Even More on the Bethlehem Bulla

Joseph Lauer writes

Dr. Victor Avigdor Hurowitz of Ben-Gurion University initially expressed reservations about the reading of the bulla in the IAA’s press release.

    However, in an e-mail and a posting at his Facebook page he wrote the following about an hour ago: “Retraction about Beytlehem bulla. Friends, I must retract the statements I made a few days ago about the newly found bulla mentioning [b]yt lh(.)m בית לחם. Why? It turns out that my objections were based on a mistaken press release of the bulla issued by the IAA. They offered a transcription and transliteration which were erroneous. My colleague Shmuel Ahituv, an epigrapher, saw the bulla itself and he informs me that the signs on the right which the IAA transcribed as ב are in fact on close examination of the object remnants of a yod. Also, the letter transcribed as ח is indeed such. On the photo it looks like a ה because the down stroke on the left seems to be absent. Ahituv tells me that traces are still visible. In other words, the text reads [ב]ית לחם This is obviously Bethlehem and I have no objections to the identification. In summary, if Ahituv’s transcription and decipherment are correct this bulla is an attestation of this place in an extra-Biblical, Iron Age source. But if the IAA has correctly transcribed the text, my objections stand. So I retract my objection but will not accept blame.”
Shukron’s misreading is now being noted and noticed by nearly everyone.

Freedom of Speech Takes Another Whack in Israel

Zalman Aran Library at Ben Gurion University o...

The Chronicle of Higer Ed

Following a series of high-profile disputes over the political views expressed by its faculty members, Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba has amended its code of ethics to ban professors from expressing their personal politics in class or using the name of the university when engaging in political activity off campus, unless it is regarding the university itself, reports YNet News. “While airing political or religious opinions in public, as distinguished from specific professional opinions, faculty members will not make any use of the name of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,” says the new code.

So keep your views to yourself.  Especially if they conflict with official State policy.  Nothing says democracy like clamping down on Faculty.