New Discoveries Support the Biblical Account of the Razing of Gezer

July 20 2017

An Egyptian pharaoh, the book of Kings relates, conquered the Canaanite city of Gezer, burned it to the ground, and slaughtered its inhabitants; the text tells us that it was later rebuilt by King Solomon. Ongoing excavations of the city seem to confirm this version of events, as Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

Three torched skeletal remains were discovered this summer at the Tel Gezer archaeological site. . . . Previous digging seasons have uncovered Canaanite treasure troves and a King Solomon-era palace.

“The adult [skeleton] was lying on its back with arms above its head. The child, who was wearing earrings, was next to the adult, to the left. This room was filled with ash and collapsed mud brick,” Steve Ortiz, [director of the excavation, explained]. . . . In a second area, other skeletal remains were found under a pile of collapsed stones. [One skeleton] “attests to the violent nature of the destruction, as it is clear he experienced the trauma of the event,” said Ortiz. . . .

Ortiz [also] said Egyptians usually preferred to subdue vassal cities and continue their revenue streams. The widespread conflagration and “heavy destruction suggests the Egyptian pharaoh encountered much resistance from the Gezerites.” . . .

Other items in the torched rooms included a 13th-century-BCE amulet and cylinder seals depicting war, which . . . also provide evidence of Egyptian military campaigns there at the end of the late Bronze Age.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Hebrew Bible, History & Ideas, King Solomon

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