Secrets of the Cave of the Patriarchs exposed and The ‘indigenous Palestinians’ lie and Fauci: Israeli data shows booster shot is 'absolutely essential for all adults and The Life and Times of Lorrie Morgan and Moe Howard on The Mike Douglas Show. Parts 5 & and how the Three stooges (actually 6 of them) passed away at various ages and David Friedman-What! The United States has no opinion on a resolution that, taken to its logical extension, would destroy the Jewish State!
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
The Biden administration abstained – but did not reject – a General Assemblyresolution affirming the right of return for Palestinian refugees to sovereign Israel as part of a broad text in support of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).In doing so, it broke with the voting pattern on Israel set by former US president Donald Trump in which all such texts received an automatic no vote.The Obama administration, however, had traditionally abstained from this particular text, which comes annually before the General Assembly.
"This year, the United States returns to a position of abstention on the text 'Assistance to Palestine Refugees,'" American Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills told the assembly's Fourth Committee late Tuesday afternoon.He spoke as the committee gave initial approval to six anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian draft resolutions that will come up later this year at the General Assembly plenum for a final vote. A screenshot of the results of the UN General Assembly vote on funding UNRWA. (credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)Three of those texts affirmed the work of the UNRWA, which services 5.7 million Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.That 1948 text was written for the then "situation in Palestine."It "resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.
And compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity."It is invoked by the Palestinian Authority and Arab countries, such as those who wrote the 2021 resolution on "Assistance to Palestinian Refugees" to support a call for the right of return.Of the three UNRWA texts, the resolution titled "Assistance to Palestinian Refugees" is considered to be the most benign.Canada similarly abstained on the text called Assistance to the Palestinian People, while Australia supported it. The US and Canada joined Israel in rejecting the other two resolutions on UNRWA. Australia abstained on one of those and rejected the other.The European Union supported all three UNRWA texts. Only Israel totally opposed the text Assistance to Palestinian Refugees, which passed 160-1, with nine abstentions.The other countries that abstained on the Assistance to Palestinian Refugees resolution were Cameroon, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papa New Guinea and Uruguay.The Trump administration had opposed UNRWA and cut US funding to the organization. Both the Trump administration and Israel have charged that textbooks used in the agency's schools are antisemitic and incite against Israel. They opposed the UNRWA policy of applying refugee status to the descendants of Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948, a move that they explain creates an ever-increasing population of refugees.Prior to Tuesday's vote, an Israeli representative spoke out against UNRWA at the Fourth Committee meeting."We cannot stand idly by when a UN humanitarian agency promotes a political agenda under the guise of true assistance," the Israel representative said."UNRWA must be accountable for the hateful indoctrination of children in its classrooms. It must put an end to the spreading of antisemitic lies by its employees, and it must show a genuine commitment to transparency and accountability," the Israeli representative said.She added that UNRWA resources and infrastructure must not be hijacked by Hamas in conducting acts of terror.Israel has also opposed the right of return for Palestinians to sovereign Israel, a move that it argues would destroy the country's identity as the ethnic-national homeland for the Jewish people. It has explained that in a two-state resolution to the conflict, Palestinians would have a right of return solely to a Palestinian state, much like Jews would have a right of return solely to Israel.The Biden administration, however, has restored US funding and support for UNRWA."As many members know, under President Biden, the United States announced it would restore its financial support to UNRWA, which we do believe is a vital lifeline to millions of Palestinians across the region," Mills told the General Assembly."Since April, the US government has provided more than $318 million to UNRWA in fiscal year 2021, including critical support for education, health and social services benefiting millions of Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA," he said.The US, he said, has noted that some changes were made to the text of the resolutions on the agency "that reflect our priorities in line with strengthening UNRWA," adding that "the United States will continue to work with UNRWA, work to strengthen the agency's accountability, its transparency, and its consistency with UN principles."Mills called on UN member states to support the agency financially, noting that many of those who voted in favor of the three UNRWA resolutions were not willing to spend money on the organization."I would also like to take a moment to point out the overwhelming support from member states for these resolutions voted here today, compared with the relatively few member states that financially support UNRWA," he said."In light of the agency's urgent shortfall, the United States urges member states to support UNRWA's services for Palestinian refugees not only in word but in action – and to do so on an expedited basis," Mills said.The resolutions were voted on in advance of a donor pledging conference for UNRWA scheduled to take place in Belgium on November 16.The Fourth Committee also approved three other resolutions on Israel, including one that called for it to relinquish its sovereignty over the Golan Heights it captured from Syria in 1967 and annexed in 1981. To date, only the US has recognized Israeli sovereignty on the Golan.The Golan resolution passed 144-2, with 22 abstentions. Israel and the United States opposed the resolution, and the European Union supported it. Canada and Australia were among those that abstained.A fifth resolution that condemned Israeli settlement activity and Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem passed 142-7, with 16 abstentions. Those countries that opposed it were Israel, the United States, Canada, Hungary, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru. The text also took Israel to task for settler violence and IDF demolition of Palestinian homes.The final resolution was on the work of the special committee to investigate Israeli practices affecting human rights of the Palestinian people. It lacked majority support, but was still approved, 77-17, with 74 abstentions. Those who opposed it were Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Philippines, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States.None of the EU member nations supported the text.The resolutions are part of a package of close to 20 annual resolutions against Israel the General Assembly is set to approve before the end of the year.The Israeli representative told the General Assembly that these texts were "disproportionate, one-sided and rooted in bias against" her country."Israel is the only country – the only country – that is subject to such systematic discrimination in the UN," she added.Mills, whose country opposed five of the texts, also charged that the UN is biased against Israel."We are disappointed that member states continue to disproportionately single out Israel" he said.The Palestinian representative, in contrast, thanked the Fourth Committee for its support."Adoption of these resolutions again by overwhelming majority reaffirms the international community's abiding positions on these core issues and renews a significant message of solidarity to the Palestinian people," she said."Such broad support is also the clearest answer to the false and libelous statement made in this committee by the Israeli representative against UNRWA and the hostility directed against the special committee."
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Fauci: Israeli data shows booster shot is 'absolutely essential for all adults
Biden's Chief Medical Advisor highlights Israel's experience on booster shots in recommending them for US adults.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to US President Joe Biden, on Friday highlighted Israel's experience regarding booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines when arguing that offering these shots to the entire US population would become an "absolutely essential part" of fighting the pandemic/
"When you look at the data from Israel, it's very clear that (the booster) reverses some of the waning effects that you see in people who have been vaccinated for six months or more," Fauci said on "The Daily" podcast and quoted by Haaretz.
As was the case in Israel, he said, booster shots for all twice-vaccinated adults "are going to be an absolutely essential component of our response. Not a bonus, not a luxury, but an absolutely essential part of the program."
"If you look at Israel, which has always been a month to a month and a half ahead of us in the dynamics of the outbreak in their vaccine response and every other element – they are seeing a waning of immunity (after six months of vaccination) not only against infection but against hospitalizations and to some extent, death which involved all age groups, not just the elderly," Fauci added.
He said it was his opinion that, like Israel, which forged ahead with a booster campaign even before clear scientific studies on the necessity of boosting after six months were available, the US must move forward and not wait for complete data to prove a large-scale booster program is necessary, in order to save more lives.
"The proof will be in the pudding after we get people vaccinated and boosted, and we have a greater durability of protection that doesn't wane as easily," stated Fauci.
Fauci has several times praised Israel's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, he cited the success of the vaccination campaign in Israel as proof of the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Last month, he toldGalei Tzahal (Army Radio) in an interview that US officials are receiving information from Israel on the booster shot campaign, and there is particular interest in data on young people.
"I think ultimately there will be enough data to show that Israel is doing the right thing," said Fauci, who added he takes the statistics coming out of Israel "very seriously".
The 'indigenous Palestinians' lie
Lovers of Israel must explain and document the truth repeatedly, because so many people still haven't heard - and the lies travel fast. James Sinkinson
While Jews have been persecuted over the centuries more than perhaps any other people, they can take at least cold comfort in the fact that their enemies almost always rely on outright lies to attack them.
Lies such as the blood libel that Jews use the blood of Christian babies to make matzah, that Jews deviously manipulate international banking, and now that Israel is an apartheid state, guilty of genocide and colonization.
These accusations are clearly, factually and demonstrably false, making it easy to brand those who spread them as rank anti-Semites. Yet, as Mark Twain was reputed to have said, "an early-morning lie travels 'round world before truth has time to put its shoes on."
We lovers of Israel are condemned to explain and document the truth repeatedly, because so many people still haven't heard it—and the lies travel fast.
The latest outrage was committed by the Washington, D.C., branch of a national climate action group, Sunrise DC, which bowed out of a voting rights rally because a "number of Zionist organizations" would be taking part. "Given our commitment to racial justice, self-governance and indigenous sovereignty, we oppose Zionism and any state that enforces its ideology," Sunrise DC said in a statement.
You may want to read that statement again to fully comprehend its absurdity. Sunrise DC opposes Zionism, the nationalist movement for the reestablishment and support of the Jewish people's ancestral homeland, because of the group's commitment to "self-governance and indigenous sovereignty."
Zionism is the ultimate act of self-governance and indigenous sovereignty. Only the Jewish people can make such a claim about their connection to their homeland in the Middle East. In other words, all peoples—including ethnic successors of colonizers—are welcome to self-governance and indigenous sovereignty … except Jews.
• According to Amnesty International, an indigenous people has (among other things):
• A historical link with those who inhabited a region at the time when people of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived;
• Distinct social, economic or political systems;
• Distinct language, culture and beliefs;
• Been marginalized and discriminated against by newcomers;
• Maintained and developed their ancestral environments as distinct people.
The Jews of Israel possess all of these characteristics. The Palestinians have none.
The Jewish people are the oldest surviving civilization—by thousands of years—with ties to the land of Israel. Jews have their own laws, religion, language and culture. The Palestinian Arabs do not have any of those.
The Jewish people held sovereignty in the Land of Israel on multiple occasions in history, only to be conquered, occupied, oppressed and then violently expelled—or to be more precise, ethnically cleansed. Whether in Christian Europe or Muslim Asia and Africa, and even in their own homeland, Jews were a subjugated people, constantly harassed and reminded that they did not belong.
Yet even during the darkest moments of their exile, they never lost hope in a return to their homeland, and kept alive their distinct language and culture—firmly rooted in the territory that is today the State of Israel.
By all rights, such a people, who seized the opportunity to return home, liberated the territory from those who had occupied it with foreign settlers—buttressed and supported by imperial and colonial powers like the Arabs, Ottomans and Great Britain—should be the darlings of all who support "self-governance and indigenous sovereignty."
Indeed, Zionism is the ultimate act of self-governance and indigenous sovereignty. Only the Jewish people can make such a claim about their connection to their homeland in the Middle East. Every part of Jewish identity is tightly bound to the land that gave us our name. The term "Jews" originates in ancient Judea.
On the other hand, the Muslims who currently live in Israel or Judea and Samaria are the descendants of people who settled in the territory under colonial rule, Ottoman or British. Even those whose claims go back a number of centuries still identify their origins in Arabia, or were colonized by the language, culture and religion of the Arabian Peninsula, like the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.
During the 1,300 years of largely Muslim rule, no occupying or imperial leader made the Land of Israel sovereign. Each conqueror oppressed the locals, whether Jewish or Christian, forced many to convert and killed others.
Tellingly, the documents and titles Palestinians and their advocates like to wave in court are all, without exception, awarded by the Ottoman sultanate, an occupying power, to their ancestors—merely on the basis of ties to the colonial leadership.
Apologists for Palestinian indigenous claims now have a new tool—the children's story "Uncle Meena," by Palestinian author Ibtisam Barakat—which is being promoted in English classes in U.S. public schools. This one-sided book's most contemptuous view—promoted by the beloved Uncle Meena and endorsed by the relatable Noora—holds that Palestinians are like Native Americans (or "Red Indians," as the story dubs them), while Israeli Jews are akin to white, colonizing cowboys. This is the central theme of "Uncle Meena."
According to "Uncle Meena," Jews are new to their homeland—denying Jewish identity and erasing Jewish history. Ironically, this "cancellation" of ancient, indigenous peoplehood is the ultimate act of colonialism.
Those touting and accepting this narrative complete the colonization: It becomes unimpeachable, because so many people accept it. It is the power of a lie that is not defeated.
On the other hand, once Jewish history and millennia-long connection to the Holy Land—long predating the Islamic conquest and Arab occupation of the region—are understood and accepted, the Palestinian narrative façade shatters.
Those who use the language of "self-governance and indigenous sovereignty" are, perhaps unwittingly, siding with the colonizing and imperial occupiers over true indigenous people. They are signaling their social justice credentials—in the service of the great lie.
However, ignorance is no excuse for racism. It's time social justice warriors got a shot of integrity and stood up for the truly, factually indigenous people of Israel—regardless of a misplaced bias against the Jewish people and Zionism—their 3,000-year dream of self-determination finally fulfilled.
James Sinkinson is President of Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.
The Life and Times of Lorrie Morgan
Secrets of the Cave of the Patriarchs exposed
Israel Hayom via JNS By Nadav Shragai
Noam Arnon's comprehensive doctoral dissertation proves that there is much more to the ancient site than meets the eye.
On Aug. 25, 1859, Italian archaeologist and engineer Ermette Pierotti tried to sneak into the sanctuary at the Cave of the Patriarchs with the assistance of some Muslim friends. But before they had even made it down five steps, they were caught by the guards who dragged them back out.
"The beatings I received and the curses I was subjected to in no way diminished the satisfaction that I felt," Pierotti wrote in his diary, "I can say that I managed to see something of the cave—ossuaries of white stone … a wall of rock separating the lower and upper caves. When the day comes that someone is able to enter this dark place, they will see that my description was accurate."
Pierotti and Meinertzhagen, who visited the underground caverns below the above-ground (Herodian) structure—Muslims today prevent any access to them—are not the only ones to have succeeded in peeking into the depths of the earth to try and unlock the site's secrets. All of them sought to confirm whether it is indeed the biblical Cave of the Patriarchs in the field that Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite.
A 600-page doctoral thesis, composed over the past eight years by Dr. Noam Arnon, reveals and explores the details of these visits, and much more. Arnon's research covers a period of 2,500 years in the history of the site, and, like his previous works on the Cave of the Patriarchs, deals with a broad complex of geographical, geological, archaeological and Jewish and historical sources that were not all available to those researching the cave in the past.
Up to the seventh step
Over the generations, the Cave of the Patriarchs has had a place of honor in heritage, tradition and legend, but it was in religious faith and mysticism where it stood out. Arnon's work (completed at the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University) now compiles for the first time a scientific database about the cave and its secrets. Its advantage lies in Arnon's intimate knowledge of the site, which he has lived, breathed and researched for almost five decades.
Reminder: Over the course of 700 years, ever since the conquest of the land of Israel by the Mamluks in 1267, access to the site has been denied to Jews and other non-Muslims. Jews were only allowed as far as the "Seventh Step" on the stairway leading down to the structure, and this became synonymous with the discrimination against Jews at the site.
Researchers exploring the site, such as British archaeologist Ernest Mckay, French scholar Father Louis-Hugues Vincent or the British delegation led by Claude Reignier Conder in 1882, dealt in detail with the famous 2,000-year-old above-ground structure, but had great difficulty in gaining access—if at all—to the underground caverns below it.
Arnon, a resident of Beit Hadassah in Hebron, who is better known to the wider public as the spokesman of the Hebron Jewish Community, touches on this issue, as well. A fascinating part of his research deals with the secret visits made by him and others to the caves underneath the main building, as well as visits that took place openly with permission.
One of the earliest visits to the Cave of the Patriarchs (in the second century C.E.) is documented in the Talmud, which tells of Rabbi Bana'ah, who would mark out burial caves so that people would not suffer ritual contamination. A thousand years later, in the 12th century, these caverns were entered by monks from the canonical order, who located in the depths of the earth several rooms of different shapes and sizes that contained urns full of bones. The site was also visited in the 12th century by Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela, Rabbi Petachiah of Regensburg and Rabbi Yaakov ben Netanel HaCohen.
Pierotti and Meinertzhagen reached the depth of the cave only centuries later, and the next documented visit was that of a young British Jew, Jack Seklan, in 1933.
A secret kept for 80 years
Arnon found out about Seklan through his daughter, Yehudit, who lives in Ofra, after her father decided it was time to reveal the secret that he had been keeping for almost 80 years. They met in 2012, when Seklan was already 97, but still sound of mind and with a fantastic memory. He described in detail to Arnon how, accompanied by the British officer in charge of the site, he descended three flights of stairs into the subterranean hall, deep underground, where they found another door.
"From that door," recalls Arnon, "they descended another few steps and reached a barred window overlooking an underground hall. Seklan told me that the hall was quite large and built out of natural rock or stone. In the dim light, he managed to make out tombstones similar to those on the upper floor that is now open to the public. But, unlike the upper tombstones that are covered with a magnificent parochet, the tombstones below ground were bare. The Muslim guide explained to them that these were the graves of the forefathers themselves and Seklan prayed kaddish."
Arnon recalls how he was stunned by what he was hearing from Seklan: "We arranged to meet again the following Sunday so that I could show him drawings and photos and try to locate with him the caverns that he had described. On the Saturday night before our second meeting, I received a phone call from his daughter informing me that he had been run over and killed by a jeep as he left Shabbat prayers at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem. I just held my head in my hands. I was sorry for the man, who was truly a man of deeds, and also for the missed opportunity. I was glad at least that on the eve of his death he had revealed his secret."
Arnon received a similar account from Arieh Ariel, the grandfather of Tamar Ariel, Israel's first religious female pilot, who was killed in an avalanche in Nepal in 2014. Arnon met Ariel eight years ago at his home on Moshav Massuot Yitzhak near Ashkelon. He told Arnon how, as a nine-year-old, he accompanied his father on one of his visits to Hebron after the 1929 massacre. Together they joined British archaeologists who were visiting the caverns underneath the above-ground structure.
"We went down the stairs and I remember that they said: 'these are the graves of the forefathers,'" Ariel told him.
About a month after the Six-Day War, Arieh Golan, a sergeant in the Paratrooper Corps reconnaissance unit, Sayeret Tzanchanim, entered the caves at the head of a force searching for terrorists and weapons. He, too, provided Arnon with a detailed description.
The most famous incident in which Jews entered the caves occurred a few months after the Six-Day War. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was worried that the fact that Jews had set up a synagogue at the Cave of the Patriarchs could lead to inter-racial violence between Muslims and Jews. Dayan turned to Yehuda Arbel, the head of the Jerusalem District of the Shin Bet, and asked him to try and find a solution to separate the sides.
Dayan, who knew a thing or two about archaeology, noted that the Cave of the Patriarchs itself was located below the floor of the mosque at a lower level. "If we find an exterior entrance to the caves," Dayan told Arbel, "then we will have solved the problem—the Muslims will pray above and the Jews below."
Arbel waited for the right opportunity, which arrived just 10 days later, when a grenade was thrown at Jewish visitors, resulting in the town being placed under curfew and the mosque at the Cave of the Patriarchs being closed. Arbel lost no time; he lowered his 13-year-old daughter, Michal, down via rope through the "candle shaft" on the floor of the Hall of Isaac,so that she could document the underground passages. First of all, however, Arbel spent weeks training Michal how to draw and document built spaces.
Michal, who today is Dr. Michal Arbel, a lecturer in Hebrew literature, was lowered down via an opening just 28 centimeters (11 inches) wide on Oct. 10 of that year. She was equipped with matches and candles in order to make sure there was enough oxygen to breathe and, in addition, with a camera, paper and pencils.
The operation lasted for three-and-a-half hours. Michal identified three tombstones on the western wall, two of them smooth and one bearing an inscription. She also found an opening on the eastern side that led into a passageway. Michal drew every detail she managed to see, and her father passed the drawings on to Defense Minister Dayan. The young girl was lowered into the structure another two times, once on Oct. 18 of that year, and again in November. However, she never reached the double chamber itself.
First Temple-era pottery
Another secret operation at the site was carried out by the army in Feb. 1973. Titled "Operation Adar," it was initiated for research purposes by the head of the IDF central command, Rehavam Zeevi. Lt. Avner Tzadok was chosen for the mission due to his small frame. Wearing just swimming trunks, his body was covered in grease to help him squeeze through the narrow opening. The photographs taken by Tzadok along with other items discovered during the operation remain, to Arnon's disappointment, classified to this day.
The cave itself was exposed only in 1981, during an operation organized one night during slichot, the prayers for forgiveness during the High Holidays. The chants of the worshipers, who sang the prayers with great fervor and particularly loudly, provided cover for Arnon and a team of volunteers to chisel their way through the stone on the floor of the Hall of Isaac. Cloaked in excitement, they found themselves descending a steep stairway at the end of which was a long, dark and narrow tunnel that they crawled through until they reached a large underground hall.
"We started looking for an entrance to the original cave, the one we knew from historical descriptions," recalls Arnon. "We found various stones in the corners and on the walls. Some of them had Latin and Arabic inscriptions. Suddenly, we felt a gust of wind coming up from the floor at the entrance to the room. With great effort, we lifted the stones from the floor, and in front of our eyes, we saw the entrance to a cave carved out of the stone."
Arnon and his friends went deep into the cave. "It transpired that we were indeed in the Cave of the Patriarchs, which consists of two caves, one in front of the other, in the style of the shaft tombs that were characteristic of the period of the forefathers. The first cave was larger and full of earth, almost up to its ceiling, but a passageway from that cave led to a second, much smaller cave. On the floor of the smaller cave, also full of earth, between fragments of ancient pottery, we found ourselves crawling among remains of human skeletons."
The double cave was dated back to the middle Bronze Age, the time of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The group removed four earthenware pieces from the cave, which were examined by the chief archaeology officer for Judea and Samaria, Dr. Zeev Yavin, who found them to be from the First Temple period.
It was only recently, some 40 years after that adventure, that a scientific analysis was conducted by Prof. David Ben Shlomo, head of the Land of Israel Studies and Archeology Department at Ariel University, and Prof. Hans Mommsen of the University of Bonn, a leading expert on identifying pottery through compositional analysis.
The analysis found that the items of pottery that were brought to the cave from various sites around Israel—the Hebron Hills, Jerusalem and the Judean foothills—by people who lived in these areas and had gone to the cave. This shows us that most likely the cave was a pilgrimage site during First Temple times.
Yavin, together with Doron Chen (a lecturer in archaeology) entered the cave a few months later with a delegation led by the then-commander of the region, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. The two conducted an independent review and a few years later published a scientific study.
Yavin, too, reached the conclusion that the caves were a Bronze Age burial site from the time of the forefathers. The bones in the cave were left there and were not analyzed. Yavin summarized his findings, writing: "An ancient tradition saw one of these caves [there are others in the area] as the burial site of the forefathers and therefore the monument was built above it."
He also found a clear affiliation between the upper tombstone chamber and the caves below it.
"Abraham is buried here"
But that wasn't enough for Arnon, and in 2014, the Midreshet Hebron college ordered a ground-penetrating radar analysis from the Geotech company. Interpretation of the results found that just as in the southern part of the Temple Mount (in the area around Solomon's Stables) vaults had been built at the Cave of the Patriarchs and the floor of the upper structure was built on top of them.
Q: Who really built the upper structure?
Arnon: "Herod. The walls of the cave are double walls, and between them, there is a layer of concrete and stones. We climbed up there and removed some material. We found charcoal grains there and sent samples to the Weizmann Institute of Science, which dated them back to the first century BCE. It could be Hasmonean- or Herodian-era. But to me, given the historical circumstances, the style of building, and comparison with other buildings, it is clear that it was Herodian."
[The Cave of the Patriarchs] is the only Herodian structure in Israel that has survived in its entirety and it is much smaller than the Temple Mount; just one 77th the size of the Mount, two dunams versus 144 dunams. Herod's workers [possibly] conducted a trial run in Hebron for the construction on the Mount, as the upper structure of the Cave of the Patriarchs was built without any foundations on top of the native rock, which in certain parts of the building, under the southern and eastern walls of the structure, can still be seen. It is probably the "edge of the field" that Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite, which is mentioned in the Book of Genesis.
Q: And it is under that structure that the patriarchs and matriarchs are buried?
A: We didn't find a grave on which it was written "Abraham is buried here," but when you weigh all the historical and archaeological data, the writings of travelers, biblical sources, topography—all of that together shows us that this is indeed the case.
Q: People will surely ask themselves: "If Arnon reached the conclusion that it isn't the biblical site of the Cave of the Patriarchs, would he write that?"
A: Yes, he would write that.
Q: You write in your thesis that there is no possibility of conducting "open research" at the site. Was there covert research conducted at the site?
A: I can't answer that.
Arnon's thesis also reveals some Greek and Hebrew names from the Byzantine period (the 4th- and 5th-century BCE) that were photographed by the Waqf after it peeled off the plaster from the walls of the structure. The names were those of Jews who had engraved them on the walls, such as "Nachum, Tanchum and Yaakov."
One of Arnon's most interesting findings regards the existence of a synagogue on the site for some 600 years on the northern side of the structure, alongside a church that operated on the southern side. This, he says, is an example of Jewish-Christian cooperation that has support from historical sources, and is also supported by other testimonies and findings from the Hebron area.
"This reality," says Arnon, "softens somewhat the plentiful information about the long rivalry between the two religions across the span of history."
Caption: A view of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Oct. 21, 2021. Photo by Gershon Elinson/Flash90.
Moe Howard on The Mike Douglas Show. Part 5
A wonderful conversation with the legend Moe Howard
I loved this. Moe still sharp as a tack. Sadly, he would pass 2 years later. This show was taped in 1973.