This is a semi-regular feature whereby I gather interesting newsy or prophetically (to me, at least!) interesting stories that are generally ignored by the mainsteam media.
Ezekiel Tablets: Possibly only Original Biblical book with alleged Provenance to Prophet’s Iraqi Burial Spot.
A set of 66 stone tiles known as the “Ezekiel Plates,” believed to have come from the prophet Ezekiel’s traditional tomb along the Euphrates River in Iraq, are in the process of being dated by modern technological methods to finally establish whether they should be considered on a par with the Isaiah Scroll as among the oldest existing biblical texts ever found.
Currently on display at the Yad Ben- Zvi Institute in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem, the Ezekiel plates have been around a while but have failed to draw visitors like the impressive parchment containing the complete book of Isaiah, which dates to the first century and is housed in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum.
Part of the problem is that the institute is located on a small side street in a residential area of the capital that affords very limited access for the public. The tiles have also failed to convince many in the archeological community that they date back to antiquity.
But that question may be settled soon, as two of the tiles were recently handed over to the Israel Museum to undergo dating tests. Results are expected soon, and the conclusions may require that the unique collection of stones be moved to a facility in Jerusalem that can give them more prominent display.
Until then, the Ezekiel plates are still a marvel – both in the text they contain and the manner in which they were apparently discovered.
First, each marble or black basalt tile is about 12 inches square and contains raised lettering on one side in an ancient Hebraic script, with no spaces between the words. Examples of such raised lettering are known from the distant past, though most ancient stone tablets had the words etched or chiseled into the stone.
This particular bas-relief work would have been tedious and required masterful skills. But David Zwebner, whose parents-in-law provided the funds to publicly display the tiles at Yad Ben-Zvi, says it may come from an easier and very precise wax-and-acid method used in ancient times which ate away at the stone to leave only the raised letters.
In any event, taken together the series of 66 stone plates contain the entire Book of Ezekiel, with only a few notable variances in wording compared to today’s accepted Hebrew text. These do not change the message of the prophet to any extent, but they may provide hidden clues to Jewish scholars on certain mysteries surrounding the prophet, Zwebner recently told The Christian Edition.
“The lack of differences could also highlight the authenticity of this incredible book shared by Jews and Christians,” he added.
The tiles’ authenticity is also open to question because the time and location of the find, as well as its chain of custody, are not as well documented as scholars now demand for wider acceptance. A number of forgeries have infiltrated the field of biblical archeology in recent decades, and thus the standards of proof are being forced upward.
In this case, the tiles were supposedly found over 100 years ago when visitors to the traditional tomb of Ezekiel in the small Iraqi town of Kfar al-Kafil, located about 50 miles south of Baghdad, noticed a stone tile had fallen off the inside of the burial chamber. Oddly, its back side contained an ancient lettering which had been deliberately hidden, facing the wall. Other tiles were removed and similar inscriptions were found on their back sides as well.
The entire set of Ezekiel plates were then taken to Lebanon, where decades later a Christian Arab widow, on the advice of her priest, wanted to place them in Jewish hands before she moved to France. She sold them for a mere two pounds sterling to businessman David Hacohen in 1947.
He smuggled the plates into Israel in 1953, and they were eventually acquired by Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Israel’s second president and a noted historian, who considered them a valuable national treasure.
After Ben-Zvi’s death, the Ezekiel plates became the property of the Institute in Jerusalem set up in his honor, which had them in storage until Zwebner convinced his wife’s parents, Max and Lombi Landau, to sponsor their public display.
Yet they have still lived in relative obscurity, drawing few crowds and even less scholarly attention. That may be about to change, however, if the tests date them back around the first century.
Until now, estimates of their age have varied widely. According to the British Museum, the plates could be anywhere between 300 to 2000 years old.
Veteran Israeli archeologist Dan Bahat of Bar-Ilan University, while cautioning that artifacts from Mesopotamia are outside his field of expertise, told The Christian Edition that the script is similar to ones he has seen from the 7th or 8th century CE.
Dr. Stephen Pfann, head of the University of the Holy Land and a Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, also suggested that studying the style of the script – a discipline known as paleography – is probably a better method of dating for such stone objects than carbon dating and other tests.
Yet there is an old Talmudic tradition that Israel’s prophets and other great sages were often buried with copies of their writings. One such Talmudic legend held that the original book of Ezekiel was buried with the prophet in his tomb and was left there to be revealed in the last days.
