July 20, 2019

At the Crossroads of Ancient History and Modern Conflict

“When most people think of Jerusalem they think of the walled Old City: the place that contains the Western Wall and the Aqsa Mosque and the Via Dolorosa and inspires more religious fervor than perhaps anywhere else on earth. But the Jerusalem of the Bible is a modest, narrow ridge just outside the walls. Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem regional archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority, described it this way: “Jerusalem was the capital of Judean kings and that capital was located in what we call today the City of David.”

Archaeologists have been engaged in a ferocious debate about whether a king named David literally built his palace here. Dr. Gadot, who belongs to the school of archaeology known as biblical minimalism, is skeptical. But almost all agree on the big picture, which is that the 11-acre mound is the seat of the Davidic dynasty, which begot what we now call Jewish civilization.

“You cannot cast doubts over the importance of this place. This is the acropolis of Israel,” Dr. Gadot said.

There is just one problem. The acropolis of Israel is being unearthed in East Jerusalem, which much of the world does not regard as belonging to the state of Israel. And it is being unearthed, at least in part, beneath the homes of Palestinians, from land that those Palestinians want to be incorporated into their future state.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."

"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."

"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."

"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."

"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."

"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."

"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."

"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."

"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."

"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."

"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."

"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."