Tag Archives: Israel

A VIEW FROM ISRAEL  

BLOG 534

September 20, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

A VIEW FROM ISRAEL  

Many Americans are wondering what the debacle in Afghanistan means for them and the future. America was there twenty years and the country fell in twenty days. Something is very wrong with that picture. Americans will claim we won the war and the Taliban will maintain they ran the Allies out. Obviously, American troops killed Bin Laden and probably should have left then. How do we interpret the fact that we stayed and then made a bungled exit, leaving some Americans behind? Not to mention the Drone strike on the Taliban that turned out to kill an Aid worker Zemari Ahamdi and seven children. A little hard to swallow, wouldn’t you say? Oh, yes. America left behind helicopters and vehicles as well as truck loads of weapons the Taliban captured.

Amtoz  Asa-El is an Israeli who writes about history. He has some penetrating observations for us to consider. Take a look.

Asa-El notes America built 800 bases worldwide 20 times more than all the other superpowers combined. America’s annual military is larger than the next five military spenders combined.  America’s eleven aircraft carriers equal the combined total of all other countries’ carriers.  America is the top dog …. And runout by the Taliban?

What have Americans wanted in past decades? Teddy Roosevelt called the national goal “the Imperialism of Duty.” While denouncing colonialism, America had pursed its own imperial goal. Asa-El notes that goal was achieved. The Soviet Empire crumbled while America marches on after a goal it could not achieve: proselytizing.

The imperialism imposition of an ideology became the mountain too high to climb.

It is one thing to wield power and win battles. It is another thing to impose a foreign idea on a resistant people while we believe we can change their minds. The Taliban had a saying. “Americans have watches: we have the time.” They were a radical Ismailis tribal state and not about to become a democracy. The story ends on a runway where American airplanes were hauling everyone out they could get on a jet.

Historian  Asa-El argues this form of American Imperialism was finished with the hasty exit from Afghanistan.  You can’t plant democracy in a resistant country. The historian argues “America’s imperial period has been intense and in many ways rewarding, but it wasn’t part of the American Way.” In the beginning George Washington warned we should have as little political connection with other nations as possible. In other words, America can’t go around the world planting democracy where the soil is too thin to support the idea. It didn’t grow in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

Amotz Asa-El ends his argument by writing: “World management should never have been America’s task, and the Afgan misadventure should be its last imperial war.”

Gives you something to think about.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under America, History, Israel, The Middle East

MORE TROUBLE

BLOG 529

August 9, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

MORE TROUBLE 

The shadow war with Iran popped up in another area this week. This time it was from the Iranian backed Hezbollah terrorist army based in Lebanon. Just as the Israelis got Gaza under control in the South, problems exploded in the North. As you may be aware, Hezbollah moved into Lebanon and has virtually taken over the country. They are resourced by Iran.

Hezbollah fired a barrage of 19 rockets at Israel, in the first attack since the 2006 war with the Jews. Military sources said 10 projectiles were intercepted by air defenses. Six struck open areas and 3 landed in Lebanon. The terrorist claimed the attack was in response to recent Israeli airstrikes following rocket fire by Hezbollah, August 6, 2021.

The Iran-backed terrorist group confirmed it had fired the projectiles, Several previous rocket attacks on Israel have been attributed to Hezbollah, but it had not acknowledged responsibility.

“The Islamic Resistance shelled open areas near the Sheba Farms with dozens of 122mm rockets,” Hezbollah stated in a statement carried in Arabic-language media.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in Friday’s rocket attack. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was not aware of any injuries. The IDF (Isreaeli Defense Force) reported it had begun a wave of artillery strikes toward the source of the rocket fire. The military added that there were no special instructions for residents in the area. “Routine civilian life adjacent to the Lebanese border should be maintained,” the IDF reported in a statement. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and other security officials were to hold talks to review Israel’s potential course of action following Friday’s attack.

The United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) considered the situation to be very serious and urged both sides to cease fired.  Israeli military spokesman Ran Kochav told reporters that Israel  has “no intention of going to war but we do not want to turn the Lebanon border into a line of confrontation. The incident shows Hezbollah’s deterrence, as it fired at open areas.” Kochav noted that Hezbollah intentionally fired at open areas. The Iron Dome defense system still intercepted most of the rockets.

Nevertheless, Israeli officials noted they reserve the right to respond to rocket attacks as they see fit. Fortunately, the Hezbollah attack was a symbolic gesture mainly to appease their constituency. They are well aware of how dangerous a genuine attack on Israel would be. Look at Gaza drowning in a sea of broken cement.

Let’s hope Hezbollah leaves well enough alone!

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Iran, Israel, Jews, The Middle East

IRAN LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

BLOG 528

August 2, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

IRAN LOOKING FOR TROUBLE   

There’s always something … and often it’s not good. Here’s the latest in the shadow war between Israel and Iran.

Iran appears to have made a deadly attack on an Israeli-operated ship using a suicide drone. Two foreign crewmen were killed. Iranian media claims this is a response to strikes in Syria. Israel’s defense leadership convened Friday night to discuss what it believes to be an Iranian attack on a ship with Israeli ties.  A senior government source accused Tehran of “sowing destruction” and said it was proving itself to be “a global problem.”

An unnamed US official told The Associated Press it appeared that a so-called “suicide drone” was used in the attack. A senior Israeli government source said on condition of anonymity Friday evening that “Iran is sowing violence and destruction in every corner of the region. They were so eager to attack an Israeli target that they’ve embroiled themselves and incriminated themselves in the killing of foreign citizens.”

In a statement Friday night, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said he was in continuous contact with his British counterpart Dominic Raab and had “noted to him the need to respond severely to the attack.” “Iran is not just an Israeli problem, but an exporter of terror, destruction and instability that hurt us all,” he said. “The world must not be silent in the face of Iranian terror.”

An Israeli official cited by the Ynet news site hinted at possible retaliation, saying it would be difficult for Israel to ignore the latest attack. An Israeli official said, “The only question is how and when we’ll respond.” Analysts said the attack bore all the hallmarks of tit-for-tat exchanges in the undercover war between Israel and Iran, in which vessels linked to each nation have been targeted in waters around the Gulf.

The assault represented the worst-known maritime violence so far in regional attacks on shipping since 2019. The US, Israel and others have blamed the attacks on Iran amid the unraveling of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. With a new hardline Iranian president set to be sworn in, the masks are coming off and no one can pretend they don’t know the character of the Iranian regime.

An Israeli office concluded, “Iran isn’t just Israel’s problem, it is a global problem, and its behavior endangers free global shipping and trade. Our campaign against them will continue.”

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Iran, Israel, The Middle East, World

ICE CREAM IN ISRAEL: REALLY?

BLOG 527

July 25, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

ICE CREAM IN ISRAEL: REALLY?

There’s always a brew-ha-ha going on in Israel. But over ice cream?  Believe it or not, that’s what popped up this week. Ben & Jerry’s announcement that the company will stop selling its products in Judea and Samaria by the end of 2022 has produced an unprecedented wave of reactions in Israel and in the USA. Reports even indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has called the CEO of Unilever (the parent company of B&J) to protest the boycott. With all due respect to PM Bennett, we are only talking here about ice cream. One must hope that PM Bennett has more important priorities than to complain to an executive about milk and sugar.

Let’s take a look at the facts and keep things in proportion: Ben & Jerry’s (USA), having been under pressure from its board of directors, announced that they will not renew their franchise agreement with B&J Israel at the end of its term in 2022. They also further announced that they plan to continue to sell B&J in Israel only (excluding Judea & Samaria), through other channels following the franchise replacement. This strategy has no chance to succeed since B&J will ultimately lose the Israeli market. Under Israeli law, you can’t select where you want to sell, Judea and Samaria being part of Israel.  Also, Israelis have a good memory for these types of boycotts. Just consider the ramifications 50 years after the Arab League boycott of the 1960s and ’70s.  Take a look at Coca Cola’s market dominance in Israel today compared to Pepsi. Israelis remember very well how Cola stood by little Israel (population of 3 million at the time) despite the pressure from the combined Arab countries (population 200 million). Pepsi is still “punished” by Israelis today for shamefully caving into the Arab League boycott of the ’60s and ’70s. Israel is the only country in the world where Pepsi is the third largest cbrand, after Coke and RC. Right — RC Cola is bigger in Israel than Pepsi. Israelis have a good memory.

For a brand, singling out Israel from among the approximately 100 territorial disputes around the globe, may turn out to be a very dangerous strategy — one that can backfire like a boomerang. German Nazis started their anti-Semitic campaigns before World War II with the moto, “kauft nich bei Juden” (don’t buy from Jews). Today’s B&J strategy seems to be: “verkauft nicht zu Juden” (don’t sell to Jews). The most sensitive answer to B&J by Israel and its friends all over the world should be: “B&J, we don’t need you.”  As PM Bennett appropriately said, “There are many ice creams, but there is only one Israel.” So, friends, let’s chill. It’s only ice cream and it’s nothing to get too excited about. The problem is Ben & Jerry are mixing politics  and business.  Let it melt and let’s move on to the important stuff.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Israel, Jews, The Middle East

THE DAY AFTER

BLOG 518

May 24, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

THE DAY AFTER

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has spilled over into America. A Jewish man was badly beaten by a pro-Palestinian mob in New York City on Thursday. Joseph Borgen thought he was “going to die” during the attack. He was assaulted while wearing a kippa (prayer cap) on his way to a pro-Israel rally. “I would never think I’d ever have to worry about my religion or ethnicity being a problem in NYC.” Jewish people in America are facing such an event with increasing personal concern.

In the Middle-East, Egyptian mediators held talks Saturday to firm up an Israel-Hamas ceasefire. Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip have begun to assess the damage from 11 days of intense fighting. Saturday marked the first full day of a truce that ended the fourth Israel-Hamas war in just over a decade. In the fighting, Israel unleashed hundreds of airstrikes against terrorist targets in Gaza. Hamas fired more than 4,300 rockets toward Israel. More than 250  Palestinians were killed,. Israel asserts some 200 were terror operatives.

Gaza City’s busiest commercial area, Omar al-Mukhtar Street, was covered in debris, smashed cars, and twisted metal after a 13-floor building in its center was flattened in an Israeli airstrike. Merchandise was covered in soot and strewn inside smashed stores and on the pavement. Municipal workers removed broken glass and twisted metal from streets and sidewalks.

Both Israel and Hamas claimed victory. While there was a widespread expectation that the ceasefire might stick, another round of fighting at some point seems inevitable. Underlying issues remain unresolved, including the Israeli-Egyptian border blockade. In its 14th year, the barricade is choking Gaza’s more than 2 million residents because the Hamas terrorist organization won’t disarm. Israel says the blockade is necessary to limit access to weapons by Hamas. Israel is sworn to its destruction.    

The war further sidelined Hamas’s main political rival, the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority. The P.A. oversees autonomous areas of the West Bank. Hamas has increasingly positioned itself to appear to be a defender of Jerusalem in  order to sway Palestinian public opinion.  On Friday, hours after the ceasefire took effect, thousands of Palestinians on the Temple Mount chanted against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his government. “Dogs of the Palestinian Authority, out, out,” they shouted, and “The people want the president to leave.” It was an unprecedented display of anger against Abbas.

The conflict also brought to the surface deep frustration among Arbs, whether in the West Bank, Gaza or within Israel, over the status quowith the Israeli-Palestinian peace process all but abandoned for years.

What’s ahead? No one can say or whether the ceasefire will hold. The number of Palestinians killed means nothing to Hamas as they have previously used their own people as human shields. They believe martyrs help their cause. Whatever they lost to Israel, they have gained in further diminishing Fatah and President Abbas. A strange logic prevails in their terrorist attacks. Loss of human lives doesn’t appear to matter.  However, if they fire more rockets, Israel will continue to eradicate their positions.

Sound like a hot summer ahead? Undoubtedly!

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaza, Israel, Jews, The Middle East

THE PEFECT STORM IN ISRAEL

BLOG 517

May 17, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

THE PEFECT STORM IN ISRAEL

Last week’s blog ended with “something like this weekend’s confrontation always has the potential to erupt into a major nation-wide war. Let’s hope not.” Unfortunately, I was right on target. Israel and Hamas as well as the Palestinians now stand on the edge of a full-scale war. You may be asking yourself how this could have exploded so quickly. Actually, it has been simmering for a long time. Here are some of the factors that merged at  the right moment for a horrendous confrontation.

  1. RAMADAN

The Muslim holy month  (April to May) has always been a time of increased tension and violence against the Jews. While the month of Ramadan is supposedly to be a time of peace, Muslim extremists have turned it into a period of attack. Israelis know they must be extra protective during this time. The fact that the attack began on the Temple Mount with youth coming out of the Al-Aksa Mosque is consistent with Ramadan’s period of increased tension.

  • POLITICAL STRUGGLES IN ISRAELI POLITICS

As unbelievable as it appears, Israel is preparing for a fourth election that should have been settled years ago. The legal problems of Prime Minister Netanyahu fueled political indecision about his office as well as confronting him with the possibility of going to jail. Those problems add up to a sense that at this moment Israel is vulnerable. While thoughtful inquirers know Israel can defeat an Arab attack, the Palestinians don’t think that way. This seemed to them to be a good moment to attack.

  • The Trump factor

During the four-years of the Trump administration, the USA appeared to be unequivocally on the side of Israel with no concern for the Palestinian issues. While this made for a good show in Republican politics, it left the Palestinians with the conclusion they had no support in Washington for their own legitimate claims and needs. When the Palestinian cause appeared hopeless, they turned to violence.

  • Palestinian Elections

With elections scheduled in the West Bank on May 22 and July 31, what better way to garner votes than to cross the line and attack Israel. The assaults with rockets and bottles came at the right moment to declare solidarity with the Arab cause. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas can now blame Israel if the election is cancelled in an attempt to avoid blame for his not holding elections for over a decade.

  • Iran

Iran always enjoys seeing Israel bleed. As the world’s number one terrorism exporter, they have been the source of providing those countless rockets fired on Israel over the years and particularly at this moment. They are testing the Iron Dome’s ability  to defeat these attacks. So far, Israel is winning that struggle.

TOMORROW?

What does the future hold? A communique came this week from Yitzhak Sokoloff in Israel whose daughter serves in the Army and has been in bomb shelters this past week. He writes,

I don’t know where things are headed and I’m not sure that anyone does. As I write tonight from my part-time home in Yerucham, the Red Alert application keeps buzzing every few seconds with warnings for the Israeli towns and cities about to receive a visit from a Hamas rocket, including one aimed at my daughter’s base. (She’s OK).

How long can this last? The problem started with Isaac and Ishmael four-thousand years ago. If that’s any indication, the conflict looks endless. Palestinians see a holy purpose in dying for the Temple Mount and their claim to the land. If Jordan or Egypt get into the fray, there is no end to how far this collision could go.

Stay tuned.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under Iran, Israel, Palestinians, The Middle East, Trump, War

TRAGEDY IN ISRAEL: AGAIN!

BLOG 516

May 10, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

TRAGEDY IN ISRAEL: AGAIN!

Last week we had the disturbing loss of life in the Lag B’Omer incident near Safed in Northern Israel. This week the Temple Mount exploded in rioting.  Seventeen policemen and 200 Palestinians were hurt. Here’s the full story you won’t hear on the evening news this week.  Israeli police burst into the Temple Mount compound on Friday evening after Palestinians threw rocks and bottles at officers, as widespread clashes in Jerusalem spread to the holy site following prayers held there on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.  The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that at least 205 Palestinians were wounded in clashes throughout Jerusalem, mostly around the Temple Mount and by the Damascus Gate. Eighty-eight Palestinians were hospitalized, mostly for injuries with rubber-coated steel bullets. Demonstrators had called for more people to try and reach the compound, but police blocked roads leading to the site. Footage on social media appeared to show police officers on the roof of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem has long been one of the main flashpoints of Israeli-Palestinian friction. The holiest place in Judaism, it is the site of the two biblical temples, the Muslim holy sites of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Dome of the Rock.

After capturing East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967, Israel continued to grant the Waqf, which is funded and controlled by the Jordanian government, near-complete control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque area. However, Israeli security forces are present on the Mount and work in coordination with the Waqf. Jews are allowed to visit the site, but unlike Muslims they are strictly prohibited from praying on the grounds.

By midnight some of the worst violence in Jerusalem for years, seemed to have subsided, with most protesters dispersing. Police said Friday evening that force was used including “riot dispersal means following violent disturbances on the Temple Mount, during which hundreds of suspects began throwing stone, bottles and objects at police officers.”  Video from the scene showed pitched battles, with Palestinians throwing chairs, shoes, rocks and bottles, and shooting fireworks, and police responding with stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets.  Protesters chanted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great.” Several wounded demonstrators could be seen being carried away on stretchers.  

There are growing fears that the confrontations in Jerusalem could intensify still further ahead of and on Sunday night, May 9. Sunday night is “Laylat al-Qadr” or the “Night of Destiny,” the most sacred in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Worshipers will gather for intense evening prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Sunday night is also the start of Jerusalem Day, a national holiday in which Israel celebrates the unification of Jerusalem when Israel captured the eastern half of the city, including the Old City, from the Jordanians in the 1967 war and religious nationalists hold parades and other celebrations in the city.

There is nothing new about such a violent outburst. I was once on the Temple Mount when I was accosted by a Muslim demanding that I leave. I made a minor objection and thought I was about to get attacked. I left.

However, something like this weekend’s confrontation always has the potential to explode into a major nation-wide war. Let’s hope not.   

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

            

Leave a comment

Filed under Israel, Palestinians, The Middle East, War

SCROLLING BACK  

BLOG 512

April 12, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

SCROLLING BACK  

It’s been way too long since I updated you on what archeology is doing in Israel.  There’s no place in the world where so many people dig for so much stuff than in Israel.  Because of  biblical history and ancient ties, every inch of the land is fair game. And the finds are amazing!

Here’s some of the latest.

A bronze coin discovered in Jerusalem’s old city dates back to the period of the Bar-Kochba revolt after the destruction of the Second Temple. Around 132 – 136, the final rebellion against Rome was the period when this coin was minted. Out of the multitudes of  ancient coins only four date back this far. Probably a bronze coin (in contrast to a silver one) was also a propaganda statement that Israel was an independent nation separate from Rome. (which it wasn’t)

Recently the oldest inscription describing the ancient city as Yerushalayim  was found.

The over 2,000 year inscription on stone read, Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem. The stone column comes from around the time of Herod the Great. While archeologists have no way of knowing who Hananiah or Dodalos were, the  nature of the text suggests they may well have been potters.  The piece comes from what was then the largest pottery making region near Jerusalem where pottery was made for cooking.  This site produced a village maintained by pottery makers.

The latest desert discoveries since the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls recently turned up in a desert area where refugees fled from the  Roman conquerors 2,000 years ago,  Over 80 fragments were found while some are considered dating back maybe as early as 10,000 years ago,  Some of the pieces belonged to a scroll of the book of Zechariah.  Some of these pieces represent discoveries that have never been found before.

Scholars are always concerned that looters will find such fragments and documents before they can be recovered.  However, these new finds remain highly important.  The authorities believe the scrolls were a hundred years old before they were hidden in the caves.

What does all of this mean? Such finds solidify that the Holy Land was occupied just as the Bible indicates. Jews maintain that their ancestors were always there. Of course, this does not sit well with the Palestinians, but the evidence remains a fact. Mover, these findings have consistently validated the authenticity of the scripture.

