Hebron Remained Jewish in the Second Temple Period

Oct. 10 2017

Since 2014, archaeologists have been excavating the site of an ancient settlement, dating to the 1st century BCE and located adjacent to the modern-day city of Hebron. The discovery of two mikvehs provides proof that this was a Jewish town. Bible History Daily reports:

Mentioned about 100 times in the Hebrew Bible, biblical Hebron held . . . the burial ground of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, was a fortified city when Moses sent spies to Canaan, and served as David’s first capital in the kingdom of Judah.

According to the ancient Jewish historian Josephus, during the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (66–70 CE), the Zealot leader Simeon Bar-Giora captured Hebron, but the Roman army under the command of the general (and later emperor) Vespasian then retook the Judean town and burned it to the ground. . . .

The site of Tel Hebron resides 3,000 feet above sea level in the Judean hill country, about twenty miles south of Jerusalem. Excavations [have] revealed four occupational phases at Hebron during the Second Temple period, from the time of the late Hasmoneans (ca. 100–37 BCE) to the Bar-Kokhba revolt (132–135 CE). Residential houses, pottery workshops, and wine and oil presses were [also] uncovered.

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Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Archaeology, Hebron, History & Ideas, Second Temple

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy