An Israeli Diver Discovered a Crusader Sword at the Bottom of the Sea

Not long after Israeli archaeologists announced the unprecedented discovery of a Crusader encampment south of Tel Aviv, a diver named Shlomi Katzin came across a shell-encrusted crusader sword on the floor of the Mediterranean, along with centuries-old anchors and pottery fragments. The sword dates to the time of the Third Crusade, which lasted from 1188 to 1192. Eduardo Medina reports:

The water off the Carmel coast remains the same temperature year-round, which helped preserve the iron in the sword. Because the iron was oxidized, shells and other marine organisms stuck onto it like glue. . . . The sword would have been expensive to make at the time and viewed as a status symbol.

In England, the launching of the Third Crusade, which coincided with the coronation of Richard I (“the Lionheart”), was accompanied by some of the country’s worst massacres of Jews, most notably in the city of York. By contrast, unlike previous crusades, it did not spark anti-Semitic violence in Germany, thanks to the intervention of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Frederick did, however, levy a special tax on Jews to help fund his Middle Eastern venture, in exchange for his protection.

In a short video, Jacob Sharvit of the Israel Antiquities Authority displays the sword and explains its significance:

Read more at New York Times

More about: Anglo-Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Archaeology, Crusades, Mediterranean Sea, Middle Ages

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security