it is simultaneously engaged in a major military build-up, which suggests that it has not entirely been deterred by the previous three Gaza wars. Yaakov Lappin considers Jerusalem’s options:

In recent years, the Israel Defense Force’s southern command, which is responsible for much of the war planning for Gaza, identified a long-term truce as the best of bad options for Israel. This is based on the understanding that an Israeli invasion of Gaza and subsequent destruction of the Hamas regime would leave Israel in the unenviable position of being directly in charge of some two-million mostly hostile Gazans. This could lead to an open-ended and draining military occupation. . . .

Alternatively, Israel could demolish the Hamas regime and leave Gaza, putting it on a fast track to a “Somalia model” of anarchy and violence. In that scenario, . . . multiple jihadist armed gangs lacking a central ruling structure would appear, and Israel would be unable to project its military might to any single “return address” in Gaza. This would result in a loss of Israel’s deterrent force on Gaza to keep the region calm. This scenario would be considerably worse than the current status quo.

But a third option, in between the options of leaving Gaza as it is and toppling Hamas in a future war, may exist. In this scenario, the IDF would decimate Hamas’s military wing in any future conflict but leave its political wing and police force in place. This would enable a rapid Israeli exit after a war, but avoid a Somalia-like fate for Gaza with its destructive implications for both Israelis and Gazans. . . .

On the one hand, Hamas’s police force is an intrinsic support system for Gaza’s terrorist-guerrilla forces. On the other hand, the police and domestic-security units play a genuine role in keeping order. Such forces have been used to repress Islamic State-affiliated cells that challenge Hamas’s rule. . . . Compared to the alternative scenarios of indefinite occupation or the “Somalia scenario,” a weakened Hamas might be the best and most realistic option.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security