An Ancient Lioness Carving, in Pristine Condition, Uncovered in the Galilee

Nov. 28 2017

Israeli archaeologists recently uncovered a relief of a lioness, carved onto 1,320-pound basalt rock and dating to somewhere between the 4th and 6th centuries CE, in the village of el-Araj. While some experts have identified el-Araj with Bethsaida, a town mentioned in the New Testament, and with the adjacent Roman settlement Julias, others are skeptical. For now, the question to be solved is whether the lioness relief belonged to Jews, Christians, or pagans. Ruth Shuster writes that Mordechai Aviam, the excavation’s supervisor, believes it is Jewish, although he admits that it is too soon to say with certainty:

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Read more at Haaretz

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Art, Galilee, History & Ideas

Why a Government Victory in Southwestern Syria Is Bad News for Israel

Sept. 17 2021

Last week, Russia negotiated a ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebel forces in the city of Daraa, where the initial protests that sparked the uprising against Bashar al-Assad began. The agreement ended a 75-day assault on the city, located near the country’s southwestern border, by Russian, Iranian, and Syrian forces. Jonathan Spyer explains the significance of these events:

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Read more at Jonathan Spyer

More about: Golan Heights, Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war