Whether or not that legend turns out to be true, Ezekiel remains the most mysterious of the Hebrew prophets and his writings – with their accounts of strange flying objects and other rare “visions of God” – are reserved by strictly observant Jews only for the most learned.
Meanwhile, the tomb of Ezekiel has gone from being a major pilgrimage site for Jews and Christians to a neglected shrine, after the mass Jewish exodus from Iraq in 1951.
Amid the turmoil and conflict that followed the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Jewish leaders began voicing concerns about acts of desecration at the site. But Iraqi authorities have recently given assurances about preserving the tomb.
Iron Dome intercepts Gaza Rocket over Ashdod
Rocket fired from Gaza-lands in open field
by Yaakov Lappin Jerusalem Post 9-29-15
An Iron Dome anti-rocket battery intercepted at least one rocket over the southern city of Ashdod on Tuesday after air raid sirens sounded in the region.
According to the IDF, a single rocket was fired at Israel in the attack.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.
The rocket attack came ahead of PA President Mahmoud Abbas scheduled speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday following heightened tensions in Jerusalem during the high holiday season.
Earlier this month, Palestinians in Gaza fired a rocket that exploded in an open field on the Israeli side of the border. No injuries or damages were reported.
According to the IDF, no rocket sirens were sounded in the incident because the rocket was headed toward an open field.
ISIS planning Nuclear Tsunami
Islamic terrorist group ISIS is planning to launch a massive nuclear attack with the intent of causing mass religious cleansing on the planet.
The statement comes from Jürgen Todenhöfer, a 75-year-old politician turned journalist, who spent 10 days on the front lines with ISIS being driven around by the British jihadist “Jihadi John.” Todenhöfer is releasing a new book called “Inside IS – Ten Days in the Islamic State” where he details the inner workings of the terrorist group.
“The terrorists plan on killing several hundred million people. The west is drastically underestimating the power of ISIS. ISIS intends to get its hands on nuclear weapons,” Todenhofer told the London Daily Express. “[ISIS is a] nuclear tsunami preparing the largest religious cleansing in history.”
Todenhöfer states in his book that ISIS is drawing fighters from all over the world and their terror tactics have caused such fear in their Arab opponents that they were able to take Mosul with only 400 fighters.
“They now control land greater in size than the United Kingdom and are supported by an almost ecstatic enthusiasm the like of which I’ve never encountered before in a war zone. Every day hundreds of willing fighters from all over the world come. They are the most brutal and most dangerous enemy I have ever seen in my life. I don’t see anyone who has a real chance to stop them. Only Arabs can stop IS. I came back very pessimistic.”
Read more at https://www.trunews.com/isis-planning-a-nuclear-tsunami/#uLWQbBzB7rLwSvxi.99
Palestinians Attack Israeli’s on Temple Mount
A group of Palestinians attacked Israelis and tourists on the Temple Mount Tuesday, causing three injuries from thrown rocks.
The tension that drove the incident was sparked by Jamal Zahalka, a politician with the Joint (Arab) List, who accosted Jewish visitors to Temple Mount calling them criminals, fascists and racists who hurt Muslims.
The Joint List is a group of four Arab political parties: Hadash, the United Arab List, Balad, and Ta’al.
“Why are you letting them in? It’s a disgrace; only to hurt Muslims’ feelings. This is not yours, get out of here, go home, you’re not wanted,” Zahalka screamed at a police officer who stepped in to create space between him and the Jewish visitors.
Israeli police have instituted a man on all Muslim men under the age of 50 from visiting the site. Jews are prohibited from praying at the site but can visit in small groups protected by Israeli police officers.
Palestinian youths attacked IDF forces throughout the West Bank on Tuesday as well, throwing rocks and molotov cocktails. Police officials reported using “non-lethal” crowd control techniques against the Arab youths.
Read more at https://www.trunews.com/palestinians-attack-israelis-on-temple-mount/#eigOi8P3ewVqgc1U.99
Increase in whale deaths in the Gulf of Alaska
Read more at https://www.trunews.com/increase-in-whale-deaths-in-the-gulf-of-alaska/#uCLfp3oM2iKRCTRX.99
Muslims Are Conducting Mass Crucifixions Of Christians In Major Massacres
ISIS is conducting mass crucifixions, according to one report:
It was only when the gates of the Nazi death camps were thrown open that the industrial scale of Hitler’s killing became known.
Western diplomats had received scattered information about Nazi massacres of Jewish people and “undesirables” in occupied Poland and Russia but it was difficult to confirm.
Yet just 70 years since the end of the Second World War, a genocide is taking place once again, this time against Christians.
Scores have already been murdered by Islamic State and thousands forced to leave ancient Christian communities in northeastern Syria and western Iraq as the extremists demand they either convert to Islam, pay an extortionate rate of tax or face execution.
Some have even been crucified.…
Mr Sookhdeo added: “It is like going back 1,000 years seeing the barbarity that Christians are having to live under. I think we are dealing with a group which makes Nazism pale in comparison and I think they have lost all respect for human life.
“Crucifying these people is sending a message and they are using forms of killing which they believe have been sanctioned by Sharia law.
“For them what they are doing is perfectly normal and they don’t see a problem with it. It is that religious justification which is so appalling.”
Nuclear Experts Urge Publication of Details of Iran Nuke site inspections
UNITED NATIONS/PARIS (Reuters) – Several nuclear security experts are urging the United Nations nuclear watchdog and world powers to release details of how a sensitive Iranian military site will be inspected as part of a landmark nuclear deal reached in July.
The experts, with long experience in international weapons inspections, said the failure to disclose the details was damaging the credibility of the International Atomic Energy
The confidential plan for the Parchin site has led to differing reports on how it will be carried out, with some critics of the U.S. administration saying Iran had been given too much leeway to conduct its own inspections, including taking samples.
The inspections are needed to resolve questions about whether Iran did research in the past at Parchin related to building a nuclear weapon.
David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, expressed unease about the lack of public details on the arrangement.
“(Details) should be released because it’s undermining the IAEA’s credibility,” Albright said. “Whatever the outcome of the sampling, the secrecy makes it harder to determine whether it’s a credible sampling approach.”
Former IAEA deputy director-general Olli Heinonen, now at Harvard University, said the secrecy could not be justified.
“This is a very unusual IAEA verification approach, which has no reason to be confidential unless a very special reason – proprietary, economic or security – calls for it,” he said.
The IAEA has said it has a legal obligation to keep details of the arrangement confidential, but insists it is technically sound and will ensure the samples are not compromised.
One prominent non-proliferation expert, Jeffrey Lewis of the Monterey Institute of International Studies and founder of the ArmsControlWonk.com blog, agreed. Releasing the details under pressure would undermine countries’ trust in the agency, he said.
“This would severely compromise the ability of the IAEA to carry out its mission around the world,” he said.
U.S. Republicans, who tried to sink the July 14 Iran nuclear agreement in Congress, seized on a media report last month that Iran would be able to use its own inspectors to collect samples at Parchin without the IAEA present. The Associated Press report said the arrangement suggested the IAEA would be not be present at the site during the inspections.
Iranian officials have also said that international experts would not be allowed in.
Four diplomats familiar with the deal told Reuters that U.N. inspectors would be present at Parchin to oversee the inspections. In the unusual arrangement struck in July, the samples would be taken by Iranian technicians while IAEA experts present at Parchin observe and oversee the process, Western diplomats told Reuters.
The diplomats, who have knowledge of the deal, said that while the IAEA inspectors will not be next to the Iranian technicians when they take samples, they will be at Parchin overseeing the process. Cameras will record the process.
Iran cannot receive sanctions relief promised under the nuclear deal until the IAEA is satisfied it has answered outstanding questions about the so-called “possible military dimensions” of past Iranian nuclear research. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that it did not conduct atomic weapons research.
After the AP report, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano rejected as a “misrepresentation” suggestions that Iran would inspect Parchin on the agency’s behalf.
In response to Reuters’ questions, the AP said its story had no factual errors and that it stood by the article, which was based on what it said was an authentic draft document and additional reporting.
Reuters has not been able to verify the draft text.
IAEA access to Parchin, a facility the agency has not visited in a decade, was one of the most sensitive issues during the negotiations that led to the nuclear deal.
IAEA inspectors usually take samples themselves when searching for trace nuclear particles that could be a sign of undeclared atomic work. But as Parchin is a military site the agency had to negotiate special arrangements to get in, diplomats said.
Iran is unlikely to agree to release the details, diplomats say, because it would show it has opened up Parchin to foreign experts despite public pronouncements to the contrary.
(Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla in Vienna; Parsia Hefezi in Ankara; Lesley Wroughton and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by David Storey and Stuart Grudgings)
Proser: Abbas fuels Temple Mount fire, UN fans the flames
Jerusalem Post 9-18-15 by Danielle Ziri
Earlier Thursday, Prosor sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon reiterating Israel’s commitment to maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount as well as safeguard Jerusalem’s holy sites.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor reacted Friday morning to the UN Security Council’s statement concerning the escalating tensions on in Jerusalem saying that “When the Palestinians set the Temple Mount ablaze, Mahmoud Abbas fuels the fire, and the Security Council fans the flames, it is a recipe for a regional explosion.”
The United Nations Security Council had called for “restraint, refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric and upholding the historic status quo” on the Temple Mount on Thursday evening.
The official statement had been expected since Tuesday, when Security Council president Vitaly Churkin had publicly announced that the council would release one.
The Security Council expressed its “grave concern” and urged all sides to “work cooperatively together to lower tensions and discourage violence at holy sites in Jerusalem.”
“[…] Muslim worshipers at the Haram Al-Sharif must be allowed to worship in peace, free from violence, threats and provocation,” the statement pointed out.
Member states of the Security Council also wrote that visitors should be without fear of violence or intimidation.
“This statement, which only uses the Arabic name for the Temple Mount, affirms the right of Muslims to be present an to pray at the compound, but completely ignores the Palestinian violence, the deep connection of the Jewish People to the Temple Mount, and the right of all to visit the site,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor responded.
Prosor also pointed his finger at Mahmoud Abbas saying that the Palestinian leader had chosen to “fuel the fire in the most shameful manner”.
According to him, “The Chairman of the Palestinian Authority encourages and legitimizes extremist Islamic activities with his anti-Semitic remarks.”
Earlier Thursday morning, Prosor had sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon reiterating Israel’s commitment to maintain the status quo on Temple Mount as well as “safeguard the holy sites of the three monotheistic faiths in Jerusalem.”
The Israeli Ambassador added that “any attempt by the UN to equivocate or avoid a clear statement denouncing those responsible for the outbreak of violence will only encourage further destabilizing activities, and further inflame an already dangerous situation.”
Clashes on the holy site have been escalating since Sunday. The violence cost the life of one Israeli citizen and injured dozens. Israeli security forces have been placed on high alert on Friday morning, ahead of protests in Jerusalem and the West Bank which should take place after afternoon prayers.
Jade Helm 15 ends without feared military coup
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) — Operation Jade Helm 15, an eight-week, multi-state exercise, has come to an end.
The training event was launched to prepare members of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to better defend against threats abroad. USASOC trained with other U.S. Armed Forces units beginning on July 15 and ending on September 15, 2015.
Multi-state training exercises are nothing new for the U.S. military, however Jade Helm’s size and scope set the exercise apart, prompting the circulation of various conspiracy theories, particularly trepidation over the rumored installment of a police state in Texas.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas State Guard, a militia he oversees, to monitor the exercise. Other conservative figures commented on the exercise, including presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who said he wanted “more information” from the Pentagon on the procedures.
Jade Helm 15 was aimed at increasing combat readiness. Ahead of the operation, Army officials maintained that civilian activity would be mostly unaffected, but warned there would be an increase in vehicle and military air traffic.
The training took place on both private and public land with the permission of private landowners. Participants were tasked with using the time to develop new tactics and concepts in Special Operations warfare. State and local offices were updated with information as the training progressed.
***Jade Helm 15, the long military exercises performed rather secretively on American soil may be over. I have not as yet seen any of the trains of tanks and heavy equipment, electronic monitoring vehicles and carloads of coffins and body bags returning from the heartland that we saw being moved into place earlier this year. Though we did not see any of the “conspiracy theories” immediately come to fruition, what we have seen is the tutorial preparation of America to accept mass troop action in her midst. No matter how you think that this jives with our Constitution we must consider the options presented. This may be harmless new “urban ops” and training for foreign wars… but, it has also paved an objection-free, smooth return for “future” or regular military exercises smack dab in the middle of “We the People”. It is our job as citizenry of a free nation to hold our civil liberties dear, remember that the Government was created to serve us and not the other way around. We must be ever vigilant of the preservation of our Liberties and check the powers and motives of an overreaching big government that may have an agenda of which we wholeheartedly disapprove!