I’m calling this week’s post a double feature because due to army reserve duty last week, I didn’t have time to post last week’s post. Yes, here in Israel we have army reserve duty. Army service is mandatory for all high school graduates (with some exceptions)- three years for boys, two for girls. After that, we spend much of our adult lives doing periodic “reserve duty”, which means having training exercises, filling in gaps when there are manpower issues in our original units, and sadly, also going to war every few years. Last year, I gave 59 days to the army. That’s two entire months. Those are 59 days of not going to work and not working on my MA. You won’t catch me complaining. Serving in the army is the price we have to pay for living in an area of the world where your neighbors would slit your throat if they could. We serve in the army to make sure they can’t. For the most part we succeed. Sadly, the past two weeks have seen a number of incidents in which we failed.
Last night when I went to the supermarket, the bakery was having a 1+1 sale on all the goods, before closing. The Arab worker at the bakery gave me a little bit extra, smiled, and said it was in honor of Ramadan. While there are many such small stories of religious coexistence in Israel, sadly, Ramadan also seems to bring an increase in terror attacks. I’ve tried to share links to information about many of them, however, they are so numerous that most of them barely make it into the news, even in Israel. Only those attacks that result in serious injuries or death make into the headlines, the rest quite often go unreported. Thankfully, social media is slowly making a change in the way we get our information.
It’s been a long two weeks, so here we go:
1. June 16th, this important video by the JCPA (Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs) on proportionality in armed conflicts and last summer’s Gaza operation. Link (02:59 minutes)
2. June 16th, an important archeological find. Status by IMRA:
Israel Antiquities Authority: Rare Inscription of name from Bible [Time of King David] Discovered in Valley of Elah
GpoNews Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Who Are You, Eshbaʽal Ben Bedaʽ?
A Rare Inscription from the Time of King David was Discovered in the Valley of Elah
This is the fourth inscription revealed so far dating to the tenth century BCE from the Kingdom of Judah
A rare inscription from the time of King David was discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafain the Valley of Elah. A ceramic jar c. 3,000 years old that was broken into numerous sherds was discovered in 2012 in excavations carried out there by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University and Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Letters written in ancient Canaanite script could be discerned on several of the sherds, sparking the curiosity of researchers.
Intensive restoration work conducted in the laboratories of the Israel Antiquities Authority Artifacts Treatment Department, during which hundreds of pottery sherds were glued together to form a whole jar, solved the riddle – the jar was incised with the inscription: Eshbaʽal Ben Badaʽ. Dr. Mitka Golub and Dr. Haggai Misgav were among the team of researchers involved in deciphering the text.
According to Professor Yosef Garfinkel of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University and Saar Ganor of the IAA, “This is the first time that the name Eshbaʽal has appeared on an ancient inscription in the country. Eshbaʽal Ben Shaul, who ruled over Israel at the same time as David, is known from the Bible. Eshbaʽal was murdered by assassins and
decapitated and his head was brought to David in Hebron (II Samuel, Chaps. 3-4). It is interesting to note that the name Eshbaʽal appears in the Bible, and now also in the archaeological record, only during the reign of King David, in the first half of the tenth century BCE. This name was not used later in the First Temple period.The correlation between the biblical tradition and the archaeological finds indicates this was a common name only
during that period. The name Bedaʽ is unique and does not occur in ancient inscriptions or in the biblical tradition.”
According to the researchers, the fact that the name Eshbaʽal was incised on a jar suggests that he was an important person. He was apparently the owner of a large agricultural estate and the produce collected there was packed and transported in jars that bore his name. This is clear evidence of social stratification and the creation of an established economic class that occurred at the time of the formation of the Kingdom of Judah.
Garfinkel and Ganor add, “In II Samuel there was apparently reluctance to use the name Eshbaʽal, which was reminiscent of the Canaanite storm god Baʽal, and the original name was therefore changed to Ish-Bashat, but the original name of Eshbaʽal was preserved in the Book of Chronicles. Thus, for example, the name of the warlord Gideon Ben Joash was also changed from
Jerrubaal to Jerubesheth.”
Khirbet Qeiyafa is identified with the biblical city Shaʽarayim. During several seasons of excavations directed by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel and Saar Ganor, a fortified city, two gates, a palace and storerooms, dwellings and cultic rooms were exposed there. The city dates from the time of David, that is, the late eleventh and early tenth centuries BCE. Unique artifacts that were previously unknown were discovered at the site. For example, in 2008
the world’s earliest Hebrew inscription was uncovered there. Now, another inscription from the same period is being published from the site.
According to Garfinkel and Ganor,”Until about five years ago we knew of no inscriptions dating to the tenth century BCE from the Kingdom of Judah. In recent years four inscriptions have been published: two from Khirbet Qeiyafa, one from Jerusalem and one from Bet Shemesh. This completely changes our understanding of the distribution of writing in the Kingdom of Judah and it is now clear that writing was far more widespread than previously thought. It seems that the organization of the kingdom required a
cadre of clerks and writers and their activity is also manifested in the appearance of inscriptions. “
3. June 16th, Israel’s former Ambassador to the US and current MK, Michael Oren, causes a scandal with his new book. “How Obama abandoned Israel“. Since this publication, Oren has been under attack by US officials, including US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro. The White House has demanded that the Israeli government condemn Oren for his book. While Oren’s party leader, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, said that Oren’s book represents Oren’s views only, Netanyahu had ignored the White House’s demand and hasn’t commented on the issue.
4. June 16th, the Israeli Foreign Ministry released a cartoon ridiculing reporters in Gaza. While many agreed with the cartoon, some thought the cartoon is going a bit too far and will ultimately just turn reporters against us. What do you think? Feel free to comment below.
“Israeli cartoon blasts reporters in Gaza“, from Times of Israel.
5. June 16th, something good happens at the UN for a change. Status by Israel at the UN:
An unprecedented Israeli achievement: Yotam Goren, a diplomat in Israel’s Permanent Mission to the UN, was appointed as Vice Chair of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee, the UN’s “Department of Treasury”.
Yotam Goren: “Today’s achievement is a result of our efforts to include Israel in every field in the global agenda, as we strive to take on a leading role in order to best contribute to it. Despite the many obstacles Israel faces at the UN, today we witnessed tremendous support for Israel from all corners of the world . I’m proud to represent Israel in one of the UN’s most important committees which serves a critical role in ensuring the efficient and productive conduct of the United nations world-wide
6. June 16th, a little bit of humor: after a UK based Islamist activist claimed that his shoe (just one) was stolen by the Mossad while he slept, a pro Israel group had some fun at his expense. I suggest he start by looking under the bed. “Pro Israel UK group launches petition demanding the Mossad return Asghar Bukhari’s shoe“, from Algemeiner.com.
7. June 17th, the Palestinians don’t boycott Israel, because even they know that BDS doesn’t serve their purpose. “BDS mega-fail: Israeli goods in Bethlehem stores“, from Arutz7.
8. June 17th, Khaled Abu Toameh, a Palestinian human rights activist, speaks out against BDS (via Honest Reporting):
10. June 17th, as the Syrian civil war progresses, Israel is finding it harder and harder to stay on the sidelines: [IDF Chief of Staff] “Eisenkot: IDF will prevent massacre of Syrian refugees“. from Ynet.
11. June 17th, some people hate Israel enough that they don’t need to see proof to corroborate what they think of Israel. Instead, they just create their own. Another false photograph circulated on the internet shows a female protester manhandled by Israeli riot police. The only problem- those aren’t Israeli police uniforms. They’re costumes.
Status by StandWithUs:
This photo is being spread around social media by anti-Israel activists as an example of Israeli police “oppressing women.” But in fact, this photo is FAKE. Those are fake Israeli police hats and they are not even the uniforms worn by Israeli riot police. Additionally, the gun being used is not Israeli police department issue. See the comparison below.
Spread the word.
12. June 17th, nice to know we have friends in the world: “Indian columnist: Israel is India’s ‘most trusted ally’ in the Middle East“, from algemeiner.com.
13. June 17th, Because of its cultural diversity, Israel is a natural meeting point for different music styles. In this great recording, David Broza meets the Andalusian Orchestra of Ashkelon in an extraordinary rendition of Broza’s song “Shir Ahava Bedoui” (Bedouin love song). Enjoy. Link (05:56 minutes).
14. June 17th, An Israeli soldier speaks today before the EU about the complexities of waging war against an organization that has no respect for international law or rules of combat and deliberately puts its own civilians in the line of fire for political gain.
Status from StandWithUs:
Speaking truth about the IDF to the European Union: When Israel’s detractors go worldwide to defame the men and women who defend her, StandWithUs is there to speak the truth about Israel.
Today, anti-IDF group ‘Breaking the Silence’ joined the Palestinian lobby in ganging up against Israel at the EU. In response, StandWithUs’s Matan Katzman gave his testimony, rebutting the slander of Breaking the Silence, and representing those who serve and protect their fellow Israelis.
Thank you Matan!
Link (10:35 minutes)
15. June 18th, Israel is the home for all Jews. In their time of need, Jews will always have Israel to turn to. “French immigration to Israel surges in summer 2015“. From Ynet.
16. June 18th, via The Israel Project:
Hollywood icon Michael Douglas, his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Jay Leno have arrived in Jerusalem where Mr. Douglass will receive the Genesis Prize, a one-million dollar reward for his contributions to Jewish culture around the world.
We think Michael Douglas’s efforts deserve a HUGE like!
17. June 18th, Lucy Aharish, an Israeli Arab, of i24 news, interviews Jay Leno, who is here in Israel to host the ceremony for the Genesis Prize. The funny part is, Leno didn’t realize until the end of the interview that Aharish isn’t Jewish. Link (15:26 minutes).
18. June 19th, an important piece by Dr. Mordechai Keidar- “The Druze and the Middle East’s minority pact“, from Artuz7. If you ask me, this is where Israel’s next armed conflict lies. I would definitely do some reserve duty for this.
19. June 19th, Gaza has received thousands of tons of aid since last summer’s war. What has Hamas done with it? Video (00:45 minutes) via StandWithUs.
20. June 19th, I have an amazing city! Watch this beautiful footage of Jerusalem from the air. Link (04:13 minutes).
21. June 20th, “Israeli man killed in West Bank terror attack“, from Times of Israel.
22. June 20th, someone made this astounding infographic. One normally wouldn’t count Sudan in the Middle East, but this is still amazing. The noisiest conflict in the world turns out to be “a storm in a teacup” as the saying goes.
23. June 21st, some Israeli pride, “Israeli paralympic rower Moran Samuel wins gold medal at world cup“, from the Jerusalem Post.
24. June 21st, everyone talks about the Palestinian refugees, it’s easy to forget that there was an even larger number of Jewish refugees. While the Jewish refugees were all absorbed by the Jewish State, the Arab refugees have been kept homeless by their Arab brethren in order to keep the conflict going. Status and video (19:01 minutes) via StandWithUs:
Remember the Jewish Nakba: 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries were expelled between 1948 and 1951. Many of these Jews fled to Israel to make a new life. There is no “right of return” for these refugees, and the Arab countries who expelled them have never made reparations. In contrast, Israel did not expel Arabs from the land, in fact, many fled of their own accord, due to a war they themselves initiated. Additionally, Israel has made many efforts to accommodate Arabs from British Palestine.
Land stolen from Jews in Arab countries equals over 100,000 sq. km: nearly five times the entire size of the state of Israel pre-1967 (22,000 sq. km)
Video by Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
25. June 23rd: “Trending on Facebook: Support the IDF“, from the Jerusalem Post.
26. June 23rd, what the UN neglected to mention about last summer’s Gaza operation, “Protective Edge”, video (01:36 minutes) and status via the IDF:
Last summer, the UN published maps showing the amount of damage in Gaza after Operation Protective Edge. Those maps only told half the story. What was missing? The fact that Hamas uses homes, hospitals and schools for military purposes. Share this and remind the world.
27. June 24th, how the UN handles refugees and how it handles Palestinian refugees. This, in a nutshell, is what keeps the conflict alive. via StandwithUs:
28. June 25th, I’ve already written about this subject in one of my most popular blog posts ever (read it here), but here’s a video on how Israel helps Syrian refugees wounded in the fighting. video via StandWithUs:
How the IDF is making a difference in Syria
Translated by Binyamin Edelman, an Israel report by Channel 2 about injured Syrians being treated in Israel.
29. June 25th, this guy was featured in a previous video making outrageously racist remarks about Jews in a sermon given right here in Jerusalem. He found out that his video made waves not only among Palestinians but also among those who were outraged by his remarks. And this is his response, via standwithus- Link (01:32 minutes):
Antisemitic Sheikh preaches from Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem (!) and praises Palestinian Media Watch for exposing his antisemitism. Antisemitic and proud? Doesn’t get much more disgusting.
Read the full report here: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=15038
30. June 25th, Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, slams the UN’s report on Gaza: “The UN’s Gaza report is flawed and dangerous“, from the NY Times.
31. June 26th, Shahar Azani, an executive at StandWithUs discusses how the international community’s lack of support for Israel is harming prospects for peace. “The World’s betrayal of Israel“, from the Huffington Post.
32. June 26th, every time a Jewish hooligan sprays some graffiti on a church or a mosque, the media goes wild. Yet, somehow the continued desecration of the world’s oldest Jewish cemetery has been going unnoticed. “Pogrom on the Mount of Olives“. From Yisrael Hayom.
33. June 26th, Ami Horowitz went to Ireland and presented himself to shop owners as a representative of companies from Iran, Sudan and North Korea. Even when he went on to mention the terrible crimes these dictatorships commit against their own people, including slave labor and much worse, the shop owners had no problem doing business with him. But there is one country they were unwilling to do business with: Israel. video via Halelu foundation (03:36 minutes).
34. June 26th, How are we financing the suffering of the Palestinians? video (03:40 minutes) by the Jerusalem institute of Justice.
35. June 27th, this week the 170th round of the IDF’s most prestigious course concluded- the pilot’s course. Watch an interview with one of the IDF’s new pilots. Link (01:56 minutes).
36. June 27th, despite number 33 above, not everything is amiss in Ireland. “The Irish Zionist“, from the Jerusalem Post.
37. June 28th, Palestinian terrorism strikes again. via StandWithUs and 0404:
Another Palestinian war crime: last night Palestinian terrorists shot 15-19 times at an Israeli ambulance in Beit-El near Ramallah.
Will the UNHRC speak out?
Photo courtesy of 0404
38. June 28th, Israeli Judoka, Uri Sasson kicks ass at the Baku games and brings home a silver medal! Watch his swift victory here (00:58 minutes).
39. June 28th, another Judo victory, this time Sagi Muki takes home a gold medal! via standwithus:
Israel wins gold at the European Judo Championships!
Israeli judo competitor, Sagi Muki, on Friday won the gold medal in the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, by defeating Georgian opponent Nugzari Tatalashvli in the 73-kilogram (161-pound) weight class. The win marks Israel’s first gold medal in that competition.
Mazel Tov Sagi!
40. June 29th, a known Arab saying tells us that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. “Palestinians may regret move to international criminal court” from commentarymagazine.com.
41. June 29th, He’s so cute! can we keep him?
During a patrol of the West Bank security barrier near Jenin on Saturday, Border Police forces came across an injured female owl that could not take off and immediately took action.
“As soon as I saw the suffering owl I took off my protective vest, and picked the bird up to evacuate it for treatment…Protecting the environment and animals is an integral part of our job and in my opinion are no less important than the other missions that we carry out as fighters,” George Daviri, the commanding officer of the Border Police unit at the time of the run-in with the owl, stated.
The owl was evacuated immediately to the Israeli Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, located at the Ramat Gan Safari outside of Tel Aviv where it received treatment and was undergoing tests. It will stay at the hospital until its injuries are fully healed at which time she will be released back to nature.
42. June 29th, some more terrorism. This time a bus full of kids gets stoned in the Jordan valley. video (00:50 minutes).
43. June 29th, A job well done by the Israeli navy. And the best part is the letter that they handed out to the passengers. “Israeli navy boards ship headed for Gaza, no injuries reported“. from the Times of Israel.
44. June 29th, more terrorism. “Female soldier wounded in Bethlehem stabbing attack“. from the Times of Israel.
45. June 29th, some summer fun in downtown Jerusalem. video (00:32 minutes).
46. June 29th, via the IDF:
Earlier today, two Palestinians were involved in a car accident near Shiloh. IDF forces immediately arrived at the scene and evacuated the two injured men, who had been trapped in the vehicle. The men were given initial treatment before being transferred to the care of Red Crescent emergency services.
47. June 29th, terrorism strikes again. One of the wounded, a friend of a friend, has since died of his injuries. “Four said hurt in shooting near West Bank settlement“, from the Times of Israel.
48. June 30th, so what has Hamas been doing with all the aid to Gaza? “Hamas unveils ‘new tunnel’ it says reaches into Israel“. From the Times of Israel.
49. June 30th, some good news. “Israelis bring home 11 medals as 2015 European games wrap up“, from Ynet.
50. June 30th, did somebody say apartheid? via the Hallelu foundation:
51. June 30th, “Israeli hurt in drive-by shooting succumbs to wounds” from ynet.
52. June 30th, When you support the BDS movement you are actually supporting Islamic extremism and terrorism. If you support peace and democratic freedoms, you cannot support BDS. Oppose BDS!
video (01:27 minutes) via the Hallelu foundation.
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