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

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.”

Read more at Israel Hayom

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

How to Turn Palestinian Public Opinion Away from Terror

The Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid, responding to the latest survey results of the Palestinian public, writes:

Not coincidentally, support for Hamas is much higher in the West Bank—misgoverned by Hamas’s archrivals, the secular nationalist Fatah, which rules the Palestinian Authority (PA)—than in Gaza, whose population is being actively brutalized by Hamas. Popular support for violence persists despite the devastating impact that following radical leaders and ideologies has historically had on the Palestinian people, as poignantly summed up by Israel’s Abba Eban when he quipped that Arabs, including the Palestinians, “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Just as worrying is the role of propaganda and misinformation, which are not unique to the Palestinian context but are pernicious there due to the high stakes involved. Misinformation campaigns, often fueled by Hamas and its allies, have painted violent terrorism as the only path to dignity and rights for Palestinians. Palestinian schoolbooks and public media are rife with anti-Semitic and jihadist content. Hamas’s allies in the West have matched Hamas’s genocidal rhetoric with an equally exterminationist call for the de-normalization and destruction of Israel.

It’s crucial to consider successful examples of de-radicalization from other regional contexts. After September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia implemented a comprehensive de-radicalization program aimed at rehabilitating extremists through education, psychological intervention, and social reintegration. This program has had successes and offers valuable lessons that could be adapted to the Palestinian context.

Rather than pressure Israel to make concessions, Eid argues, the international community should be pressuring Palestinian leaders—including Fatah—to remove incitement from curricula and stop providing financial rewards to terrorists.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion