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

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada