Archaeologists Discover King David’s Palace
Archaeologists have unearthed a palace in what they believe is the fortified Judean city of Shaarayim, where the Bible states King David battled the giant Goliath. The discovery of what is thought to be King David’s palace, measuring 1,000 square metres, was made by Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Over the past seven years the teams have also uncovered a huge storehouse containing pots and artifacts that they believe proves the existence of a ruler in Judah in the tenth century BC. ’The ruins are the best example to date of the uncovered fortress city of King David,’ professors Yossi Garfinkel and Saar Ganor of Hebrew University said.
‘This is indisputable proof of the existence of a central authority in Judah during the time of King David.’
The biblical city of Shaarayim is thought to have become the modern city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, which is approximately 30 kilometres south west of Jerusalem. The professors said that the ruins are the two largest known buildings to have existed at the time of King David in Jerusalem.
They added: ’The southern part of a large palace that extended across an area of about 1,000 square meters was revealed at the top of the city. ’The wall enclosing the palace is about 30 metres long and an impressive entrance is fixed through which one descended to the southern gate of the city, opposite the Valley of Elah.
‘Around the palace’s perimeter were rooms in which various installations were found — evidence of a metal industry, special pottery vessels and fragments of alabaster vessels that were imported from Egypt.’
The archaeologists collected hundreds of artifacts at the site, including religious objects, seals, pottery and tools typical of the time. The palace is at the centre of the site and is higher than the houses lower in the city. The royal occupants would have had an excellent view of the land, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Hebron Mountains and Jerusalem in the east.
It is believed that much of the palace was destroyed 1,400 years after it was built when a fortified farmhouse was erected in its place during the Byzantine period.
Professors Garfinkel and Ganor said: ’The palace that is now being revealed and the fortified city that was uncovered in recent years are another tier in understanding the beginning of the Kingdom of Judah.’
The archaeologists also found a large pillared building which was used as an administrative storeroom. The professors said: ’It was in this building the kingdom stored taxes it received in the form of agricultural produce collected from the residents of the different villages in the Judean Shephelah.
‘Hundreds of large store jars were found at the site whose handles were stamped with an official seal as was customary in the Kingdom of Judah for centuries.’ They believe the palace and storerooms are evidence of state-sponsored construction and an administrative organisation during King David’s reign.
‘This is unequivocal evidence of a kingdom’s existence, which knew to establish administrative centres at strategic points,’ said Professors Garfinkel and Ganor.
‘To date no palaces have been found that can clearly be ascribed to the early tenth century BC as we can do now.’ The Israel Antiquities Authority said it hoped that the new discoveries will lead to the site becoming a national park. source – Daily Mail UK
An attack two weeks ago that destroyed an advanced Russian missile shipment delivered to Syria’s Assad regime should also serve as a warning to Iran – and to those complacent Western diplomats who have (dangerously in my view) reconciled themselves to the idea of allowing Iran to go nuclear and then trying to contain it. For it seems that the July 5 attack on an arms depot near the Syrian naval base of Latakia, which has been attributed to Israel, came not from the air (as CNN and the New York Times reported last weekend) but from under the water.
Many Western officials who have apparently concluded that Israel could only destroy Iran’s nuclear program from the air – and that Israel does not have the capability to carry out such long-range air strikes in a decisive way – should take note. In recent years, Israel has greatly advanced its sea-based capabilities, and the geographical range of operations that Israel can mount from the sea, I am reliably told, now spans the entire globe. Israeli submarines are no longer confining themselves to the Mediterranean.
Last Saturday, the United States appeared to confirm that Israel was behind the July 5 attack on 50 Russian Yakhont anti-ship missiles in Latakia. Both the New York Times and CNN quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying the strike was carried out by Israel from the air. The state-of-the-art Yakhont missiles have a range of 300 kilometers and are considered to be among the best of their kind in the world – for example, they can evade radar by flying just above water surface. They were of significant concern to both the U.S. and Israel because their range and sophistication meant they could neutralize the ability of both nations’ navies to patrol the region, and they could also complicate the ability of the U.S. or other states to enforce a future no-fly zone over Syria should they wish to implement one. Israel was also concerned that Syria would allow the missiles to fall into the hands of its arch enemy, the Iranian-controlled Hezbollah militia.
But on Sunday, a more intriguing scenario was raised when the (London) Sunday Times reported that the attack was not carried out from the air, but by precision-guided missiles fired from Israel’s German-made Dolphin-class submarines. I am told by informed sources that this is a more likely scenario.
When asked in a CBS interview about reports of Israeli responsibility for the Latakia strike, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in line with Israel’s long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying such actions, said, “Oh God, every time something happens in the Middle East, Israel is accused. I’m not in the habit of saying what we did or we didn’t do. I’ll tell you what my policy is: My policy is to prevent the transfer of dangerous weapons to Hezbollah and other terror groups. And we stand by that policy.”
“The fact that the crisis in Syria is getting worse by the minute is the central consideration in my eyes,” he added. “Syria is disintegrating, and the huge advanced weapons stockpiles are beginning to fall into the hands of different forces.”
Even more alarming for Israel, however, is that Iran is said to be only weeks away from crossing Netanyahu’s “red line” of possessing 250 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium – enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb.
Netanyahu told CBS that Iran was now just 60 kilograms short of crossing this line, and “they should understand that they’re not going to be allowed to cross it.” His assessment is in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report in May, which alleged that Iran possessed 182 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium.
Israel fears that the Iran situation is becoming critical at the exact same time when there has been a lowering of the sense of urgency among many Western officials. Many in the West have become distracted from the Iranian nuclear issue due to a focus on events in Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere, coupled with the election last month of the regime-approved Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new president, whom Netanyahu called “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” In Israel Rouhani is viewed as far more sly and dangerous than the outgoing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who often embarrassed himself with outrageous statements about the Holocaust, homosexuals, and so on. source – Weekly Standard
NTEB RADIO PRESENTS: ERICK STAKELBECK
Join us Sunday night, July 21st, as NTEB Radio presents a live, exclusive interview with best-selling author and Islamic terrorism expert Erick Stakelbeck. Click here to participate in a live chat room and have the opportunity to call in as Erick answers your questions on Islamic terrorism. Show begins at 9:00 PM EST.
The Muslim Brotherhood, or Ikhwan, has engaged in terrorism, assassinations, and anti-Western, anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence for almost a century—yet few Americans realize how powerful they really are. While we focus on al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah, it’s actually the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s oldest, most influential, and most anti-American Islamist group, that has become the preeminent voice and power in the Muslim world.
Hiding behind a cloak of respectability and expensive Western suits, the Muslim Brotherhood is installing vehemently anti-American governments and power structures throughout the Middle East and the world, as we sit back and cheer for the “democracy” of the Arab Spring.
In his new book, The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy, Erick Stakelbeck teaches us the frightening truth about this dangerous group, from his first-hand experiences investigating the Brotherhood for eleven years, interviewing its members and visiting its mosques and enclaves.
In The Brotherhood, Stakelbeck:
- Reveals how the Obama administration has put the Brotherhood on the threshold of power at every turn
- Examines the alarming ramifications for America, Europe and Israel of the Brotherhood’s rapid rise
- Warns against the West’s—particularly the Left’s—shortsighted, naïve and deadly embrace of the Ikhwan and
- Traces the group from its violent roots to its current strategy of “stealth jihad”
With Middle Eastern unrest only growing hotter, and saber-rattling at the West only growing louder, the Muslim Brotherhood’s growing global clout will remain on the front burner of American national security challenges. Revealing and disconcerting, The Brotherhood is a must-read for every American hoping to remain in a free America.
CLICK HERE to order your copy of THE BROTHERHOOD
About the author: Stakelbeck has made hundreds of appearances as a commentator on leading national television and radio programs. His appearances include: The O’Reilly Factor, The Sean Hannity Show, Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox and Friends, America’s Newsroom, America Live with Megyn Kelly, CNN Newsroom, The Savage Nation, BBC, Al Hurra and many others.
Listen to our exclusive interview with Erick!:
From 2003 to 2005, Stakelbeck worked as a senior writer and analyst at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a counterterrorism think tank founded by terrorism expert Steven Emerson. His articles on Islamic extremism, global terrorism and national security appeared in the Wall Street Journal Europe, Weekly Standard, Washington Times, New York Post, Jerusalem Post, and National Review Online, among other publications.
Stakelbeck has delivered addresses at several public forums, including events for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), ACT for America, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation (IIACF), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Values Voter Summit and the Faith and Freedom Coalition, among others, on terrorism and Middle East-related issues. source – CBN
Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system near the Red Sea resort of Eilat, which is close to the border with Egypt, an army spokeswoman said.
“An Iron Dome battery was deployed this morning in Eilat,” the spokeswoman told AFP.
“The batteries are deployed in several areas of the country and moved around according to changes in the (security) situation,” she added without elaborating.
But Israeli media said the deployment was related to unrest in Egypt, where the army is waging a campaign to drive militants out of the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Eilat.
Ynet news website also pointed out that the deployment came at the height of the tourist season in southern Israel.
Eilat has been the target of attacks in the past. In April the town was struck by rocket fire from the Sinai and debris of a rocket that hit northern Eilat on July 4 were found days later.
Egypt’s official news agency MENA on Thursday reported that 10 jihadists had been killed in the Sinai Peninsula in the past two days during the army offensive launched to curtail a surge in violence since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted on July 3 in a military-led coup.
The Iron Dome deployment also comes hours after two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel late on Thursday night, causing no casualties or damage, police said. source – France 24
Can you tell me what on earth a roaming pack of criminals, randomly beating innocent people on the streets of Hollywood, has to do with the Trayvon Martin case that occurred 3,000 miles away in Florida? Here’s a hint: there is no connection other than vandals using the case as an excuse to terrorize and hurt people who had nothing to do with it.
These punks make a slam-dunk case for what George Zimmerman was protecting himself from on that fatal night.
From Breitbart: On Tuesday night, a flash mob of some 40 to 50 teenagers invaded the busiest and most tourist-centric part of Hollywood, smashing windows, stealing cellphones, and assaulting passersby. The police described the incident as a “rolling crime wave.” One police official said that the George Zimmerman acquittal provided the flash point excuse for the flash mob. “They’re using Trayvon as an excuse,” the official said to local media. “They were saying, ‘Let’s go mess up Hollywood for Trayvon.’”
The incident began when 911 dispatchers began getting calls about trouble on Hollywood and Vine, including young people running through traffic, bowling people over, and grabbing their purses and cell phones. The hoodlums robbed local stores as they charged down Hollywood Blvd. One took a cash register. “They kept moving from location to location,” said Officer Christopher No.
Click here to watch video…
According to LAPD Commander Andy Smith, the group coordinated beforehand via social media, believing that police presence was distracted by the anti-George Zimmerman protests in Crenshaw. “What we’re thinking is these youngsters took advantage of our redeployment of officers down to the Crenshaw District last night and decided that this would be a good night to come up to Hollywood and act a little crazy,” said Smith. Overall, the police arrested 12 people, 11 of them juveniles.
The police are currently investigating surveillance video to find the rest of the suspects. Video appears to show more than one of the mob wearing hoodies. One witness said some were wearing masks. Three of the arrested females took video of themselves in handcuffs, laughing about it. source – Breitbart
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).
The financial tsunami that is Obamacare just keeps getting stronger
If you thought the delay in the employer mandate was bad news for Obamacare, just wait. On Friday, Sarah Kliff and Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post discovered that the Obama administration had buried in the Federal Register the announcement that the government won’t be able to verify whether or not applicants for Obamacare’s insurance exchange subsidies are actually qualified for the aid, in the 16 states that are setting up their own exchanges. Instead, until at least 2015, these states will be able to “accept the applicant’s attestation [regarding eligibility] without further verification.”
Without employer mandate, Feds to rely on applicant ‘attestations’
If you’ve been following the latest news around Obamacare, you know that on Tuesday evening, just before the Independence Day holiday, the White House announced that it would be delaying the implementation of the health law’s employer mandate—requiring all firms with more than 50 employees to provide health coverage to their workers—until 2015.
I, and several others at the time, said “wait a minute.” According to the law, you aren’t eligible for Obamacare’s subsidies if your employer has offered you what the government considers “affordable” coverage. But if employers are no longer going to report whether or not they’ve offered “affordable” coverage, how can the government verify whether or not workers are eligible for subsidies?
Now we know the answer. The government is going with what Kliff and Somashekhar call “the honor system.” “We have concluded that the…proposed rule is not feasible for implementation for the first year of operations,” say the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “The exchange may accept the applicant’s attestation regarding enrollment in an eligible employer-sponsored plan…without further verification, instead of following the procedure in §155.320(d)(3)(iii).”
And it’s not just there. The feds will also allow people to gain means-tested subsidized coverage on the exchanges without having to…test their means. “For income verification, for the first year of operations, we are providing Exchanges with temporarily expanded discretion to accept an attestation of projected annual household income without further verification.”
Presumably, since the IRS knows your income, it could claw back these excess subsidies afterwards, if it chooses to. But the IRS’ record of impartiality is, shall we say, contested. And people who don’t file tax returns—such as those with incomes below the poverty line—would probably not be subject to that enforcement mechanism. That’s a route to enhanced benefits for poor residents of states thatdon’t expand Medicaid.
Subsidize first, ask questions later?
The goal here is plain as day. The Obama administration is laser-focused on making sure that enough Americans enroll onto Obamacare-subsidized health insurance platforms, because if they do, it will be politically impossible for Republicans to repeal Obamacare in the future.
Politics ain’t beanbag, they say. But deliberately encouraging tens of billions of dollars of waste, fraud, and abuse in order to achieve a political objective is profoundly immoral. It’s a breach of faith with the hard-working taxpayers whose paychecks are being harnessed to a cause many of them don’t support.
My Apothecary colleague Chris Conover has been out front with the argument that the entirety of Obamacare should be delayed for a year until the severe operational problems with the law have been sorted out. Not long ago, I thought this was a quixotic idea, one that the White House would never accept, because of their aforementioned political objective of enrolling as many people under Obamacare as they can.
But at this point, it’s hard to argue that even Obamacare’s supporters will benefit from activating this law in 2014. A smooth rollout of the law at least has a fighting chance of winning over the skeptics. Between the administration’s implementation of rate shock and its encouragement of outright fraud, conservative opposition to Obamacare will only intensify.
These problems will make it harder for advocates of market-based insurance exchanges—like me—to bridge the partisan divide. For true health reformers, a delay wouldn’t just be the responsible thing to do. It would be the ethical thing to do. source – Forbes
Americanistan is the new reality
The Obama government is succeeding wildly where other presidents were only able to make scant progress towards implementing a 1984 scenario within the borders of America. For example, the previous president George Bush’s every move was charted and exposed by a virulently liberal media that hounded his every step. He was able to force the draconian Patriot Act on us, which was huge, but got little else done. Obama, on the other hand, with his Main Stream Media-issued cloak of invisibility and free pass on anything he says or does, has been able to remove and nullify dozens and dozens of freedoms and liberties we used to enjoy in the nation.
This story, as big as it is, is only one of hundreds you will find if you care to go looking. A Socialist America? Check. Americans who accept living under constant and persistent monitoring? Check. A welfare state with unpayable debts? Check. Sharia Law and FEMA Camps? Coming right up. But please, go back to sleep, nothing to see here.
From Yahoo News: WASHINGTON (AP) — Chances are, your local or state police departments have photographs of your car in their files, noting where you were driving on a particular day, even if you never did anything wrong.
Using automated scanners, law enforcement agencies across the country have amassed millions of digital records on the location and movement of every vehicle with a license plate, according to a study published Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union. Affixed to police cars, bridges or buildings, the scanners capture images of passing or parked vehicles and note their location, uploading that information into police databases. Departments keep the records for weeks or years, sometimes indefinitely.
As the technology becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, and federal grants focus on aiding local terrorist detection, even small police agencies are able to deploy more sophisticated surveillance systems. While the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that a judge’s approval is needed to track a car with GPS, networks of plate scanners allow police effectively to track a driver’s location, sometimes several times every day, with few legal restrictions. The ACLU says the scanners assemble what it calls a “single, high-resolution image of our lives.”
“There’s just a fundamental question of whether we’re going to live in a society where these dragnet surveillance systems become routine,” said Catherine Crump, a staff attorney with the ACLU. The civil rights group is proposing that police departments immediately delete any records of cars not linked to a crime.
Law enforcement officials said the scanners can be crucial to tracking suspicious cars, aiding drug busts and finding abducted children. License plate scanners also can be efficient. The state of Maryland told the ACLU that troopers could “maintain a normal patrol stance” while capturing up to 7,000 license plate images in a single eight hour shift.
“At a time of fiscal and budget constraints, we need better assistance for law enforcement,” said Harvey Eisenberg, chief of the national security section and assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland.
Law enforcement officials also point out that the technology is legal in most cases, automating a practice that’s been done for years. The ACLU found that only five states have laws governing license plate readers. New Hampshire, for example, bans the technology except in narrow circumstances, while Maine and Arkansas limit how long plate information can be stored.
“There’s no expectation of privacy” for a vehicle driving on a public road or parked in a public place, said Lt. Bill Hedgpeth, a spokesman for the Mesquite Police Department in Texas, which has records stretching back to 2008, although the city plans next month to begin deleting files older than two years. “It’s just a vehicle. It’s just a license plate.”
In Yonkers, N.Y., just north of the Bronx, police said retaining the information indefinitely helps detectives solve future crimes. In a statement, the department said it uses license plate readers as a “reactive investigative tool” that is only accessed if detectives are looking for a particular vehicle in connection to a crime.
“These plate readers are not intended nor used to follow the movements of members of the public,” the department’s statement said.
But even if law enforcement officials say they don’t want a public location tracking system, the records add up quickly. In Jersey City, N.J., for example, the population is only 250,000 but the city collected more than 2 million plate images on file. Because the city keeps records for five years, the ACLU estimates that it has some 10 million on file, making it possible for police to plot the movements of most residents depending upon the number and location of the scanners, according to the ACLU.
The ACLU study, based on 26,000 pages of responses from 293 police departments and state agencies across the country, also found that license plate scanners produced a small fraction of “hits,” or alerts to police that a suspicious vehicle has been found. In Maryland, for example, the state reported reading about 29 million plates between January and May of last year. Of that amount, about 60,000 — or roughly 1 in every 500 license plates — were suspicious. The No. 1 crime? A suspended or revoked registration, or a violation of the state’s emissions inspection program accounted for 97 percent of all alerts.
Eisenberg, the assistant U.S. attorney, said the numbers “fail to show the real qualitative assistance to public safety and law enforcement.” He points to the 132 wanted suspects the program helped track. They were a small fraction of the 29 million plates read, but he said tracking those suspects can be critical to keeping an area safe.
Also, he said, Maryland has rules in place restricting access for criminal investigations only. Most records are retained for one year in Maryland, and the state’s privacy policies are reviewed by an independent board, Eisenberg noted.
At least in Maryland, “there are checks, and there are balances,” he said. source – Yahoo News