A Biblical-Era Farmstead Discovered

An archaeological excavation near the Israeli town of Rosh Ha’Ayin has uncovered a 2,700-year-old farmhouse, along with several more recent ruins. Ruth Shuster writes (with pictures and video):

A huge farmhouse from the First Temple period, an ornate Byzantine church built over 1,000 years later, and a lime kiln dated to the Ottoman era have been found . . . during an archaeological investigation ahead of building a new neighborhood.

The sprawling . . . farmhouse has no fewer than 24 rooms surrounding a central courtyard, which was a common structure in the Middle East. . . . It was so well preserved that some walls were still standing to a height of more than two meters after nearly three millennia.

The archaeologists also found two silver coins from a slightly later time, the 4th century BCE, . . . bearing the likenesses of the goddess Athena and the Athenian owl. Evidently this farmstead, like similar ones in the area, remained in use for centuries until the region was abandoned in the period of the Hellenistic conquests.

Read more at Haaretz

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, First Temple, Hellenism, History & Ideas

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict