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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Galilee’

Republican Congressman Skinny-Dipped in the Sea of Galilee

Monday, August 20th, 2012

A group of Republican lawmakers on a trip to Israel last year jumped into the Sea of Galilee for a late-night swim, during which one congressman swam naked.

The incident, which took place on August 18, 2011, was first reported on Sunday by Politico.

The late-night swim, which followed an evening of dinner and drinking in Tiberias, involved over 20 people, including families and staff members of the congressmen, according to Politico, citing unnamed sources.

Most swam in their clothes, or partially clothed, but Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) completely disrobed, according to the report.

The 36-year-old first-term Republican, in a statement to Politico, said: “A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit.

“It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”

In comments to the Kansas City Star, Yoder added that it was dark when the group went for the swim and he was only in the water for about 10 seconds.

The other congressmen who went into the lake, according to the unnamed GOP sources in the Politico article, were Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; and Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

Some of the congressmen said they entered the lake because of its religious significance; others said they were cooling off and that alcohol may have contributed to their decision to jump in.

The Sea of Galilee has religious significance in Christianity, as it is where Jesus is said to have walked on water.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the most senior GOP lawmaker on the Israel trip, did not take part in the late-night swim. According to Politico, Cantor censured the 30 lawmakers the morning after the incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R – Ohio), told Politico that Cantor “handled the situation swiftly and appropriately.”

The FBI investigated whether any inappropriate behavior occurred, but no formal allegations of wrongdoing were leveled. Yoder’s chief of staff told Politico that “neither Congressman Yoder, nor his staff, have been interviewed by the FBI.”

Yoder is running unopposed for re-election in Kansas’ 3rd District.

JTA content was used in this report.

Exposed

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

A drought in Israel in 1985 caused the water level in the Sea of Galilee to fall lower than usual. On January 24, 1986, the remains of an ancient boat were discovered. Archaeologists carefully extracted the remains and preserved them in a museum at Nof Ginosar, near Tiberias. A cooking pot and a lamp were also found with the boat.

The boat is just over 27 feet long by 8 feet wide. Radio carbon dating has put its age at 2000 years, which means that it was sailing on the Sea of Galilee at about the time of the Julius Caesar assassination.

Boat
This model from the museum at Nof Ginosar shows what the boat would have looked like in its heyday.

Sunbathing by the Sea of Galilee

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

It’s summertime and anyone who stays by his desk typing urgently while the gorgeous Kineret is just sitting there, blue and warm and sweet and quiet, is plain nuts.

Everybody else seems to be having the time of their lives.

If you’re on your laptop or iPad at this moment, worshipping the big fireball in the heavens – think about us, the little people who write this stuff.

Happy fourth of July, in case you’re connected in any way to that day in Philadelphia back in 1776.

Stunning Synagogue Discovered in Huqoq

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

A monumental synagogue building dating to the Late Roman period (ca. 4th-5th centuries C.E.) has been uncovered in archaeological excavations at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee.

Revealed in the excavations are a stunning mosaic floor decorating the interior of the building.  Made of small, high-quality colored stone cubes, the mosaic depicts a scene of the biblical judge/warrior Samson tying fiery torches between the tails of foxes, as described in the book of Judges 15.  In another section of the mosaic, two female faces border a circular medallion, with a Hebrew inscription praising those who perform Torah commandments.

 The excavations are being conducted by Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and David Amit and Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and sponsored by UNC, Brigham Young University in Utah, Trinity University in Texas, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Toronto in Canada. Students and staff from UNC and the consortium schools are also participating in the dig.

“This discovery is significant because only a small number of ancient (Late Roman) synagogue buildings are decorated with mosaics showing biblical scenes, and only two others have scenes with Samson (one is at another site just a couple of miles from Huqoq),” said Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the department of religious studies in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences in a press release issued by the Israel Antiquities Authority. “Our mosaics are also important because of their high artistic quality and the tiny size of the mosaic cubes. This, together with the monumental size of the stones used to construct the synagogue’s walls, suggest a high level of prosperity in this village, as the building clearly was very costly.”

Huqoq is located just  west of Capernaum and Migdal.  It was discovered in 2011 by Magness.

Heavy Weekend Rains Raise Kinneret Water Level by Half a Foot

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

The Kinneret, Israel’s Sea of Galilee, has long been a steady source of concern for locals, with the need for water for drinking and agriculture scoring the highest points for anxiety, followed closely by tourism.

The lowest level was reached in 2001, at 214.87 meters (704.95 feet) below sea level. At that point the ecological damage to the beautiful lake was considered critical, as the water receded to as much as a thousand feet from where the beaches used to be.

Happily, the current rainy winter has elevated the Kinneret’s water level by 2.21 meters (7.25 feet), compared with that driest of seasons, 11 years ago. Altogether, this rainy season has contributed 1.4 meters (4.59 feet) to the water level, putting it at 212.66 meters (697.70 feet) below sea level.

This weekend alone brought up the lake’s level by 19 cm, or a little over half a foot.

The Kinneret needs to rise 3.86 meters (12.66 feet) to reach its optimal water level, which experts suggest could possibly happen after the end of the rainy season. They point out that record snow on the mountains north of the lake will result in record thawing come spring.

Earthquake in northern Israel

Monday, December 5th, 2011

As residents of northern Israel were turning in for the night, a 3.8 magnitude earthquake originating at the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) jolted them awake on Sunday.

 

The Geophysical Institute of Israel reported that the short and mild earthquake, which was felt by residents of Metula, Tiberius, Acco, Nahariya and Kiryat Shmona, began around the area of the Sea of Galilee and Hula valley.  No damage or injuries have been reported.

 

This is not the first time the North has been affected by earthquakes – or even the first time this year.  Mild earthquakes also hit the country in August and April, causing no damage or injuries.  However, major earthquakes taking place in northern Israel in 1759 and 1837 were catastrophic, killing thousands of people and twice razing the city of Tzfat.

 

In July, chairman of the National Economic Council Professor Eugene Kendal told Israel Army Radio that Israel is not financially prepared for the next large earthquake.

 

In March, a report by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss predicted that a 7.5 “worst-case scenario” earthquake in northern Israel could “cause 16,000 deaths, 6,000 seriously injured, 83,000 lightly injured, 377,000 evacuated from their homes,” breaks in sewage pipes and the National Water Carrier, electric outages, and the partial collapse of two overpasses near Haifa.

Left’s Critique Of Jewish Settlement Doesn’t Stop At Green Line

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

The standard critique of Israel’s settlement movement from the Zionist left has been to point out that attempting to assert sovereignty over the West Bank could lead to an Arab majority. The argument is that this would enable the Palestinians to succeed in wiping out the Jewish state using demography rather than invasion or terror. It’s a point of view many Israelis share, but the Palestinian refusal to make peace has continued to frustrate the wishes of most Jews for a two-state solution.

But the dislike of the settlers goes a lot deeper than mere demographic arguments. As Gershom Gorenberg’s piece in The New York Times’s Sunday Review section this week illustrates, the passion to buttress the Jewish presence in any part of the country, whether on the wrong side of the Green Line or not, is what is really bugging the left.

Gorenberg, a veteran Israeli journalist whose animus for the settlers and Israel’s government have made him a regular presence in liberal American publications, takes his familiar attacks on the right to new levels in a piece in which he claims efforts to ensure a Jewish majority in the Israeli city of Acre as well as the Galilee are no more defensible than the settlers’ attempts to establish Israeli beachheads in the West Bank.

For Gorenberg, the push to ensure that parts of pre-June 1967 Israel will not be lost to the Arabs is also “racist.” Indeed, he worries that even if a two-state solution forces some of the Jews currently living in the West Bank to relocate inside the Green Line, they will take their Zionist fervor with them – leading to conflicts that will replicate the “price tag” attacks on Arabs that leftists see as the inevitable product of settler ideology.

This distorted argument not only turns liberal Israeli arguments upside down, it also betrays the mixed feelings some on the left seem to have for Zionism.

As with many accounts of events on the West Bank that treat the rare outbreaks of Jewish violence against Arabs as the only story worth reporting, Gorenberg’s attempt to paint all settlers with the brush of the “price tag” crimes is both factually incorrect as well as unfair.

Anti-Jewish violence in the West Bank is a daily occurrence that liberal journalists either choose to ignore or rationalize as justified, because they see the presence of Israelis in the territories as inherently illegitimate. The same mindset has led the press to treat a regrettable case of arson against a mosque inside Israel as a harbinger of pogroms against Arab citizens.

As with the West Bank, far more numerous incidents – especially in the Galilee – in which Israeli Arabs have targeted Jews are treated as either unimportant or just ignored.

Rather than the malevolent attitudes of West Bank settlers infecting ordinary Israelis, as Gorenberg fears, what has actually happened in the last 18 years since the Oslo Accords empowered Fatah terrorists in the territories is that Israeli Arabs have become radicalized. The political culture of the people who now dub themselves Palestinians with Israeli citizenship has become a reflection of the hatred and rejectionism that characterizes the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Gorenberg’s disgust for attempts to reinforce Jewish numbers in the Galilee also contradicts a basic tenant of the Israeli left. For decades, even those who agreed Jews ought to have the right to live in the West Bank because it is the heart of the historic Jewish homeland argued that it made more sense to put more Jewish resources into the battle to maintain a Jewish majority in the Galilee and the Negev.

If such efforts are now to be treated as being as illegitimate as the campaign to restore Jewish life to Judea and Samaria, it is difficult to see how Gorenberg imagines Israel can retain a Jewish majority.

This reflects the cognitive dissonance on the left. Though writers like Gorenberg claim to support the idea of a democratic Israel with a Jewish majority, the anti-Zionist logic that brands the Jewish presence in the West Bank as racist colonialism can just as easily be applied to any spot inside the Green Line.

Israel’s enemies view Tel Aviv as being as much an illegal settlement as the most remote hilltop encampment of right-wing Jewish extremists. The fact that Gorenberg views Jewish community-building in Acre and the Galilee with the same disgust as West Bank settlements illustrates all too clearly just how out of touch he is with both reality and the views of Israel’s moderate Zionist majority.

Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine with responsibility for managing the editorial content of its Contentions website – where this originally appeared –  as well as serving as chief politics blogger.

IDF Fires on Lebanon After 3 Rockets Land in Galilee

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The IDF fired at Lebanese targets just after midnight on Tuesday after the firing of three rockets into northern Israel.

 

Three rockets fired from Lebanon were located in Israeli communities near the Lebanese border in the Western Galilee.  No injuries were reported.  Police are searching for a possible fourth rocket.  The rockets are believed to have been Katyushas.

Katyusha Lands in Israel, Oct. 2009

Katyusha Lands in Israel, Oct. 2009. Hamad Almakt/Flash90

 

Two of the rockets landed in Netua, a small Moshav of 250 people.  A chicken coop and propane gas tank were damaged.

 

Another rocket has been confirmed in Biranit, with no damage reported.

 

Police conducted searches for a fourth rocket in the woods  near Kfar Vradim, a town of approximately 6,000 people 14 kilometers from the border with Lebanon, where residents reported hearing an explosion.

 

The IDF Northern Command has gone on full alert.

 

IDF spokespersons said the IDF considers the incident severe, and holds the Lebanese government responsible for not preventing the attacks.  The IDF said in a statement that it views the rocket attacks as a severe incident and it holds the Lebanese government and the Lebanese military responsible for preventing such actions.  Israel will file a complaint with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which was charged by the UN under Resolution 1701 with monitoring the border in order to prevent hostilities between Israel and Lebanon.  Under the resolution, UN troops which stood at 2,000 prior to the 2006 war were increased to a maximum of 15,000.

 

Army Radio reported this as the eight rocket attack on the North since Israel’s war with Hizbullah in 2006.  IDF officials believe the attacks were all conducted by Al-Qaida or Palestinian terror groups.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/idf-fires-on-lebanon-after-3-rockets-land-in-galilee/2011/11/29/

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