The Hebrew Bible’s Ethical Revolution

Feb. 11 2020

Drawing on the extensive knowledge now available to scholars of the ancient Middle East, Jeremiah Unterman explains how the biblical moral vision differs dramatically from that of contemporary civilizations: in its idea of human equality, in its emphasis on compassion for the stranger, in its idea of a covenant between God and the people of Israel as a whole rather than some subordinate ruler, and much else. At the heart of these differences is the distinction between the pagan deities, who were naturalist beings prone to selfishness, passions, and unethical behavior, and the omnipotent and beneficent Israelite God, Who stands above nature. (Audio, 45 minutes.)

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Read more at Center for Hebraic Thought

More about: Ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible, Jewish ethics, Judaism

Now Is the Time for the Gulf States to Make Peace with Israel

Aug. 11 2020

In the event that Joe Biden wins the upcoming presidential elections, there is a good chance that the U.S. will revert to the Obama-era policy of realignment with Iran, and to distancing itself from traditional Middle Eastern allies like Saudi Arabia. Richard Goldberg argues that Riyadh, along with the United Arab Emirates, can buy itself some security by establishing official relations with Jerusalem:

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Read more at Newsweek

More about: Iran, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy, United Arab Emirates