Lamps found at the Arsuf site
Lamps found at the Arsuf sitePavel Shargo, courtesy of the Institute of Archaeology, TAU

Archaeologists at Hebrew University say that recent excavations are consistent with biblical accounts concerning the ancient Jewish kingdoms in the Land of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority must hate archaeologists!

Some skeptics had previously claimed that the Jewish kingdom became substantial in size and strength only in the 9th or 8th century BCE, which was 200 to 300 years after King David.

But Prof. Yosef Garfinkel of Hebrew University, writing in the Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology, has now demonstrated that the kingdom underwent significant growth in the regions southwest of Jerusalem in the first quarter of the 10th century BCE, during King David’s era.

Prof. Garfinkel reports that radiometric dating of evidence discovered by a team from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Southern Adventist University has documented the presence of a key “barrier wall” from that earlier period, “putting an end to the longstanding historical debate surrounding the existence of the kingdom and its borders.”

“This finding provides tangible evidence on the ground, dated to the relevant period, supporting the biblical accounts of King Rehoboam’s expansion and fortification as described in the Book of Chronicles,” Garfinkel writes. “It is a rare instance where we can present empirical historical and archaeological evidence aligning with biblical narratives from the 10th century B.C.”

And you know what the archaeologists still haven’t found in any of their ongoing excavations throughout Israel? Any evidence of an ancient “Palestine” or “Palestinians.”

Palestinian Authority officials are constantly claiming—without a stitch of proof—that the Palestinian Arabs are the true owners of the Holy Land, with roots that supposedly go back thousands of years.

Last December, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas told an interviewer from the Al-Arabiya news agency: “The Palestinian people [have] existed since the dawn of time. We have been around since the days of the Canaanites.”

Abbas has made similar outlandish claims on many other occasions. In one 2019 speech at Jalazoun, near Ramallah, he declared: "This land belongs to the people who live on it. It belongs to the Canaanites, who lived here 5,000 years ago. We are the Canaanites!”

Ironically, those darn archaeologists have also documented that the Canaanites, with whom Abbas so closely identifies, practiced child sacrifice. And, of course, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas practice various kinds of child sacrifice of their own, such as using sending children to carry out terrorist attacks and using Arab children as human shields against Israeli counter-terror strikes.

Perhaps the Palestinian Arab leaders could claim to be the spiritual descendants of the Canaanites, even though they are not their literal descendants because the Canaanites were wiped out by Assyria and others.

The Palestinian Arabs and their supporters are naturally frustrated that archaeologists have never found evidence to back up their cause. No evidence of any “Palestinian” kingdoms, no ancient artifacts showing a distinctly “Palestinian” culture or society. That’s because the Arabs in the Land of Israel arrived after Mohammed and began identifying themselves as Palestinians only in the 20th century, and even then, only as a propaganda tactic in their war against the Jews.

No wonder the European Union—which passionately supports the Palestinian cause—is so worried about the archaeologists. Last year, EU officials drew up a document outlining their strategy for helping the PA to claim territory which—in accordance with the Oslo accords—is located in the Israeli controlled region known as Area C.

One part of the EU document referred to the need “to monitor Israeli archaeological digs in Area C.” Why are the EU and the PA anxious about archaeological digs? Because, as Prof. Garfinkel has reminded us, every time archaeologists dig, they find fresh evidence of the Jews’ deep roots in the Holy Land—and no evidence of any “Palestinian” roots at all.

Stephen M. Flatow is President-elect of the Religious Zionists of America. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995 and the author of A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.