ed note–Again, there is no overstating the significance of the fact that Trump will be the first US president to give a speech at this historical place. Masada was the last refuge of the Siccari and Zealots–today represented by Judaic religious nutcases out to take over the world–who, rather than submit to Rome, decided instead to murder their wives and children and then commit suicide themselves. As the Jewish historian Josephus writes–
‘They made haste with the bloody work and moved with demonic fury, so great was the zeal they were in to murder their wives and children…The husbands embraced their wives, and took their children into their arms and yet at the same time did they complete the slaughter that they had resolved upon as if those slain were mere strangers…Nor was there any one of these men found that regretted his part in this terrible execution of his dearest relations. Miserable men indeed were they who slew their own wives and children with their own hands, as if it were the lightest of those evils that were before them. So they, being not able to bear the grief they were under for what they had done any longer, and esteeming it an injury to those they had slain to live even the shortest space of time after them, they presently laid all they had upon a heap, and set fire to it. They then chose ten men by lot to slay all the rest…Every one of whom laid himself down next to the bodies of his wife and children on the ground, and threw his arms about them, and then offered their necks to the stroke of those who by lot chosen for the task of executing…and when these ten had, without fear, slain them all, they made the same rule for casting lots for themselves, that he whose lot it was should first kill the other nine, and after all should then kill himself. Accordingly, all these had courage sufficient to be no way behind one another in doing or suffering; so, for a conclusion, the nine offered their necks to the executioner, and he who was the last of all took a view of all the other bodies, lest perchance some or other among so many that were slain should want his assistance to be quite dispatched, and when he perceived that they were all dead, set fire to the palace, and with the great force of his hand ran his sword entirely through himself, and fell down dead near to his own relations. So these people died with this intention, that they would not leave so much as one soul among them all alive to be subject to the Romans…’
The US President is expected to pay a visit to the historical fortress, and preparations are heightened as his visit, slated for May 22, looms near.
Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s possible speech at Masada National Park in two weeks, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority has already begun making logistical arrangements at the ancient Judean Desert fortress.
“It would be a great privilege for us to host the president of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, at one of the most important archeological and historical heritage sites of the Jewish people,” said Eitan Campbell, director of Masada National Park.
If Trump does visit the site, he will be the third US president do so, following visits by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush during their time in office, according to the INPA.
Masada National Park, which houses the remains of magnificent palaces from the reign of King Herod (74/73 BCE-4 BCE), was the last bastion of the Jewish freedom fighters against the Romans. The site has since become a unique historical symbol for the Jewish people, while providing breathtaking views of the Dead Sea and Jordan. Masada is one of the most popular sites in Israel, attracting about 680,000 visitors in 2016, the INPA said.
This year, parks officials are doing all that they can to ensure that the site is ready to host a presidential visitor, should he choose to ascend the mountain and speak there as rumored.
“This is a complex logistical task that involves many bodies, but we at the INPA are experienced in hosting visits of this magnitude and importance, since in the past we have been privileged to host world leaders at Masada,” Campbell said. “Earlier this morning, we conducted a preliminary tour of the site with the visit organizers, on behalf of the INPA, and we are continuing our preparations for the possibility of Trump’s visit to Masada.”
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