Reading the Book of Nehemiah in Light of Persian Imperial Propaganda

According to the Hebrew Bible, Nehemiah—a Jew serving in the Persian court—was made governor of Judea at the behest of the emperor Artaxerxes in the 5th century BCE. In this role he restored Jerusalem’s walls and revived adherence to the Torah. Lucas Schulte compares depictions of the Persian regime in the book of Nehemiah with those in contemporary Babylonian and Egyptian texts, and notes some common threads of the empire’s public-relations strategy. (Free registration required.)

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Read more at ASOR

More about: Ancient Near East, Ancient Persia, Hebrew Bible, History & Ideas, Nehemiah

 

By Restoring Funding to UNRWA, the U.S. Is Ensuring That the Israel-Palestinian Conflict Continues

Last week, the White House announced its plan to resume funding of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)—which had ceased in 2018—to the tune of $150 million per year. UNRWA, unlike the UN organization that cares for refugees from every other conflict the world over, does not seek to resettle its charges or to integrate them into the countries where they live, but instead keeps them and their descendants refugees in perpetuity. While the administration justified its decision as “a means to advance a negotiated two-state solution,” Einat Wilf argues that it will do nothing of the sort:

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Read more at Newsweek

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Two-State Solution, U.S. Foreign policy, UNRWA