New Findings Support the Biblical Account of the Edomite Kingdom

Sept. 23 2019

In the Bible, the land of Edom—populated, according to Genesis, by the descendants of Jacob’s twin brother Esau—occurs frequently as a rival of the Israelites. Although the text specifies that the Edomite kingdom predates the reign of Saul and David, archaeologists have generally thought it was inhabited by tribal nomads up until the 8th century BCE, about 200 years later. A new discovery at an archaeological site in Jordan changes that, as Aaron Reich writes:

[New] research has uncovered the untold story of a thriving and wealthy society in the Arava desert—which spans parts of Israel and Jordan—that existed during the 12th and 11th centuries BCE.

According to [a just-published] study, . . . the kingdom’s wealth appears to have been built on a “high-tech network” of copper, the most valuable resource in the region at the time; . . . the production process for copper is incredibly complex. . . . [T]he research team analyzed findings from ancient copper mines in Jordan and Israel to create a timeline of the evolution of copper production from 1300 to 800 BCE, and found a significant decrease of copper in the slag—the waste product of copper extraction—at the Arava site, implying that the process became more efficient and streamlined.

Ezra Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University’s department of archaeology and ancient Near Eastern cultures, [who was one of the lead authors of the study], explains that “a flourishing copper industry in the Arava can only be attributed to a centralized and hierarchical polity, and this might fit the biblical description of the Edomite kingdom.”

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Edomites

Is the Attempt on Salman Rushdie’s Life Part of a Broader Iranian Strategy?

Aug. 18 2022

While there is not yet any definitive evidence that Hadi Matar, the man who repeatedly stabbed the novelist Salman Rushdie at a public talk last week, was acting on direct orders from Iranian authorities, he has made clear that he was inspired by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s call for Rushdie’s murder, and his social-media accounts express admiration for the Islamic Republic. The attack also follows on the heels of other Iranian attempts on the lives of Americans, including the dissident activist Masih Alinejad, the former national security advisor John Bolton, and the former secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was held hostage by the mullahs for over two years, sees a deliberate effort at play:

It is no coincidence this flurry of Iranian activity comes at a crucial moment for the hitherto-moribund [nuclear] negotiations. Iranian hardliners have long opposed reviving the 2015 deal, and the Iranians have made a series of unrealistic and seemingly ever-shifting demands which has led many to conclude that they are not negotiating in good faith. Among these is requiring the U.S. to delist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in its entirety from the State Department’s list of terror organizations.

The Biden administration and its European partners’ willingness to make concessions are viewed in Tehran as signals of weakness. The lack of a firm response in the shocking attack on Salman Rushdie will similarly indicate to Tehran that there is little to be lost and much to be gained in pursuing dissidents like Alinejad or so-called blasphemers like Sir Salman on U.S. soil.

If we don’t stand up for our values when under attack we can hardly blame our adversaries for assuming that we have none. Likewise, if we don’t erect and maintain firm red lines in negotiations our adversaries will perhaps also assume that we have none.

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Read more at iNews

More about: Iran, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy