The First Humans in the Land of Israel

June 29 2020

In 2018, a pair of Israeli scientists published the results of their excavation of the Misliya cave at Mount Carmel, where they had found a skull belonging to a human who lived between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. The discovery suggested that Homo sapiens not only developed earlier than generally assumed, but also left Africa sooner. In their subsequent research into other fossils found in the same cave, the scientists have concluded that these humans arrived during the Ice Age. Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

According to a new study, . . . the discovery of fossils from rodents that are only adapted to cold environments—which were found in the same archaeological assemblage as the earliest known record of Homo sapiens outside of Africa—proves that those early modern humans arrived during an Ice Age and yet were able to thrive after leaving the cradle of humankind despite the drastically cooler temperatures.

The study’s authors say the analysis contradicts the [widely accepted] theory that the Ice Age delayed human migration between continents. This first sign of human adaptability displays the characteristics that would eventually lead to our species’ world domination, said the scientists.

The region is rife with indications of paleolithic settlement . . . and during ten years of excavations, along with the jawbone, the team uncovered some 60,000 flint tools, which span the human history of development from chunky primitive hand axes to purposefully knapped, lightweight, technologically advanced projectiles, and thin knives.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Archaeology, Land of Israel, Science

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism