An Ancient Fishhook Found on Israel’s Coast

March 30 2023

Israeli archaeologists recently announced the discovery of a fishing hook from the vicinity of Ashkelon, dating roughly to the time before Abraham would have come to Canaan. The Jerusalem Post reports:

The hook is 6.5 cm long and 4 cm wide, and according to the co-director of the excavation, Yael Abadi-Reiss, this makes it suitable for hunting sharks as long as two or three meters, or large tuna fish.

“More ancient fishhooks found previously were made of bone and were much smaller than this one. The use of copper began in the Chalcolithic period, and it is fascinating to discover that this technological innovation was applied in antiquity to the production of fishhooks for fishermen along the Mediterranean coast,” she added. The Chalcolithic period refers to the period of time between 2500 BCE and 2200 BCE, during which the first simple tools made of copper and gold appeared.

During this era, large villages were established around Ashkelon, whose economy was based on the pasturing of sheep, goats, and cattle; the cultivation of wheat, barley, and legumes; and the tending of fruit orchards—all industries that are still alive and thriving to this day.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Canaanites

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan