Archaeologists Discover the Ancient Road Used by Jewish Pilgrims

The Bible requires all Jewish males to make a pilgrimage to the Temple on the holidays of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. Now two archaeologists, Yotam and Yigal Tepper, believe they have discovered the road used by these pilgrims in Roman times. Robin Ngo writes:

Many different types of roads crossed through Judea in the Roman period. The methodically planned imperial “highways” were standardized across the Roman empire, with milestones placed at fixed intervals listing the names of the builders as well as the distance and destination of the roads. . . . There were also “agricultural roads” that connected settlements with their fields and “rural roads” that connected villages with nearby sites, such as springs.

There is another type of ancient road: the road on which Jews would travel during their Jerusalem pilgrimage. One such road can be found at an upward pass at Beit Horon, about ten miles northwest of Jerusalem. . . . This road comprises curved rock-cut steps measuring five-and-one-half feet in width. Alongside this modest road is a Roman imperial road more than double the width of the pilgrimage road; both led to Jerusalem.

Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Archaeology, History & Ideas, Jewish holidays, Pilgrimage, Second Temple


If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy