An Ancient Fishhook Found on Israel’s Coast

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

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict