A Trove of 3,600-Year-Old Artifacts Found in Israel

Nov. 16 2016

An Israeli and American team of archaeologists recently discovered a collection of gold and silver items at the ruins of the Gezer, a Canaanite city located in the Judean foothills that flourished at the time of the biblical patriarchs. Dan Lavie writes:

The find includes . . . a gold-framed Egyptian seal from the Hyksos period [in the mid-second millennium BCE] and a silver medallion. The medallion consists of a silver disk on which an eight-pointed star is engraved. The disk is flanked by two thin “horns,” from which it would have connected to a rope or a chain. The archaeologist Irit Tziper said that the symbols on the disk are known to represent Canaanite gods similar to the Mesopotamian gods Ishtar and Sin. . . .

Analysis of the artifacts indicates that the trove was placed as an offering in a structure likely [meant] to synthesize Mesopotamian-Canaanite gods and Egyptian culture. The structure complex itself is part of a Middle Canaanite-period city that includes an impressive gate, a wall, and the largest Canaanite water tower known to date.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Canaanites, History & Ideas, Paganism


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy