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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Bar Ilan University’

Egyptian Amulet Bearing Name of Pharaoh Found in Soil from Temple Mount

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

A rare amulet, more than 3,200 years old, bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler Thutmose III, Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty who reigned from 1479 – 1425 BCE, was discovered at the Temple Mount Sifting Project located in Jerusalem’s Tzurim Valley National Park in soil discarded from the Temple Mount, and was only recently deciphered by archeologists. The project is conducted under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University, with the support of the City of David Foundation and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Thutmose III was one of the most important pharaohs in Egypt’s New Kingdom and is credited with establishing the Egyptian imperial province in Canaan, conducting 17 military campaigns to Canaan and Syria and defeating a coalition of Canaanite kings at the city of Megiddo in 1457 BCE,” stated Dr. Gabriel Barkay, the co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. “Thutmose III referred to himself as ‘the one who has subdued a thousand cities,’ and it is known that for more than 300 years, during the Late Bronze Age, Canaan and the city-state of Jerusalem were under Egyptian dominion, likely explaining the presence of this amulet in Jerusalem.”

The amulet was discovered by Neshama Spielman, a twelve year-old girl from Jerusalem who came with her family to participate in the Temple Mount Sifting Project. “While I was sifting, I came across a piece of pottery that was different from others I had seen, and I immediately thought that maybe I had found something special,” said Spielman. “It’s amazing to find something thousands of years old from ancient Egypt all the way here in Jerusalem! Celebrating Passover this year is going to be extra meaningful to me.”

The Passover festival, commemorating the Biblical account of the ancient Israelites Exodus from Egypt, will be celebrated later this week.

Egyptian amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler, Thutmose III. – Credit: Zachi Dvira

Egyptian amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler, Thutmose III. – Credit: Zachi Dvira

Since the project’s inception in 2004, more than 170,000 volunteers from Israel and around the world have taken part in the sifting, representing an unprecedented phenomenon in the realm of archaeological research.

The small amulet is in the shape of a pendant, missing its bottom part, measures 21 mm wide, 4 mm thick and its preserved length is 16 mm. A loop on top allowed it to be strung and hung on the neck. The raised decoration displays a cartouche — an oval frame surrounding Egyptian hieroglyphics bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler. Above the oval framing is the symbol of an eye, and to its right are remnants of yet another hieroglyphic symbol depicting a cobra of which parts of the head and tail are preserved.

While Egyptian scarabs bearing the name of Thutmose III have previously been discovered in Jerusalem, this represents the first time his name has been found in Jerusalem adorning an amulet. “Objects bearing the name of Thutmose III continued to be produced in Egypt long after the time of his reign, reflecting the significance and lasting impression of this king,” said Barkay.

The amulet can be reconstructed based upon the discovery of an identical pendant found in Nahal Iron in northern Israel, announced in 1978,” said Zachi Dvira, co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. “Along with that pendant, which also bore the name of Thutmose III, was another amulet bearing the name of King Seti I, an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled Egypt during the late 14th – early 13th centuries BCE. This seems to indicate that both pendants date to the same time period, namely the late 14th – early 13th century BCE.”

The research of the amulet was conducted by Israel Antiquities Authority Egyptologist Baruch Brandl.

“A discovery such as this is particularly symbolic at this time of year, with the Passover festival just a few days away, and represents greetings from the ancient past,” said Assaf Avraham, archeologist and director of the Jerusalem Walls National Park from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Neshama Spielman, 12 years-old from Jerusalem, holding the amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler, Thutmose III. – Credit: Adina Graham

Neshama Spielman, 12 years-old from Jerusalem, holding the amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler, Thutmose III. – Credit: Adina Graham

The Temple Mount Sifting Project, under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University and with the support of the City of David Foundation and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, was initiated in response to the illegal removal of tons of earth from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Waqf in 1999 without any archaeological supervision.

“Since the Temple Mount has never been excavated, the ancient artifacts retrieved in the Sifting Project provide valuable and previously inaccessible information. The many categories of finds are among the largest and most varied ever found in Jerusalem. Even though they have been extracted from their archaeological context, most of these artifacts can be identified and dated by comparing them with those found at other sites,” said Dvira.

In addition to the ongoing sifting of the earth illegally removed from the Temple Mount by the Muslim Waqf, The Temple Mount Sifting Project has focused its efforts on the enormous tasks of processing and studying the finds and preparing them for scientific publication. Presently, more than half a million finds are still waiting to be processed and analyzed in their laboratory.

JNi.Media

CoP Leaders Hear About Media Coverage of Israel, Strategic Challenges, and from Rivlin

Friday, February 19th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin welcomed the more than 100 American Jewish leader delegates of the 42nd annual Conference of Presidents’ Leadership Mission to Israel at his official residence, Beit HaNasi, on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Rivlin told them that he hoped that Israel would not become a divisive topic in this election season. “Support for Israel has never been and must not become a partisan issue,” he said.

Referring to the recent outbreak of violence in Israel, Rivlin said, “The wave of terror does not discriminate against right and left, or between Jews and Arabs. We continue to pay a heavy price for our independence. We appreciate your support very much during these difficult times, and we know that we have you as partners because we are the same people.”

The President said that the real problem is with extremists who believe that incitement brings them power.

The delegation had an off-the-record discussion with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and then observed experts engage in two panel discussions.

The first panel focused on media coverage of Israel in the foreign press.

David Horovitz, Founding Editor, Times of Israel, moderated the media panel with the participation of Barbara Opall-Rome, Israel Bureau Chief, Defense News; Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesperson, Head of Foreign Press Branch; Udi Segal, Diplomatic correspondent for Israeli television’s Channel 2; and Josef Federman, Israel Bureau Chief, Associated Press.

Panel on Media Coverage of Israel in the Foreign Press during COP's 2016 Leadership Mission to Israel. l to r : David Horovitz, Founding Editor, Times of Israel, Josef Federman, Israel Bureau Chief, Associated Press. Barbara Opall-Rome, Israel Bureau Chief, Defense News; Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesperson, Head of Foreign Press Branch; Udi Segal, Diplomatic correspondent, Israeli television’s Channel 2.

Panel on Media Coverage of Israel in the Foreign Press during COP’s 2016 Leadership Mission to Israel. l to r : David Horovitz, Josef Federman, Barbara Opall-Rome, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, Udi Segal.

Horovitz framed the discussion by saying that the root of the legitimate grievance directed at the foreign media’s Israel coverage is lack of context and perspective, and that the wider challenges facing Israel are underestimated.

Udi Segal said, “Israel should not be complaining about unfairness in the media,” arguing that foreign journalists should be given more access to the information they need.

Lerner said the media is essentially professional, “but sometimes lack time, accuracy, context, and professional ethics. Professional journalists should investigate what incitement really means; there needs to be a fuller story, it’s not a simple story.”

Opall-Rome argued that the word “terrorism” is loaded and often misused; she defined it as “an act of violence against unarmed civilians.”

Consistent with her definition, Opall-Rome said, the attack on Gilad Shalit’s tank and his subsequent kidnapping could not be considered terrorism, but the recent murder of the mother of six, Dafna Meir, could, albeit with the proviso that she be identified in the press as a settler. Why that identification would be necessary for reasons other than to delegitimize the victim is hard to understand.

Federman said “it has become very unpleasant to be a journalist in this country.” He also said that the more than 400 journalists in the Foreign Press Association were not monolithic, adding: “There is very little intentional distortion, errors are usually due to haste or carelessness, and are generally corrected quickly.” In response, Ms. Opall-Rome cited a Dubai-based journalist for Defense News who repeatedly referred to the IDF as the IOF – the Israeli Occupation Forces in his reporting, but her outlet would not permit the use of that term.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

When the Middle East Creates Strange Bedfellows

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Mideast expert Mordechai Kedar joins Yishai to talk about some odd political developments and alliances in the region.

Dr. Kedar, research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and lecturer in the department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, offers his insights about Russia’s talks with Syria, Israel’s and Hezbollah’s shared interest in stopping ISIS and the nuclear deal’s unexpectedly negative ramifications for Iran.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Germany To Fund Joint Bar-Ilan, Leipzig Universities Research Center

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Published in Jewish Business News

The German government will contribute $472,000 towards a new biblical era research center at Bar-Ilan University, which is being established to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.

Bar-Ilan University will be the location of one of two new Minerva Centers to be established in Israel, the German Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Johanna Wanka, has announced.

Entitled “The Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times: The Construct of Autonomous Decision Making and Interdependencies” the Minerva Center is being awarded by the Minerva Foundation, of the German Max Planck Society, to Prof. Aren M. Maeir, of Bar-Ilan University’s Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, and Prof. Angelika Berlejung, of the University of Leipzig.

The two will serve as co-directors of the center, which will include scholars from Bar-Ilan University and the University of Leipzig. The center’s primary objective will be to conduct joint research on the character of Aramean-Israelite relations during the biblical period (Iron Age and Persian Period).

“The cultures of Israel and of Aram are two of the most important cultures of the ancient eastern Mediterranean (and the ancient world in general), not only due to the fact that they played a crucial role during early periods (and are extensively portrayed in the biblical text), but also because they are among the few cultures of antiquity (not only in the Levant but in the entire world) whose cultural patrimony exists until today,” says Prof. Maeir, who also directs the Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition to Gath.

The Minerva Center is currently funded for six years, during which a series of conferences, meetings, workshops, student mentorships, and various joint Israeli-German meetings and activities will be carried out, both on the senior/researcher level, as well as between students from both countries.

JBN / Jewish Business News

Bibi: ‘ISIS Would Devour Palestinian State, We Cannot Help Create That’

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Whether or not he was publicly forced into stating it, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has now said what most focused Israelis and Israel-watchers have realized for quite some time: the creation of any Palestinian State now, as weak as it is and has been since its leadership began attempting to resemble a functioning state, would be immediately subsumed (or, if you will, “gobbled up”) by ISIS or any of the other Islamic extremist groups in the region.

For that reason alone, if not for the myriad others – such as its own leadership’s inclination towards and support for its own version of terrorism – it is impossible for any responsible leader in the region to consider the creation of a Palestinian State any time soon.

In the words of the Israeli prime minister regarding the calamitous instability in the region and its impact on whether there should be a Palestinian state anytime soon: “Therefore, there will not be any withdrawals or concessions. The matter is simply irrelevant.”

Whether Netanyahu’s hand was forced because of the pressure placed on him by the Religious Zionist party Bayit Yehudi which consistently states it will not hand over any territory to the Arabs, or because a right-wing member of his own Likud party got the ball rolling, the end result is the same.

The cat is back in the bag, the Two State “Solution” is now clearly only a solution for ending Israel, and enslaving even the Palestinian Arabs themselves. For the safety of all those living in the land south of Lebanon, west of Syria and Jordan and north of Egypt, the only way to prevent ISIS and its fellow barbarous murderers is for Israel to remain in control of all the borders.

The Israeli prime minister began his most recent iteration in his leadership role with a earth-shattering speech at Bar Ilan University. Netanyahu invoked the “Two State” mantra as if it were within reach.

In that 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan, Netanyahu said he would recognize a Palestinian State “if we get a guarantee of demilitarization, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state.” He said, if that were to happen, “we are ready to agree to a real peace agreement, a demilitarized Palestinian state side by side with the Jewish state.”

Even after the recent Gaza wars and bruising condemnations of Israeli self-defense by much of the international community, Netanyahu continued speaking, at least in public, of working with the Palestinian Arab leadership towards a result they claim (an idea that much of the international community was pushing very hard) they want: a Palestinian State.

Perhaps Netanyahu and his advisers believed that Israeli security is so strong it could even survive the birth of a tiny terror state of Palestine (Palistan?). But inviting ISIS into its own neural network? That would make the recent machete, hammer and automobile terrorism by local Palestinian Arab terrorists look like mere schoolyard spitting contests.

Netanyahu’s statement shutting the door on Palestinian statehood came on Sunday, March 8. It came in response to a question about a position taken by the Likud party’s answer to a small Israeli paper’s campaign question.

As Lahav Harkov reported in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, “The article claimed that the Likud’s answer to a question as to its leader’s position on Palestinian statehood was: “The prime minister told the public that the Bar-Ilan speech [in which he advocated a demilitarized Palestinian state] is canceled.”

According to Harkov, a Likud spokesperson said party member MK Tzipi Hotovely provided the answer and it was her personal position. But regardless of whose language appeared in the campaign response, Netanyahu later made it clear he would not allow ISIS to fill the vacuum created by a weak Palestinian State.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israeli Scientist Finds Omega-3 Reduces Smoking

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Want to stop smoking, for real, and you just can’t seem to manage it on your own but hate the thought of patches and “chemicals” ?

A new study conducted by an Israeli scientist  has found that Omega-3 reduces a smoker’s craving for nicotine, thereby making it easier to quit the unhealthy habit.

The study was headed by Dr. Sharon Rabinovitz Shenkar, head of the addictions program at University of Haifa’s school of criminology and the department of psychopharmacology laboratory at Bar Ilan University.

Subjects participating in the study were asked to take five capsules per day for 30 days of Omega-3 950 produced by Solgar. A second group, used as controls, received placebos. Neither group was asked to stop smoking.

The groups included 38 smokers ages 18 to 45 who somked at least 10 cigarettes per day during the past year, and an average of 14 cigarettes per day. The average subject had been smoking for at least 11 years.

Levels of nicotine craving and consumption were measured using a series of scales at the beginning of the study, after 30 days of treatment and after 60 days (30 days after stopping the Omega-3 capsules.)

“The substances and medications currently used to help people reduce and quit smoking are not very effective and cause adverse effects that are not easy to cope with,” Shenkar observed.

“The findings of this study indicated that Omega-3, an inexpensive and easily available dietary supplement with almost no side effects, reduces smoking significantly,” she added.

Among myriad other health problems, smoking also reduces the levels of essential fatty acids in the brain – especially that of Omega-3. When the body is deficient in Omega-3, the cellular structure of nerve cells is damaged, and it interrupts neurotransmission in areas of the brain involved with feeling pleasure and satisfaction, Shenkar explained.

These areas are essential in reward and decision-making, and are very important in the process of the development, maintenance and relapse of the addict and inability to stop smoking.

“In simpler terms, Omega-3 deficiency makes it harder for the smoker’s body to deal with its craving for another cigarette.

The findings of the new study show that while no difference was found between the groups at the beginning of the study, after thirty days the smokers who had taken Omega-3 reduced their cigarettes by an average of two a day (an eleven-percent decrease), even though they were not asked to change their smoking habits in any way. No less important, they showed a significant decrease in nicotine craving. After another thirty days of not taking anything, cigarette cravings increased slightly but still remained significantly lower than their initial level. In other words, the craving to smoke cigarettes did not return to the baseline level even a month after stopping to take the supplement. The group receiving the placebo did not show any significant changes in their craving levels or in the number of cigarettes they smoked a day during the sixty days.

“Earlier studies have proven that an imbalance in Omega-3 is also related to mental health, depression and the ability to cope with pressure and stress,” Shenkar emphasized. “Pressure and stress, in turn, are associated with the urge to smoke. It is also known that stress and tension levels rise among people who quit smoking. Despite all this, this connection between all these factors had not been studied until now.”

The finding that people who were not interested in stopping to smoke showed such a significant change reinforces the assumption that taking Omega-3 can help smokers to regulate their addiction and reduce their smoking, Shenkar pointed out.

