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Watch Jerusalem

The Watch Jerusalem weekly audio podcast brings you news, interviews, archaeology and the Bible from on location in the Holy City. Host Brent Nagtegaal gives you the most important developments happening on the ground—and emerging from beneath it. Nagtegaal discusses archaeological evidence, old and new, that elucidates Biblical history and also looks at events in the Middle East from a Biblical perspective. Unlock the future with the Bible and the artifacts of the past every week on Watch Jerusalem.

Host Brent Nagtegaal is an archaeologist and WatchJerusalem.co.il contributor living in Jerusalem.


On today's show, archaeologist Brent Nagtegaal discusses the recent excavations at Machaerus, Herod the Great's Jordanian's fortressed famed for the killing of John the Baptist. He also discusses the chance discovery of 2600-year-old inscription on the backside of a potshard.

 


Some believe that the Bible is a fictional book, perhaps with only a few names and cities that have been validated through archaeology. This is simply untrue. Hundreds of biblically significant artifacts have been found throughout the last century and an half—and particularly in the last few decades. Many dozens of biblical figures—kings, pharaohs, officials, prophets—have been substantiated through archaeology. Not only does archaeology validate snippets of the Bible, but more accurately, entire stories. Such is the case with King Hezekiah—one of Judah’s greatest rulers. On Today’s program, Host Brent Nagtegaal interview archaeologist Christopher Eames about the connections between King Hezekiah’s life and connected artifacts from three nations.


The last time President Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia there was no fanfare whatsoever and the king didn’t even show up to greet him. This Saturday, in his first foreign trip, President Trump arrived in Riyadh with all the pomp and celebration fit for a king. Soon thereafter, he received the highest Medal of Honor that can be bestowed by the king on a foreigner. On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal discusses the significance of Mr. Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, as well as the air of nervousness pervading Israel before his arrival on Monday.


Last week, Isi Leibler wrote an article for the Jerusalem Post detailing nine of challenges facing Israel. However rather than being worried for Israel's future, he wrote that “we have never been so self-reliant or as powerful as we are today, and in as optimal a position to defend ourselves.” On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal focuses on dangerous implications Israel’s newfound power and self-reliance for the future of the Jewish State.

 


his past week, Israel celebrated her 69th Independence Day. At the same time, UNESCO passed another resolution condemning the nation. On today’s program, host Christopher Eames discusses the resolution, summarizes the Independence Day celebrations, and looks at an interesting natural event that occurred 2,800 years ago, as discovered recently by archaeologists.


This past week, German’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel decided to go ahead with meeting with an anti-Israeli NGO, instead of meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The decision to snub the prime minister comes at a time when anti-Israel sentiment is on the rise inside Germany. On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal argues that over the past decade, Merkel’s positive personal stance toward the Jews has largely hidden the anti-Israel views of the German public; views that are now coming to the surface as Merkel’s rule looks to be coming to an end.


Last week, several statements from the United States Administration declared that its policy toward Iran was under review. After eight years of cozying up to Iran by the Obama administration, a hardened policy that acknowledges Tehran’s role as the leading cause of Middle East instability is a refreshing change. However, will the United States be able to limit and roll back Iran’s gains across the region? On today’s show, Host Brent Nagtegaal, argues that even with the policy change, Mr. Trump will not be able to halt Iran’s rise.


In response to the Palm Sunday’s attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians, Mathieu Bock-Côté asked in La Figaro whether the issue of Middle Eastern Christians would wake up European civilization to its core identity. On Today’s program, Host Brent Nagtegaal looks at the attack on the Copts in light of the mass migration of Christians out of the Middle East and asks whether we have reached a tipping point where Europe will finally come to their defense.


Russia has become the first country in the world to recognize any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry released on Thursday reads, “We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of east Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” While many Israelis see the move as a positive one, on today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal argues that Russia recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a dangerous precedent.


This week former United States Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro wrote a piece for Bloomberg View entitled, “All signals point once again to war in Gaza.” On today’s program, Middle East correspondent Brent Nagtegaal takes Shapiro’s article and looks at both the Lebanese front and the Syrian Golan Heights as other looming hotspots. He argues that Israel is being besieged by ever increasing threats surrounding the nation.