The Bible Unearthed (The Documentary)


“Prof. Israel Finkelstein & Neil Silberman, Two of archaeology’s leading scholars shed new light on how the Bible came into existence. They assert, for example, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never existed, that David and Solomon were not great kings but obscure chieftains and that the Exodus never happened.”

 

Israel Finkelstein

For the first time, the true history of ancient Israel as revealed through recent archaeological discoveries-and a controversial new take on when, why and how the Bible was written. In the past three decades, archaeologists have made great strides in recovering the lost world of the Old Testament. Dozens of digs in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon have changed experts’ understanding of ancient Israel and its neighbours- as well as their vision of the Bible’s greatest tales.

Yet until now, the public has remained almost entirely unaware of these discoveries which help separate legend from historical truth. Here, at last, two of archaeology’s leading scholars shed new light on how the Bible came into existence. They assert, for example, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never existed, that David and Solomon were not great kings but obscure chieftains and that the Exodus never happened.

They offer instead a new historical truth: the Bible was created by the people of the small, southern nation of Judah in a heroic last-ditch attempt to keep their faith alive after the demise of the larger, wealthier nation of Israel to the north. It is in this truth, not in the myths of the past, that the real value of the Bible is evident.

The Bible is both a religious and historical work, but how much is myth and how much is history? When and why was the Old Testament written, and by whom? What do contemporary archaeologists know about the Patriarchs? The Exodus? The Conquest of Canaan? Kings David and Solomon? Where do the people of Israel originally come from? Why were the historical accounts of the Bible written down?

A masterful archaeological and biblical investigation, The Bible Unearthed visits digs in Egypt, Jordan and Israel – including Megiddo, the cradle of biblical archeology, where 7,000 years of history have been excavated.

This far-ranging exploration of biblical history also makes use of archival footage of previous archaeological excavations, maps, biblical illustrations and computer animation, revealing ancient architecture, cuneiform tablets and other rare artifacts.

Based on the best-selling book (The Bible Unearthed) by prominent Israeli archeologist Israel Finkelstein & coauthored by American historian Neil Asher Silberman, this enthralling documentary features interviews with archaeological specialists and biblical scholars from all over the world, including experts from the Louvre, the Museum of Cairo, the Museum of Jerusalem, and the British Museum.

The Bible Unearthed does something which has never been done before: it reveals a still-unraveling revolution of what we know of the society, the history, and the men who wrote the Bible.

Grab a Pen Mr. Gingrich, it’s Time for your History Lesson


“How did America end up in that humiliating situation, where its presidential frontrunners are but a bunch of clowns who are always willing to dance to Israel’s favorite tune?”

“The Israelite history is invented and therefore the Zionists could have settled somewhere else than Palestine, Uganda for example, as Herzl had proposed at the Sixth Zionist Congress

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

The United States for Israel

It’s elections time ladies and gentlemen once again. It is the presidential candidates’ time to line up and take part in Israel lovefest.

It’s time for Zionist-funded electoral campaigns and solid promises to do the utmost and maybe the impossible for the “United States for Israel”.

The 2012 White House elections has unleashed a fierce race amongst the presidential hopefuls- who come this year in all colors, sizes and IQs- to kiss ass and suck up to the Israeli lobbies in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Sleeping with the enemy

And since all the candidates have consumed almost all the usual tricks to tout their own “do for Israel” credentials starting from accusing the Palestinians of hindering the peace process and denying Israel’s right to exist …. Right down to calling them terrorists, the republican White House hopeful, Newt Gingrich has found himself in a position where he has to come up with a brand new trick that would enhance his approval rating in the race to the white house.

Newt Gingrich

Being an expert on solutions for winning the future, Gingrich didn’t waste much time and decided to not only do the utmost but also the impossible for Israel’s sake by calling the Palestinians an “invented” people who could have voluntarily evacuated their homeland and chose to live elsewhere.

While I could conceal my annoyance over Gingrich’s outrageous and deceitful statement, which lacks both the minimum historical awareness and political wisdom I find myself unable to hide my disgust of his disgraceful conduct.

Mr. Gingrich as a presidential hopeful and a longtime politician is supposed to be, in a way, representing the mainstream American diplomacy when he speaks to the foreign media- unless the Jewish channel is not considered that.

And if he as a person was not embarrassed to openly brownnose Israel in that unprecedented and degrading manner, then he should have uttered those nonsense comments in a less public session, like at his country club and amongst his circle of Zionist financiers of his campaign who certainly would have been ecstatic to hear him ranting that way.

But for him to publicize this hate speech in a televised interview and furthermore repeat it during the presidential debates is an affront to the whole American diplomacy and a dangerous indication for a paradigm shift of that diplomacy in the Middle East.

Who allowed this plumpy Gingrich to act as Israel’s advocate while ironically running for the presidency of the United States? Who told him that he can put on his racist mask, erase decades of peace brokering, albeit not entirely successful, and start messing up the politics of one of the most volatile places on earth while hallucinating about its documented ancient history?

The Arabs and the Palestinians, whom he likes to see invented and therefore movable or even invisible, will not take his statement as a twisted attitude of some republican candidate but another proof of the American flagrant biased policy in the Middle East.

The last thing the United States needs right now as its troops are pulling out of the Iraqi swamp and being kicked out of the Afghan-Pakistan Death Valley is another (needless)stir of the anti-American sentiments in that part of the world.  

Only Mr. Gingrich doesn’t think so. Appearing in his debates foolishly standing by his offensive remarks and apparently drunk with the encouraging feedback he gets from his Israeli friends, this former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives irresponsibly insists on sketching the landscape for the most dreadful political forecast in the Middle East.

It is ironic to see the millions of patriotic Americans rallying on the streets and literally occupying the country in protest over what they called the corporate greed and at the same time we find candidates like Gingrich so sick and blinded with greed they can’t feel the danger nor the shame in sleeping in the same bed with the real enemy.  

How did America end up in that humiliating situation, where its presidential frontrunners are but a bunch of clowns who are always willing to dance to Israel’s favorite tune?

I take a look at all the 2012 presidential hopefuls and I fail to find any hope in them as they frantically compete with each other to suck up to Israel as if the American presidential polls will be held in Tel Aviv.

Mr. Gingrich has every right to brownnose, kiss ass and suck up to whomever he likes, he has the right to relinquish his national identity and pride … but he has no right to strip the Palestinians of that pride and identity while doing so.

Obviously, for someone that historically ignorant, Mr. Gingrich must have been tipped by one of his aides that what really troubled Israel recently is the release of Shlomo Sand’s bestseller book “The invention of the Jewish people”

Let’s talk history, history will tell who was invented.  

Shlomo Sand

In that book, Prof. Sand attempts to prove that the Jews now living in Israel and other places in the world are not at all descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the land of the philistines in the late Bronze Age.

Prof. Sand is saying that the nowadays Jews who have been immigrating since over a century now to the land of Palestine are but varied peoples that converted to Judaism during the course of history in different corners of Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and the adjacent regions like in Yemen and Iraq.

According to Sand, the description of the Jews as a wandering and self-isolating nation of exiles, who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland is nothing but “national mythology.” And therefore the Jewish people, historically speaking and as Mr. Gingrich likes to call it, is invented.

But since Mr. Gingrich likes to see his ranting about the Palestinians as factually correct history …then maybe we should do it his way and talk history…only this time let’s do it right, but first I would like to introduce Professor Ze`ev Herzog to Mr. Gingrich.

Prof. Ze`ev Herzog

Prof. Ze’ev Herzog teaches in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. He took part in the excavations of Hazor and Megiddo with Yigael Yadin and in the digs at Tel Arad and Tel Be’er Sheva with Yohanan Aharoni. He has conducted digs at Tel Michal and Tel Gerisa and has recently begun digging at Tel Yaffo. He is the author of books on the city gate in Palestine and its neighbors and on two excavations, and has written a book summing up the archaeology of the ancient city.

Prof. Herzog belongs to the modern generation of Israeli academic archeologists who have been digging, in a truly scientific approach, all over the land of Palestine ever since the establishment of the state of Israel but more extensively after 1967, in an attempt to reach some sort of a historical proof that would legitimatize the ancient Israelite story and therefore could back up and maybe make sense of the current Zionist land grab of Palestine.

After decades of extensive and arduous archeological excavations and search, Prof. Herzog and many other Israeli archeologists such as Prof. Israel Finkelstein et al reached a robust conclusion that somehow resembled Prof. Sand’s thesis of the invention of the Jewish people. only in addition, they concluded that the greatest chunk of the Israelite story according to the Bible is a mere myth – the interesting parts of it copied out from both the Mesopotamian and the Egyptian mythologies and the remaining tedious details are just tribal narrative invented by the minds of the Hebrew scribes of the old testament.      

Archeology and history of Palestine “Right or Albright”

Captivated Philistines (or the sea people) depicted on the walls of Ramses III temple

Apart from the Bible, the first mention in history of the Philistines dates back to the late Bronze Age 1150-1200 BCE. They are unmistakably mentioned in Egyptian texts as detailed on the wall inscriptions of “Medinet Habu“, the majestic temple of king Ramses III that documented the war with the Sea Peoples, the philistines is one of them, who inhabited the coastal land from Phoenicia down to Egypt. And the philistines appear once again in the work of the Greek historian Herodotus in the middle of the 5th century BCE.

The archaeology of Palestine developed as a science at a relatively late date, in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The main push behind archaeological research in Palestine was the country’s relationship with the Holy Scriptures. The first excavators in Palestine were biblical researchers who were looking for the remains of the cities cited in the Bible.

Archaeology assumed momentum with the activity of William Foxwell Albright, who was convinced that if the ancient remains of Palestine were uncovered, they would furnish unequivocal proof of the historical truth of the events relating to the Jewish people in its land.  But it didn’t take long before “the spade and the Bible” school of Albright proved not right.

The biblical archaeology that developed following Albright and his pupils brought about a series of extensive digs at the important biblical tells: Megiddo, Lachish, Gezer, Shechem (Nablus), Jericho, Jerusalem, Ai, Giveon, Beit She’an, Beit Shemesh, Hazor, Ta’anach and others. The way was supposed to be straight and clear: every new finding should contribute to the building of a harmonious picture of the past.

Slowly, cracks began to appear in the picture. Paradoxically, a situation was created in which the glut of findings began to undermine the historical credibility of the biblical descriptions instead of reinforcing them.

The explanations became ponderous and the picture inelegant as the pieces didn’t fit together smoothly.

 Here is a summary by Prof. Herzog, from his famous article “deconstructing the walls of Jericho” published in Ha’aretz Magazine, Friday, October 29, 1999 that explains why the harmonious picture of the historicity of the Promised Land collapsed

Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and doesn’t want to hear about it

This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal territory. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, YHWH, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai. 

Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people—and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story—now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people’s emergence are radically different from what that story tells.

Palestinian family from Ramalla 1900-1910

In other words, the Israelite history is invented and therefore the Zionists could have settled somewhere else than Palestine, Uganda for example, as Herzl had proposed at the Sixth Zionist Congress at Basel on August 26, 1903.

Indeed Mr. Gingrich, The British Uganda would have been a wiser choice and a better place to accommodate the influx of Jewish immigrants … it would have saved the Palestinians the unnecessary massacres and the ongoing ethnic cleansing, but most importantly it would have saved us the aggravation of listening to your pathetic tampering with the history of Palestine.

Class dismissed.

What Bibi Didn’t Say in Congress Speech


Netanyahu addressing a joint meeting of the American Congress

“I intend to speak the unvarnished truth because now more than ever what we need is peace” Netanyahu said before he twisted the truth in his speech to the American Congress.

 

“Demographic changes … this is may be the most concrete point Netanyahu has come to mention in his whole speech and could very well be the name of the Israeli next game of forestalling any possible agreements in the Mideast talks”

 

by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

 

Something about Netanyahu’s eloquent speech lately to a joint meeting of Congress, which has been interrupted by 29 standing ovations, sounded familiar to me. I don’t mean Netanyahu’s words but the response of his high caliber audience; it seems as if I have seen it before.

As an Egyptian who is not so keen on following much of the American congressional sessions, if any, still this extraordinary joint session of the American Congress with all that public display of candid acquiescence to everything Bibi said, or even thought, reminded me of the similarly eloquent speeches Mubarak used to deliver at the Egyptian parliament for well over 30 years of sordid dictatorship.

And also as an Egyptian I could attest to the fact that the televised sessions of the former president speeches to the Egyptian parliament members ranked high, not on the most viewed political videos but on the funniest ones.

For 30 long years Mubarak has been ranting about his relentless efforts to build a strong democracy where freedoms and the rule of law would be respected where in fact he was sincerely engaged in doing the exact opposite. But still his full house audience of apparently attentive parliamentarians kept on showing their frantic applause and repeated standing ovations to every one of his deceiving talks.

Of course Mubarak has been lying all along and he knew it and may be enjoyed it too, but what about those flocks of parliamentarians and politicians, how could we explain their attitude? Were they lied to, intimated or just hypnotized by the power of the presidential office?

The post- Mubarak probes proved beyond any reasonable doubt that 90% of those then incumbent high statesmen knew for a fact that Mubarak was the scum of the earth and they cheered for him only in gratitude for letting them keep their jobs and for the slim chance they would join in for a tiny slice of the ripped off cake. Oh yes, and the remaining 10% were just plain fools who just happened to hop in for the ride.

Shared values and interests

Haredi, ultra-Orthodox Jews

Going over Bibi’s landmark speech to the congress and trying to recapitulate the main points he stressed in his long speech, the first thing that strikes me as enigmatic and hard to grasp is his assertion that the relation between Israel, or the so called the Jewish state, and the United States is so strong because it is rooted in shared values and interests.

And every time I listen to this assertion, which usually pops up whenever Israel needs another big favor of Uncle Sam, being a foreigner I wonder, what on earth those shared values and interests might be. Are they so exclusively Israeli-American that no other nation on planet earth could hope to subscribe to?

In his speech, the Israeli Prime minister set out by stressing his country’s stand as a democratic “friend of America” in the Middle East, but largely ruled out touching on the issues that are important to Palestinians and their history.

In the warm arms of the US Congress, he somehow managed to get away with alleging that Jewish settlers – living in illegal settlements – in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are not occupiers, that the West Bank (using the biblical designation, Judea and Samaria) is not occupied territory, that a united Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and that Israel should be recognized as “a Jewish state”.

Netanyahu reiterated the same old Israeli-Zionist jazz we have been listening to for years, boasting about the Jew’s historical and spiritual claims to the land.

But were all the senators and congressmen attending the speech aware that modern historians and archeologists had refuted the Biblical narrative of ancient Israelites and their stories of exodus, conquest and a magnificent unified kingdom. In other words, most of the ancient Israelite Biblical history is now more close to being a mere myth than a historical fact that cannot, or better yet shouldn’t be counted upon as historical evidence.

Were they aware, when Netanyahu spoke of giving up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland, that the Palestinians are more likely to be the true descendants of the ancestral Israelites than those Ashkenazi and Haredi – orthodox- Jews who are in fact immigrants, who fled Eastern and Western Europe following the horrors of the WWII, and whose ancestors just happened to adhere or convert to Judaism centuries ago?

When Benjamin Netanyahu told Congress that Israel is prepared to make “painful compromises” for peace with the Palestinians, including the handover of land they seek for a state, had it crossed the minds of his esteemed audience that the land Mr. Netanyahu was most kind and generously willing to hand over is not Jewish land in the first place under any international law, no matter how biased or manipulated it could get.

Repeating a message he has delivered consistently during his visit to Washington, Netanyahu said “Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967 narrow lines because they don’t take into account certain demographic changes that have taken place on the ground over the last 44 years.

Demographic threat, in other words Palestinian Arabs

“Demographic changes” … this is may be the most concrete point Netanyahu has come to mention in his whole speech and could very well be the name of the Israeli next game of forestalling any possible agreements in the Mideast talks.

In 1996, Israel’s population was 5.7 million people; today, that number is 7.75 million. Today, there are 1.59 million Palestinian Arabs in Israel, compared to 1.03 million in 1996.

In my opinion, while the historical, spiritual and political Zionist claims to the disputed land of Palestine are liable to be questioned, doubted or even refuted by professional academics and scholars, demographic changes remain the one robust reality on the ground that defy neglect or negating.

Over the last 6 decades Israel has not only succeeded in actualizing the Zionist’s dream of establishing a statehood for the Jews from all over the world, or the invention of the Jewish people, as the prestigious historian, Shlomo Sand put it, but also managed to turn it into a demographic reality.

while he was getting his, God knows how many, enthusiastic applause and standing ovation for branding Hamas as the Palestinian version of al Qaeda Netanyahu was thrilled the Zionist-controlled main stream media had managed, throughout the last decade, to downplay the world wide accusations pointing the finger at Mossad and its covert role in 9/11 and his own statements of how good it was for Israel.

Avigdor Lieberman

Advising or rather, patronizing Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO leader to break his pact with Hamas, Netanyahu somehow disregarded the fact that he himself had made a political bond with Yisrael Beiteinu, the right-Zionist party that advocates kicking out, or to put it mildly, the transfer of 1948 Palestinian Arabs out of East Jerusalem and the West Bank and moreover appointed its leader, Avigdor Lieberman as his deputy and foreign minister who has been called by western and Israeli media as “neo-fascist, a certified gangster and anti-Arab virulent racist”

It doesn’t make much sense for Netanyahu to order Abbas to break up with Hamas while his coalition government is currently harboring hard-line extremists from both Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas parties who are deemed not only as anti-Arabs but whose highest spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef publicly advocates that Arabs should perish and be wiped off the face of the earth- a virulent hatred that Netanyahu usually dismisses while focusing on the long time israeli propaganda of “ we want peace, but unfortunately there is no one to talk to from the other side”. A pretext that Tel Aviv is bound to fully exploit after the late Palestinian reconciliation deal.

And as Netanyahu was keen to draw the attention to the Israeli demographic reality he never mentioned how a society deeply rooted in modern and civilized American values spoke of the Arabs and Palestinians in particular.

“If Obama wants to know who the true unacceptable partners for peace are, all he has to do is get an English transcript of discussions from the Israeli Knesset (parliament) and read how members from the political right call Arabs “animals” and make all manner of racist slurs against Palestinians” says Aljazeera opinion writer, Lamis Andoni.

 

And if the world cares to find out who is the intransigent party that is persistently hindering all the declared peace talks and the secret ones as well, all we have to do is to examine the “Palestine papers” leaked by aljazeera that revealed tons of documents exposing generous and extremely painful concessions offered by the Palestinian authority which had been turned down by the Israeli side in the most degrading and humiliating manner.

Over the last 20 years, and as the demographic changes Bibi mentioned has been in the making more kindergartens and primary schools were increasingly in demand. And with the ultra-orthodox Shas party running almost 30% of those primary schools one can imagine the kind of hate speech that is being indoctrinated to Israel kids. As a matter of fact the anti-Arab rhetoric in those primary schools has been so obvious and huge it became a rich material for the Israeli popular comic TV shows.

And since Comedy has to be based on truth, those shows are regarded as a funny way of being serious about Israel’s controversial policies and practices.

In his memorable speech to the congress and as he took the stage Netanyahu kept a long legacy of depicting Israel as the utopia of the Middle East alive.

 

Israeli Demographic changes manifested by non-stop new settelments

As he was elaborating on the long list of values Israel shared with the United States Netanyahu refrained from depicting the other side of Israel with a whole set of its other genuine values, such as segregation, blockade, covert operations and military expansion, that Israel cared to share only with its Mossad and Zionist ideologues.

Touching on any of those unpleasant issues could have carried the risk of tarnishing the glittering utopian image of Israel he was sketching before a joint assembly of American statesmen 90% of whom knew who Netanyahu really was and what he stood for and the remaining 10% just happened to be invited for the free Zionist ride on the Israeli-American campaign to block the UN vote aiming to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state due next September where Israel and America will yet to stand  isolated once more against the will of the free world, but what does it matter, after all that what friends who share the same values and interests, are for.