The Tusk of an Enormous Prehistoric Elephant Discovered in Israel

Sept. 2 2022

Earlier this week, Israeli archaeologists announced the discovery of a tusk belonging to a prehistoric elephant species at Kibbutz Revadim in the Negev desert. Michael Horovitz reports:

The 2.5-meter-long [more than eight feet] remnant of the huge straight-tusked elephant—which is now extinct—was discovered by Eitan Mor, a biologist from Jerusalem, who organized a trip to the area out of curiosity about the elephants, according to an Israel Antiquities Authority statement.

Scientists believe the elephant species, which would tower over their present-day descendants, arrived on Israel’s coastal plain about 800,000 years ago and died out approximately half a million years ago. According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), findings from elephants are rare and the fossil is “of great scientific interest.”

The IAA explained that past archaeological work at Revadim, where stone and flint tools and other fossilized remains have been discovered, revealed that humans had settled the area and hunted the elephants that roamed the region.

The discovery of the tusk leads to questions over its presence at Revadim, according to Ofer Marder of Ben-Gurion University and Ianir Milevski of the IAA’s Prehistoric Branch. “Is the tusk the remains of a hunted elephant, or was it collected by the local prehistoric inhabitants? Did the tusk have social or spiritual significance?” the academics asked.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Animals, Archaeology, Land of Israel, Prehistory

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