Equally important, an accurate picture and understanding of the ancient world is being reconstructed at an amazing rate.  In the few years that I have been wandering around Israel, I have seen the past come to life.  The picture is amazing!

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

Leave a comment

Filed under archaeology, Israel, The Middle East

ELECTION IN ISRAEL

BLOG 511

April 5, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

ELECTION IN ISRAEL

Chaos continues in Israel following the past week’s election. No outcome now mandates another immediate election. The situation is not good!

The Israeli TV survey opinion poll found widespread dissatisfaction among Israelis with the inconclusive election outcome, with 80 percent of respondents expressing disappointment with the stalemate and predicting a fifth round of elections within two years would be called.

The poll came amid continued political deadlock following last week’s election,  which saw neither Netanyahu’s allies nor his rivals muster enough seats to form a coalition. In the absence of a clear winner, Netanyahu’s rivals in the so-called “change bloc” — composed of centrist, right-wing and left-wing parties — were clamoring to muster enough support to form a government instead of the Likud leader, but were split on who should lead such a coalition.

One consequence of the years-long election season is that the line between policy and politics becomes blurred. Netanyahu is notorious for exploiting any election advantage he can find, and, not surprisingly, Israel’s neighbors aren’t especially thrilled playing supporting roles on Netanyahu’s stage. At this time no one is rushing to help Netanyahu’s election campaign.

Sa’ar, a former minister, left Likud in December to form New Hope, with the aim of replacing Netanyahu. Shortly after its formation, New Hope polled as high as 21 seats, but the party steadily shed support to finish with just sixth in last week’s election.

Yesh Atid leader, Yair Lapid quickly responded to Sa’ar, saying “there is nothing I’m unwilling to consider” to replace Netanyahu as Prime Minister. “I said during the campaign and I say again now: The country is more important than my personal ambitions or anyone else’s,” he wrote on Facebook.

Nearly two-thirds of voters who backed parties seeking to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power believe his chief rival, Lapid, should stand aside and let Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett be prime minister instead, according to a Channel 13 survey published Wednesday.

With four consecutive elections failing to dent two years of Knesset gridlock, the “only democracy in the Middle East” is giving the rest of the region an up-close view of some of the more painful aspects of putting political power in the hands of the people.

So, where does Israel go from here? The road looks bumpy!

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Filed under Elections, Israel, The Middle East

MORE TERRORISM

BLOG 508

March 1, 2021

WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.

MORE TERRORISM

How does terrorism work in the Middle East? This week we got another example. Iran threated retaliation against Israel since the killing of their top general and another expert in nuclear development. Then came the bombing in India. Now we have more attacks this week.

Israeli officials believe Iran was behind a blast on an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman, according to Friday evening reports.  Hebrew media quoted unnamed Israeli officials as saying they believe Iran was responsible for the Friday explosion, which did not disable the ship or injure its crew, but forced it ashore for repairs.

The area of the blast, off Iran’s coast at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, saw a series of explosions in 2019 that the US Navy blamed on Iran, against the backdrop of steeply rising threats between former US president Donald Trump and Iranian leaders. The Friday explosion came amid high tensions between Iran and the Biden administration, which took its first military action Thursday night against Iranian-backed militia in Syria in response to attacks on US forces in the Middle East. 

Dryad Global, a maritime intelligence firm, said it was very possible the blast stemmed from “asymmetric activity by Iranian military.” As Iran seeks to pressure the United States to lift sanctions, the country may seek “to exercise forceful diplomacy through military means,” Dryad reported. Iran did not immediately acknowledge the incident.

US President Joe Biden said Friday that Iran should view his decision to authorize US airstrikes in Syria as a warning that it can expect consequences for its support of militia groups that threaten US interests or personnel.  “You can’t act with impunity. Be careful,” Biden said when a reporter asked what message he had intended to send with the airstrikes, which the Pentagon said destroyed several buildings in eastern Syria but were not intended to eradicate the militia groups that used them to facilitate attacks inside Iraq.

President Biden is suggesting that Iran may go tip-toeing around the world setting off bombs, but they better be careful about what could go off in their backyard.

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