The Medieval Swiss Knight Who Left His Name on the Walls of Jerusalem

According to a tradition that dates back to the 9th century CE—and may be Christian or Muslim in origin, although it is shared by Jews as well—King David’s tomb is located on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Although most archaeologists reject the accuracy of this tradition, they have found the site a fruitful one for excavation, as evidenced by the recent discovery of an inscription connected to a famed 15th-century Swiss warrior. Nicky Blackburn writes:

Adrian von Bubenberg . . . came on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1466, and on his visit either he or his son—also called Adrian—left a charcoal inscription of his name and family emblem on a wall in Jerusalem. Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) discovered the inscription while carrying out an archaeological survey on Mount Zion to document ancient graffiti by Muslim and Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem.

So far, they have revealed more than 40 inscriptions in different languages, as well as the family emblems of medieval knights.

“In the Mamluk period, between 1332-1551, the building complex adjacent to the traditional tomb of King David was owned by the monks of the Franciscan Catholic Order” said Michael Chernin and Shai Halevi of the IAA, who headed the project. “The building served as a monastery and a hostel for the Western pilgrims, who left their mark on the walls.”

Bubenberg, who is considered a national hero in Switzerland, was born to a noble family in 1424, and—after long service as the mayor of Bern—gained fame in 1476 when he led the Swiss Confederate army to victory against Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, in the battle of Murten.

Read more at Israel21c

More about: Archaeology, Middle Ages, Switzerland


Planning for the Day after the War in the Gaza Strip

At the center of much political debate in Israel during the past week, as well as, reportedly, of disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington, is the problem of how Gaza should be governed if not by Hamas. Thus far, the IDF has only held on to small parts of the Strip from which it has cleared out the terrorists. Michael Oren lays out the parameters of this debate over what he has previous called Israel’s unsolvable problem, and sets forth ten principles that any plan should adhere to. Herewith, the first five:

  1. Israel retains total security control in Gaza, including control of all borders and crossings, until Hamas is demonstrably defeated. Operations continue in Rafah and elsewhere following effective civilian evacuations. Military and diplomatic efforts to secure the hostages’ release continue unabated.
  2. Civil affairs, including health services and aid distribution, are administered by Gazans unaffiliated with Hamas. The model will be Area B of Judea and Samaria, where Israel is in charge of security and Palestinians are responsible for the civil administration.
  3. The civil administration is supervised by the Palestinian Authority once it is “revitalized.” The PA first meets benchmarks for ending corruption and establishing transparent institutions. The designation and fulfillment of the benchmarks is carried out in coordination with Israel.
  4. The United States sends a greatly expanded and improved version of the Dayton Mission that trained PA police forces in Gaza after Israel’s disengagement.
  5. Abraham Accords countries launch a major inter-Arab initiative to rebuild and modernize Gaza.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, Israeli Security, U.S.-Israel relationship