Ancient Rock Carvings Shed Light on the Early Inhabitants of the Land of Israel

July 17 2020

New research has uncovered 4,200-year-old murals in the Golan Heights. According to the Bible’s chronology, these predate Abraham—who would have lived around the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE—by several hundred years. Yori Yalon writes:

The carvings were identified on ancient graves constructed from boulders, known as dolmens, that date back some 4,200 years, and appear to point to the existence of a mysterious civilization of builders that existed in northern Israel over four millennia ago. [Some] carvings depict horned animals such as ibexes, antelope, and wild cattle. At another dolmen, the top stone was designed to resemble a human face, and a third features carvings of geometric shapes.

Most researchers believe that the enormous stone structures were built in the Middle Bronze Age, 4,000-5,000 years ago. Hundreds have been studied throughout the Golan and Galilee areas.

[The archaeologist Uri Berger, coauthor of a recent study of the carvings, commented]: “Thus far, many dolmens have been found in Israel and neighboring countries, but we knew virtually nothing about this civilization of super-builders, other than the remains of the enormous structures they left behind as testimony of their existence. The cave carvings offer us the first glimpse of the culture behind the construction of the dolmens.”

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Abraham, Ancient Near East, Archaeology, Golan Heights

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia