Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: ASA policy reversal delegitimizes BDS, but does not reverse past discrimination
THE ASA HAS RELEASED A RESPONSE to the charges of national origin discrimination. They astoundingly claim their policy has not changed; that the “boycott” was always limited to “on an institutional level will not engage in collaborative projects with Israeli research institutions.”
The claim is demonstrably false. Their written explanation of their policy clearly stated that scholars who are “representatives” of institutions would be barred based on their national origin. Now they say no one will be barred. If they do not understand the difference between someone and no one, it will be hard to explain.
It is also demonstrable that their policy changed – because they actually changed the text of their policy explanation, as evidenced through screen shots.
Finally, their “response” characterizes the American Center for Law and Justice as an anti-gay organization founded by Pat Robertson. This is doubtless an appeal to their base – they are under attack by the right. Ironically, they quote this characterization of ACLJ from the Electronic Intifada, which has been denounced even by ardent leftist critics of Israel as anti-Semitic, and would certainly be described as anti-Israel in the conventional senses of the phrase. But maybe this is a meant to rally the troops as well.
Brooke Goldstein: Barbarism Doesn’t Deserve to be Humanized at The Met
Why are we here today? Because we’re opera critics? No. It doesn’t take a professional critic to know that lyrics like “America is one big Jew” aren’t the least bit tasteful.
An opera that calls us “all kinds of filth” and accuses us Jews, of being greedy, sodomizing blasphemers with watches of solid gold and “getting fat wherever poor men are gathered.” Lyrics like that aren’t creative, they’re not even unique, and they’re shoddy plagiarism, recycled Islamist Nazi racist propaganda. It doesn’t take brains to put that kind of filth to music
Are we here because we don’t like free speech? The opposite. It’s the first amendment that gives us our right to assemble here, to protest, to express our disgust at how our taxpayer dollars are being used to fund terror apologism deceptively wrapped in the veneer of art.
The MET has no first amendment obligation to stage this bigotry. It’s their intentional choice! Perhaps it’s a choice influenced by the Wahhabi dollars feeding this mismanaged and bankrupt institution.
Perhaps Saudi minister Ibrahim Al-Naimi, one of the MET’s principle sponsors, can explain the hypocrisy of the Wahhabi Kingdom playing distinguished patron to the American arts, while at the same time beheading their own citizens for blasphemy, imprisoning and torturing atheists, and executing their own children for being gay like it’s a public sport.
Saudi Arabia’s ministers control the most censored media environment in the world.
Phyllis Chesler: Israel-Hatred 'Has Scaled the Wall of High Culture'
As we know, the most lethal propaganda against Israel and America has captured the American campuses and the left and liberal media. Now, it has scaled the wall of High Culture.
The Metropolitan Opera House—a place I have loved—will never again be the same for me. No, I will not boycott it as some speakers have sworn to do, but in some sense, the Emperor is Naked.
The Opera House is tainted, polluted by contemporary politics. Gelb has taken a dangerous stand against America, against Israel, and against Jews by insisting on his First Amendment and artistic right to do so. No one has questioned these rights. I bumped into Gelb’s lawyer, Martin Garbus, with whom I go way back. Garbus was watching the rally, and we greeted each other in a very friendly fashion.
In the past, the merely aesthetic minus morality=fascism. Think of Leni Reifenstal’s “brilliant” film about the Munich Olympics in 1936. This is what we saw at the Met: Form devoid of content; form covering for malicious content.
I left at the intermission. I was too angry and too sad to remain. And bored too.
I have no idea about whether further disruptions arose or not. I do know that this is a signal moment of a very long fight in the Culture Wars against America, Israel, and the Jews. People with credibility and some power stepped up tonight, well-groomed people who do not usually take to the streets did so.
God bless them.

Passionate ‘Klinghoffer’ protest outshines lackluster premiere
“The murderer of Klinghoffer will never be forgiven!!!” So shouted a man, repeatedly, seated just a few rows behind me. I was glad he did it. Not that I normally condone audience interruptions during a live performance – I don’t, even if I agree with the underlying politics – but in this case it was necessary. I was seconds away from falling asleep.

Prior to the performance I attended a two-hour rally, a peaceful scrum in a tiny traffic triangle where Broadway meets Columbus Avenue at West 64th Street. A few hundred people were there, many carrying signs declaring that the opera was anti-Semitic propaganda. Most felt the show should be shut down. No one I spoke to had actually seen it, though as New York City-based protester Noah Cohen put it, “I have no need to go look in a mirror and see a distorted version of my own face.”
The problem with the work, whose detractors included former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former governor David Patterson and US Congressional representatives Carolyn Maloney and Peter King (a nice combination of Democrats and Republicans), seemed to stem from the fact that the opera does not portray the hijackers as mindless bloodthirsty monsters, but dares to give the men and their cause a degree of backstory.
That it also shows these men shooting an innocent elderly man in cold blood and concludes with a heartbreaking aria from his widow didn’t seem to carry much weight with this bunch, nor did any discussion of whether representation in a work of fiction automatically means endorsement.
Radical Islam Deserves No Voice
Radical Islam does not wish to compromise or bargain with the western world; They wish to kill innocent people and rule over the western world. The performance titled “The Death of Klinghoffer” is intended to make the audience sympathize with the murderers by using Palestinian historical plight as their justification to commit brutal acts. There is no excuse for terrorism. There are many ways to peacefully protest for any cause without the need to take an innocent person’s life. The Met Opera has allowed their institution to cross a dangerous moral and ethical red line, which only spawns the question – what will be allowed next? The Death of Fowley perhaps? If the Met will allow this performance to ensue, it will set a dangerous precedent for future performances and will show the terrorists, that terrorism work.
The PLO are not freedom fighters fighting for the establishment of a Palestinian State, they are mass murderers who yearn for the destruction of Israel and the western world. It is time for all moral, decent people – who cherish life and western values – embody courage and say “Enough” with this disgusting and offensive performance. Stop the Klinghoffer performance Now; Do not provide Terrorism a voice.
Rudy Giuliani: Why I Protested ‘The Death of Klinghoffer
My position, possibly different from some of the others, is that we recognize that people differ on this issue and that the First Amendment gives us the answer—the marketplace of ideas. The Met and those who decide to go have an absolute First Amendment right to do so, and it would be hypocritical and anti-American for us to interfere in the exercise of that right in any way.
But we also have a First Amendment right and obligation to point out the historical inaccuracy and the historical damage this opera contributed to: hundreds of millions of dollars going to Arafat, some of which is with Mrs. Arafat in the South of France and most of which never got to the people it was intended to help—the Palestinians. The opera also contributed to years of pursuing a plan for peace that was never realistic and never worked because it was based on a false premise of moral equivalency and a romanticizing of terrorism that has led to a world where terrorism has only become greater and greater, and too often justified as if it is the expression of a legitimate political philosophy.
I have been a patron of the Met for many years and appreciate its contribution to New York City and to the United States, and weigh that very much in the balance in deciding that I will continue to be a patron—but with sincere regret over the decision to stage The Death of Klinghoffer, which I consider to be a grave mistake.
De Blasio Slams Giuliani for Leading Protest Against ‘Death of Klinghoffer’, Defends Controversial Opera
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday criticized his predecessor Rudolph Giuliani for objecting to the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of The Death of Klinghoffer and defended the Met’s right to stage the controversial performance that has been labeled anti-Semitic, the New York Daily News reported on Monday, hours before the play was set to open.
“The former mayor had a history of challenging cultural institutions when he disagreed with their content. I don’t think that’s the American way. The American way is to respect freedom of speech. Simple as that,” de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference.
Giuliani plans to lead the latest protest against the opera outside the Met on Monday, as the show opens.
When Jews moving into non-Jewish neighborhoods elicits scorn from liberals
We of course understand that when the move is characterized as a “provocation”, it’s in the context of fears that an expanded Jewish presence in east Jerusalem (an area, let’s remember, that was only ‘Arab’ after Jordanians ethnically cleansed the Jewish population in 1948) will stymie two-state hopes by limiting the chance that Palestinians will realize their aspirations of claiming that part of the city the future capital of their nascent state.
However, two-state proponents in the media and elsewhere who follow this line of thinking need to ask themselves if they truly think that establishing and successfully maintaining a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem necessitates a city that is completely Jew-free.
More broadly, however, Western commentators who smear Israel with the charge of “Judaization”, “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” in reaction to efforts by the state to maintain a Jewish majority never seem to follow the same moral logic when discussing the future Palestinian state. Those who support the creation of a Palestinian state must acknowledge that the new state will certainly be entirely Arab Muslim. There will likely be no Jews and (if trends throughout the region continue) almost no Christians.
Rita Levi Montalcini’s legacy and the boycott movement’s stupidity
In 1938, Benito Mussolini instituted racial laws in Italy which decreed that people with Jewish heritage, like Rita Levi Montalcini, could no longer work at universities or in most professions, including medicine. There was then also a manifesto against Jewish professionals which was undersigned by Italian scientists. At first frustrated, Rita Levi Montalcini proceeded to set up a lab in her bedroom, where she used surgical instruments made out of sharpened sewing needles. She worked secretly, throughout World War II, even when bombing forced Levi Montalcini and her family to leave Turin for the countryside.
When the war ended, she served as a doctor in a refugee camp before returning to the University of Turin. But her life changed course when the American embryologist Viktor Hamburger, who inspired her works, having seen papers that Levi Montalcini had published, invited her to visit Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The rest belongs to history. This work contributed to her later discovery of nerve growth factor, for which she shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine with her colleague Stanley Cohen.
Terror Suspects' Lawyer Stanley Cohen Rants Before Prison Sentence
A New York attorney who has earned haters and groupies alike by defending suspected terrorists — including Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law — spent the days before his own prison stint in a part of the world he adores, relishing a passion he promotes, rabble-rousing.
Stanley Cohen, 63, who expects to be sentenced in the coming days to 18 months behind bars for tax evasion, jetted last week to Kuwait.
There, he unleashed a torrent of defiant tweets, many punctuated with his favorite slogan, “Up The Rebels!” He thanked supporters: “We are legion.” He declared “Palestine for Palestinians” — Israel has banned Cohen, himself, from entering the Palestinian territories. And he dissed President Barack Obama: “Bridge for sale for those waiting for I Have a Drone to build his legacy on anything other than death and destruction.”
To nobody’s surprise, Cohen is not going away quietly.
How Max Blumenthal Lies About Israel
The classy image Blumenthal approvingly commented on, which appears above, claims the quote was reported by wire service Agence France Press on November 15, 1998. When Blumenthal was asked on Twitter to provide substantiation for the quote, he remained silent. When Twitter users informed him that the quote appeared to be a hoax, he again failed to reply, and did not delete or amend his tweet.
How David Sheen Lies About Israel
David Sheen is an anti-Israel extremist who often lectures to American college students about the supposed evils of the Jewish state. He was a speaker, for example, at last weekend's Open Hillel conference at Harvard.
With Sheen's participation, Open Hillel has shown that it's open to people who peddle brazen falsehoods about the Jewish state. Just one day after he spoke to the students, Sheen took to Twitter to lie about Israel's prime minister and compare him to the Nazis.
Galloway Won't be Prosecuted Over 'Israel-Free Zone' Remarks
Anti-Israel British MP George Galloway will not be prosecuted over remarks in a speech during which he declared that his constituency, Bradford, was “an Israel-free zone”, reports Jewish News Online.
The comments, made by the Bradford West MP in August, caused an outcry on social media and complaints were made to West Yorkshire Police.
On Wednesday, the force said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) did not believe there was sufficient evidence to support charges but also said it had logged it as a “hate incident”.
In pro-Palestine Sweden, far-right Jewish lawmaker embraces Israel
Kent Ekeroth sits in the parliament in Stockholm for the far-right Sweden Democrats, the country’s second-largest opposition party. He’s a proud Swedish nationalist who agitates against leftists, liberals and Muslim immigrants.
Ekeroth is also Jewish, a frequent visitor to and staunch supporter of the State of Israel, and as such, was opposed to his government’s announcement earlier this month of plans to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.
“We opposed this vote for several reasons. For one, it’s not the right way forward for Sweden to unilaterally recognize the Palestinians’ state without Israel’s involvement, without negotiations,” he said. “The other part is: a state is formed when a state can control its own territory. The Palestinian Authority cannot.” Worse yet, the PA formed a unity government with Hamas, he continued. “For us to recognize that — unacceptable.”
Pathetic response from Foreign and Commonwealth Office to my complaint about Britain's Consul-General in Jerusalem
In August I wrote to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about the actions of Britain's most senior diplomat in Israel - the Consul-General in Jerusalem Alastair McPhail, asking some very specific questions. I have finally had a response, which not only completely ignores my complaint, but is a template letter about "Gaza". Presumably every letter about Israel is assumed to be about Gaza and all such letters are classified as 'pro' or 'anti' Israel so that one of just two standard responses can be sent. Clearly the Foreign Office is not just institutionally anti-Semitic but it is also totally incompetent:
BBC Complaints: we strive to describe the ‘nuanced nature’ of Hamas
A reader recently shared with us a reply received from a representative at BBC Complaints which, beyond the issue of whether or not it is a satisfactory response to a complaint made by a licence-fee payer, provides some revealing insights into the prevailing accepted wisdom in the BBC Complaints department.
Below is one portion of the response: [all emphasis added]
“With regard to your additional point on describing Hamas as militants in our news coverage [….] we feel it is worth noting that Hamas has both a political wing and a military wing and while its charter calls for Israel’s ‘nullification’ it is at the same time the democratically elected government in Gaza. Hamas’s strategy is certainly to end the occupation through armed resistance while its 1988 charter also calls for Israel’s destruction. It has, however, modified its position over time. Hamas also enjoys considerable popular support among Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip where it is particularly strong.
Multi-platform BBC propagation of Alan Duncan’s ugly stereotypes and incitement
Alan Duncan’s deliberate public promotion of illiterate and ahistorical populist lies should clearly be a cause of great concern to British voters in general and members of his party in particular – especially those who have previously spoken out against similar rabble rousing by George Galloway and the use of antisemitic tropes by David Ward. Duncan’s intentional propagation of crude stereotypes and his ugly incitement ought to render him unsuitable for public office – especially at a time when antisemitic incidents have just reached record levels in the UK and hence public figures should be doing their utmost to set an appropriate example.
The fact that the BBC has elected to amplify Duncan’s pernicious message entirely uncritically both on radio and on its website is yet another dismal example of the way in which the corporation – all too often unable to resist any opportunity to promote content which reflects its own ‘progressive’ political agenda – contributes to the spread of bigotry which propagates the stereotypes that are seeds of the weed of antisemitism seen not only on Britain’s streets but, even more gravely, in its supposedly most respectable institutions.
Guardian claims Israeli officials dismiss European critics as “Nazi-hugging antisemites”
As you can see, the Economist’s version is a bit different than the claim made by Black and Beaumont, as the magazine merely cites an unnamed European diplomat who seems to be using his or her own words in loosely characterizing the general sentiment of some Israelis towards European critics of the state.
It may be extremely difficult to definitively disprove, but we remain extremely skeptical of the veracity of the Guardian claim – one which just so happens to overlap with the Guardian Left canard that sincere critics of Israeli policy are routinely accused of antisemitism by prominent Israelis and their supporters
BBC Radio 4’s ‘Moral Maze’ does ISIS, ‘Zionist terrorists’ and ‘demonised’ Hamas
Contrary to the impression perhaps received by readers of the synopsis there was actually very little content relating to Israel, with the exception being a couple of ‘gems’ from Michael Portillo.
“So you wouldn’t say then that the terrible things they’ve [ISIS] done – Michael Buerk listed some of them at the beginning – you wouldn’t say that that uniquely sets them apart, let’s say from Zionist terrorists…eh….who formed the State of Israel, Hamas with whom we want Israel now to speak, the Taliban with whom we have all spoken – so it doesn’t set them apart?”
“But might it also be an interesting paradox that as we come under such pressure from Islamic State that we’ll want to settle whatever we can in the region, so actually we’ll probably be pressuring Israelis to talk to the formerly demonised Hamas?”
What is interesting about this programme is the glimpse it gives those of us in the Middle East into the kind of conversations among intellectuals and policy shapers in the West. Especially notable was the notion proposed by two participants that ISIS fighters are essentially frustrated Sunnis expressing their discontent with a Shia-run Iraqi government and that if that was sorted out, the ISIS balloon might be deflated.
Why does the Economist treat Palestinian rioters like children?
The latest example of this UK media narrative – informed by the refusal of British opinion leaders to take Palestinians seriously as agents of their own fate – comes to us courtesy of the Economist, in an article titled ‘A mount of troubles: Jewish radicals are upsetting the fragile religious balance in the holy city, Oct. 18th.
The Economist article – about riots on the Mount in general, and one in particular on Oct. 14th coinciding with the visit of MK Moshe Feiglin – tells us nothing about the fact that many riots (including the one in question on the 14th) are incited by Islamist extremist movements who tell Muslims that Israel intends to demolish the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Fury, Legal Action Over French Street Named After Terror Chief
MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home), Chairman of the Knesset Caucus for Israel in France, sent a letter to the mayor of Paris suburb Valenton Monday morning calling for a name change to a street named after arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti.
Barghouti, who has called for an armed uprising against Israelis on multiple occasions since his imprisonment, is currently serving five life sentences in Israeli prison for his role in planning suicide terror attacks. Despite that, he is viewed as the favorite candidate to eventually replace aging Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Chetboun, who hails from France himself, called the decision to name the street after the murderer "outrageous."
"To bestow your honors upon a murderer like Barghouti is nothing short of moral bankruptcy," Chetboun wrote to mayor Françoise Baud.
White House: Nazis shouldn’t get Social Security
Former Nazis should not be collecting Social Security benefits as they age overseas, the White House said Monday, responding to an Associated Press investigation that revealed millions of dollars have been paid to war-crimes suspects and former SS guards forced out of the US
“Our position is we don’t believe these individuals should be getting these benefits,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters in Chicago. He did not say whether or how the government might end the payments.
AP reported Sunday that dozens of Nazi suspects collected benefits after leaving the United States. The payments flowed through a legal loophole that gave the Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal US government records.
UK man held for anti-Semitic tweet against Labour MP
A 21-year-old British man was arrested and sentenced to four weeks in prison for writing anti-Semitic tweets about Labour MP Luciana Berger.
Garron Helm, a resident of Litherland, mentioned Berger on August 7, using a photo of the lawmaker with a yellow star on her forehead, the hashtag #hitlerwasright, and referred to her as a “communist Jewess,” according to The Guardian. “You can always trust a Jew to show their true colors eventually,” the message said.
Nazi paraphernalia was found in the suspect’s home, including SS flags and flags of the National Action neo-Nazi group.
“This sentence sends a clear message that hate crime is not tolerated in our country,” Berger said. “I hope this case serves as an encouragement to others to report hate crime whenever it rears its ugly head.”
Anti-Semitic Jobbik Party Gains Power; Hungarian Jews Frantic
The Jewish community of Hungary has expressed great concern in recent days, following the results of local elections, where far-right party Jobbik has become the second largest party in Hungary, after winning control of fourteen cities and towns.
This represents a significant achievement for the party - which, in the previous local elections four years ago, received control of only 3 cities.
Just two months ago, during Operation Protective Edge, Mihaly Zoltan Orosz, mayor of Erpatak in eastern Hungary, held an anti-Semitic ceremony in the city's main square.
During the ceremony, effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres were "hung" in a mock execution.
One week later, police raided the home and offices of the anti-Semitic mayor and brought him in for questioning.
Jewish Group Rips NYPD for Withholding Hate Crime Charges From Jewish Leader’s Assailant
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) released a statement on Monday slamming the New York City Police Department for not charging Shawn Schraeder with a hate crime after he was arrested on suspicion of beating Jewish leader Leonard Petlakh in Brooklyn earlier this month.
“We are gratified by the rapid response of the NYPD in investigating and arresting Shawn Schraeder for the vicious and unprovoked attack on Petlakh,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said. “However, we are surprised and disappointed that Schraeder has not yet been charged with committing a hate crime. Clearly, this violent assault has every indication of being just that.”
The assault occurred on Oct. 7 as Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y in Brooklyn, and others were leaving the Barclays Center following a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Schraeder was among several anti-Israel protesters who picketed outside the game.
First Female Druze Officer in Israel Police
Faten Nassraldin, 34, from Dalit El Carmel, is expected to soon become the first female Druze officer in the Israel Police, the corps announced on Tuesday.
Nassraldin began her tenure at the Israel Police four years ago, in the Criminal Investigations division in Zichron Ya'akov (near Haifa).
But on Tuesday, she received her post and pin as a platoon commander, at a ceremony at Masada.
"I decided to become an officer myself because I wanted to contribute as much as possible to the country and to the police," Nassraldin stated. "I came here to prove to everyone and myself that I can succeed."
Nassraldin hails from a family with a history of police work, and she spent her childhood summers at work with her Superintendent father instead of at summer camps. (h/t Yoel)
Army will train women to serve as tank commanders
The army has taken a significant but cautious step toward moving women into the combat ranks of the Armored Corps.
In the coming months, the army plans to begin training female recruits as tank commanders, liable in an emergency to a summons to the front lines, but deploying them, at least initially, as combat instructors and drill sergeants, the Israel Defense Forces website reported on Monday.
“Cognitively, physiologically, mentally, women are as fit for the task as men,” Brig. Gen. Yigal Slovik, the head of manpower in the IDF Ground Forces, told the army’s site. “And yet, during generations of drafts, the IDF has missed 50 percent of quality manpower.”
The decision comes amid ongoing angst and frequent friction over the issue of female service in the army, where religious soldiers have risen to prominence in the combat units and ultra-Orthodox soldiers are expected to serve in an increasingly greater capacity.
Israel to Offer IDF’s ‘Trophy’ Vehicle Active Defense System to U.S. (VIDEO)
US armored forces may be sizing up an Israeli-developed defensive system that, essentially, can spot and hit nearly any known rocket or rocket-propelled grenade fired at a vehicle, according to the DoDBUZZ website.
US-based defense contractor, DRS Technologies, and Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have approached the US Army with the Trophy Active Protection System, according to the report.
“Using a 360-degree radar, processor and on-board computer, Trophy is designed to locate, track and destroy approaching fire coming from a range of weapons such as Anti-Tank-Guided-Missiles, or ATGMs, and Rocket Propelled Grenades, or RPGs,” Mike O’Leary, DRS’ director of business development told the site last week.
Trophy, known in Israel as “Windbreaker,” was developed in the wake of painful losses in Israel’s 2006 war against Hezb0llah in Lebanon to Sagger anti-tank-guided-missiles.
IAI reveals 'groundbreaking' defense against IEDs
The IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) has unveiled the latest defense against the threat facing armored vehicles from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and mines—a large rectangular multi-sensor system that is placed on the front of an armored vehicle, which can detect and then destroy hidden explosive devices from long distances.
The CIMS (Counter IED and Mine Suite), which was first unveiled in a US Army exhibition last week in Washington, DC, has three main components: an above-surface detection system, advanced ground penetrating radar and a powerful metal detector.
This three-tiered system enables the CIMS to detect hidden explosives underground, partially exposed above ground and those in camouflage.
Iron Dome: "Rigged Success"?
As the New York Times put it in a June 9, 2000 report, "all flight tests of the weapon have been rigged". Ironically, this charge by the New York Times was made during the Clinton Administration, although subsequent reporting by the Times made it appear the "rigged" tests were solely an artifact of the subsequent George W. Bush administration missile defense program.
By contrast, the success of Iron Dome upset the rhetorical apple cart of the missile-defense deniers. In the real world of an actual war, this missile defense system worked. There was nothing "rigged" about its success -- and obviously it performed in a "realistic environment."
As many members of the U.S. Congress concluded this summer after watching and hearing of Iron Dome's success, if missile defense can protect Israel, missile defense can protect America, too.[26]
The critics of missile defense must have seen their whole multi-decade, multi-million dollar campaign to stop U.S. missile defenses in danger of crashing to the ground if the American people came to believe missile defenses like Iron Dome did, in fact, work -- and work spectacularly well.
Archaeologists Find The Synagogue King David Would Not Attend (satire)
Archaeologist Eilat Mazar told reporters at the site today that for several months the excavators had assumed the building served a communal, even sacred, purpose, but were reluctant to deem the structure a synagogue per se; the conventional view has synagogues emerging only in the aftermath of the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE, whereas King David’s time would have been about four centuries earlier. However, the unequivocal language of the inscription, written in the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, rather than the Assyrian script later adopted for the language, demonstrates the ancient pedigree both of the synagogue itself and of the time-honored tradition of having a second synagogue with which to disassociate oneself.
It remains unclear who did use the synagogue, but its size and survival attest to its upkeep. Mazar, who tends to interpret findings in the City of David to fit the Biblical account, says the most likely scenario involves the king’s political opponents, such as Shimi Ben Gera, who infamously pronounced a curse on David as the king fled his son Absalom’s rebellion. The tensions between the personalities of Shimi and David serve as a good example of the politics that often lie behind a Jew’s decision not to worship in a particular synagogue, she says.
Canaanite cult site offers up its treasures after 3,300 years
The first rain of the season lashed Tel Burna Sunday, drenching what archaeologists say could be a 3,300-year-old shrine to the storm god Ba’al, whose offerings poured down on the Judean foothills.
Researchers excavating the ancient Canaanite town recently unearthed evidence of ritual practice they say could represent the first major cultic center found in Israel in about 80 years.
Tel Burna, which some archaeologists associate with the city of Livnah mentioned in Joshua 10, rises from the coastal plain five miles east of the modern city of Kiryat Gat. Its brown flat-topped mound looms about a hundred meters above the fertile fields belonging to the neighboring kibbutzim of Beit Nir and Beit Guvrin. From its base, the stout stone walls of an Iron Age fortress are clearly visible through the scrub. Today, only the cows grazing on Tel Burna’s slope stand guard.
Rare Roman monument bearing Hadrian’s name found in Jerusalem
A monumental Roman inscription bearing the name of Emperor Hadrian, which surfaced in Jerusalem during salvage excavations earlier this year, was displayed to the public by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Tuesday.
The massive limestone slab, roughly a meter wide, with Latin text inscribed in six lines with letters several inches high, was part of a monumental arch dedicated to the emperor in 130 CE in honor of Hadrian’s arrival. It’s one of a rare few Latin inscriptions found in Jerusalem from that period. The slab’s discovery sheds light on the timeline of Jerusalem’s reconstruction following its destruction by Rome in 70 CE, demonstrating that it was in large part rebuilt just 60 years later.
“To the Imperator Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus, son of the deified Traianus Parthicus, grandson of the deified Nerva, high priest, invested with the tribunician power for the 14th time, consul for the third time, father of the country [dedicated by] the 10th legion Fretensis (second hand) Antoniniana,” the text reads.
The 10th legion Fretensis, garrisoned in the ruined city of Jerusalem after the first revolt and also known for its participation in the siege of Masada, dedicated the monument at the city’s entrance to Hadrian before his historic visit.

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