Today’s government decision is reported in the Jerusalem Post:

The Justice Ministry announced on Monday its decision to allow the controversial Google Street View service to run in Israel. A function of Google’s existing maps service, Street View allows users to view panoramic street level photographs of city streets and other locations in the country. […] Only after lengthy negotiations with Google did the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority (ILITA), part of the Justice Ministry, agree to roll out the service here. […] To produce the images that make up Street View, for example, Google uses vehicles that drive down streets taking millions of digital photographs and recording location data using sophisticated technology. These images and data are transferred to a database held in the USA, which is outside Israel’s jurisdiction. Under the agreement ILITA has reached with Google, however, Israeli citizens will be able to file civil litigation against Google regarding the company’s Israeli operations, via Google Israel, the internet giant’s local branch. Under the same agreement, Google Israel will provide an online service for Israelis to opt out of the service by demanding that Google blur all images of their homes, license plates and themselves. Google also agreed that the cars used to take the millions of digital photographs will be clearly marked so that residents can recognize them as they pass along the streets.

More of the legal issues are discussed in the Jerusalem Post. I would like to see Street View including antiquities sites, such as the excavations south of the Temple Mount, the site of Beth Shean, and even more distant ruins such as those at Beersheba and Arad.


In the weekend edition of Haaretz, Moshe Gilad reports on a tour that explored the water sources of ancient Caesarea.

Two thousand years ago, Herod’s engineers devised a way to bring water to what was then the second largest city in the land, after Jerusalem, in terms of population. These were wise, exacting professionals who figured out the best route, and optimal height, for an aqueduct, so that the water would flow smoothly and calmly, without pumping systems, from the springs at the foot of Mount Carmel to the seashore.
The impetus for our tour was the recent publication of a book called “Water at the End of the Tunnel: To Tour the Ancient Waterworks” (published jointly by the Ben-Zvi Institute and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, in Hebrew). Author Tzvika Tzuk, an archaeologist, studied the subject for years, and this serious and comprehensive work presents the information he gathered about the impressive engineering feats that allowed residents of this desert land, thousands of years ago, to enjoy a ready supply of drinking and bathing water. Tzuk’s guidebook proposes 40 routes for touring ancient waterways. Seven aqueducts reached Caesarea, he explains, and vestiges of many parts of them can still be seen. What is more, these days, any hike that ends at the beach will be particularly popular.

The article continues with recommendations of sites to visit, one of which is the section of aqueduct shown below.

HT: Joseph Lauer

Herodian aqueduct turn near Tell Mevorakh, tbs103339904

Roman aqueduct near Beit Hanania