A Hoard of Ancient Coins Testifies to the Jews’ Last Attempt to Overthrow the Romans

Yesterday’s newsletter mentioned Josephus, who both participated in and wrote the definitive account of the first Jewish revolt against Rome, which lasted from 66 to 74 CE. But this was not the only attempt to liberate Judea. The recent discovery of a cache of ancient silver and bronze coins buried in the ruins of a large building in the city of Lod sheds light on one of them. Gavriel Fiske writes:

The 94 coins were probably buried for safekeeping during the events of the Gallus revolt (351–354 CE), a lesser-known Jewish uprising against Roman rule in the land of Israel, but the building was destroyed and the coins were never recovered. . . . The Gallus Revolt was named by historians after the Roman emperor Constantius Gallus (326–354), who at the time was presiding over a fractured, weakened empire.

The Roman empire at the time was experiencing the turmoil of a civil war, as Gallus strove against the usurper general Magnus Magnentius. . . .  There could have been other factors in the short-lived Jewish rebellion, as the Jewish community was suffering under steep taxes, and it was also a time when Christianity was growing in the Roman empire and taking a more belligerent tone vis-à-vis the Jewish communities.

Although the building was destroyed, archaeologists found “impressive stone and marble artifacts” along with “Greek, Hebrew, and Latin inscriptions” including one “bearing the name of a Jewish man from a priestly family, which is still being studied,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said. The building could have been used as “a synagogue, study hall, meeting hall of the elders, or all three of these functions as one.”

A short video can be found at the link below.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Ancient Rome, Archaeology, Judean Revolt

Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation