A 5,000-Year-Old Metropolis North of Tel Aviv

Oct. 11 2019

While there have been archaeological digs since the 1960s at the site of the ancient settlement of En Esur—located in the Sharon region north of Tel Aviv—a major excavation begun two years ago has revealed a city far larger than expected. Archaeologists say that in the 4th millennium BCE the city covered an area of some 160 acres and had a population of about 6,000, making it much greater in size than Jericho or Megiddo, heretofore thought the biggest cities in the southern Levant at the time. Yasemin Saplakoglu reports. (Photographs and video can be found at the link below.)

The city’s intricate design of residential and public areas and alleys points to the organized society and social hierarchy that may have existed at the time, according to the statement [from the Israel Antiquities Authority]. The archaeologists also uncovered millions of pottery fragments, flint tools, basalt-stone vessels, and a large temple filled with burnt animal bones and figurines—such as one of a human head containing a seal impression of human hands lifted into the air. In the temple’s courtyard, archaeologists found a huge stone basin that held liquids, most likely for religious rituals.

“This is a huge city—a megalopolis in relation to the Early Bronze Age, where thousands of inhabitants, who made their living from agriculture, lived and traded with different regions and even with different cultures and kingdoms in the area,” Itai Elad, Yitzḥak Paz, and Dina Shalem, the directors of the excavation, said.

Below some of the houses, the archaeologists also uncovered evidence of an even older city that dates back some 7,000 years to the Chalcolithic period.

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More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media