Hana Levi Julian

The New Israel Fund, Jewish Values And Atonement

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

In its September newsletter, the New Israel Fund (NIF) urged Israelis to examine their behavior (“cheshbon nefesh”), declaring “We have been telling you for some time about the upsurge in hatred and incitement in Israel…”

But in Jewish tradition, the processes of introspection and atonement for sins of commission and omission begin at home, including for the NIF.

As the most powerful political and social framework in Israel outside of the government, NIF exerts major influence through its funding, providing millions of dollars every year to dozens of organizations.

The founding donors and officials sought to promote important social objectives in a Zionist framework. But over the years, the Zionist commitment became blurred, and money from pro-Israel donors was channeled to extreme anti-Israel organizations, including key supporters of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns.

NIF’s network also played a central role in the discredited Goldstone report, which falsely accused the Israeli military of systematic war crimes. In addition, while claiming to promote liberal, progressive Jewish values, a number of NIF-funded groups push highly intolerant and polarizing agendas, amplifying the impact of radical fringes in Israeli society, at the expense of the democratic consensus.

As a result, NIF is viewed with increasing suspicion by many Israelis and in a number of diaspora communities. In response, in September 2010, the NIF leadership belatedly adopted guidelines to prevent funding for groups that work “to deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign self-determination within Israel.”

In some important cases, these guidelines have been implemented, and in 2011 the NIF ended funding for three NGOs – Mada al-Carmel, Al-Qaws, and Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) – that promote demonization of Israel.

Unfortunately, NIF failed to publicly acknowledge the reasons for ending support, or to explain how these extreme groups were funded in the first place. Indeed, NIF remains a highly non-transparent organization, without the checks and balances or democratic processes that are necessary to prevent abuses and highly damaging mistakes in judgment.

While belatedly cutting off those three grantees, NIF continued to fund groups involved in global demonization campaigns such as Adalah, Breaking the Silence, Machsom Watch and Yesh Din.

In 2011, NIF also began funding for three additional divisive NGOs, including +972 Magazine, a blog pushing a radical fringe agenda. A number of +972’s bloggers have invoked the immoral and false “apartheid” analogy, and in a February 2012 interview in The Nation, Noam Sheizaf, +972’s editor-in-chief, referred to Jerusalem as an “apartheid city.”

In May of this year, +972 published a cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raping President Barack Obama and eating his limbs. And in September, Sheizaf used his twitter account to refer to critics as “the Jewish KKK” and “fascist” – reinforcing the image of the NIF network as exploiting a “progressive” and “liberal” façade for extreme polarization and hate speech.

In contrast to the actual behavior of the grantees, NIF has justified its funding for +972 as support for a “progressive view of domestic issues and Israel’s foreign relations” and of “broad public discussion and constituencies.” However, this English-only site is unknown to the “broad” Hebrew-speaking Israeli public. Rather, its targeting of an international audience with a message that demonizes Israel and attacks opponents (real and imagined) is entirely inconsistent with NIF’s stated aims and principles.

Another new grantee, Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF), also raises many concerns regarding NIF’s decision making. HRDF is administered by Lizi Sagie, who was forced to resign from B’Tselem in April 2010 after she referred to Israel’s Memorial Day as “a pornographic circus” on her personal blog. She then had a short stint as a co-director of ICAHD, a fringe Israeli NGO that supports a “one state” political formula – meaning the end of Jewish national sovereignty.

Michael Sfard is a key part of the HRDF operation, advising the board on “application of Aid Criteria when reviewing aid requests” and monitoring the “performance of attorneys receiving aid.” According to reports, Sfard is the lawyer for a group of defendants involved in a private libel suit and receiving funds through HRDF. These activities appear to contradict the NGO’s mandate, and create at least the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In addition, NIF authorized $162,430 for Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement (SJSM) in 2011. This organization’s main activities revolve around confrontational protests in the Negev, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank. In March 2012, a very crude and offensive poster was posted on the official Facebook page of SJSM, and then removed after harsh criticism from some of its members and women’s rights activists.

Gerald Steinberg

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-new-israel-fund-jewish-values-and-atonement/2012/09/25/

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