|UNRWA School in Gaza|
Gaza-based Jihadist: Ban Christmas. If you're a Jihadist (aka, a terrorist) a good place to hang out is in Gaza where you will be well protected by the Palestinian authorities. You'll also have access to some cool textbooks. Anyway, one of these jokers, who's been given the label of "Senior Islamic State Jihadist," goes by the name of Abu Omar Almaqdesi. (Let's just call him Abe.) It seems Abe has been very vocal of late. Discussing recent terrorism in Turkey, Germany, and Jordan, he announced that such attacks are "the price these states must pay for positioning themselves as part of the Crusader Coalition of infidel countries fighting against Islam." Just a thought, but I suspect the German. Turkish, and Jordanian governments (or, for that matter, the US government) do not consider themselves as part of a Crusader Coalition. Too bad. If they did we might actually get somewhere in our misnamed war on terror.
Abe also added a few seasonal comments relating to Christmas: "If somewhere there are Christians who insist on celebrating Christmas with the support of the heretic authorities, one must unleash upon them all one's might and deploy all the available means." He went on to explain that "all methods are admissible when it comes to preventing blasphemy against Allah and his commandments. Yes, including killing and blowing up." Then, apparently getting into the Christmas spirit, Abe added, "But...we believe that first you should act politely and explain that living in Islamic countries is conditioned on accepting Sharia and refrain from openly practicing rituals other than Islam." I guess after you've been polite, you can go ahead and blow them up. Don't you just love these guys? Abe sounds like a prime candidate for an extended vacation at Gitmo.
Having been promised by God to Abraham about 4,000 years ago, the Holy Land is a remarkable treasure trove for archaeologists. Like much of the Middle East, modern day Israel has lots of interesting stuff beneath its surface just waiting to be uncovered. Here are a couple of cool stories I found particularly interesting.
|Egyptian Slab -- Ancient Hebrew? Inscriptions|
|One of the many Temple Floor Tiles recovered|
second Temple, the one started by Herod and destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., is now covered by a Muslim shrine. This makes excavations a bit tense since the Muslims do not want Jewish access to this holy site. The second Temple is also the Temple of the Gospels at which Jesus and his disciples worshiped. As a result of excavations that began in 2005, over 600 of the Temple's floor tiles have been found and many have been restored. These are the only known physical elements of the Temple so they are considered extremely important. They are also of interest to Christians since Jesus quite possibly walked on many of these floor tiles.
I find it amazing that today, thousands of years after these events, we continue to discover such wondrous things. And so often these finds support the Biblical narrative that so many have considered unreliable at best. It would seem that God delights in leading us to that which magnifies His Word.