Did a 4th-Century Earthquake Tear Down Part of the Western Wall?

Archaeologists have long believed that a pile of large stones at the base of the Western Wall is a product of the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 C. E. One archaeologist, however, has sparked a controversy by claiming that they tumbled during a massive earthquake that hit Jerusalem 300 years later. Robin Ngo writes:

[Shimon] Gibson compared the artisanship of the toppled stones, among which are pilaster stones, with supporting pillars from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the church over the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the church at Mamre near Hebron. He proposes that the builders of these Byzantine structures imitated what they saw at the Temple Mount in 325 C.E. in an effort to demonstrate Christianity was the successor of Judaism. How would the 4th-century builders have been able to copy these Temple Mount stones, Gibson reasoned, if they were not standing at the time?

Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem, Second Temple, Western Wall


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