Sunday, July 30, 2006

Samson's revenge?

While most attention is focued on the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel has also been engaged in military actions against Hamas in the Gaza strip. These actions are code-named "Samson's Pillars."

Why in the world would Israel choose to call a mission in which they have stated that they are doing everything possible to protect innocents "Samson's Pillars"? For those unaware, this is an allusion to the Old Testament tale of Samson and Delihah, in which the Israelite hero Samson, after being a prisoner of the Philistines in Gaza, pulls down the pillars of a religious temple during a ritual sacrifice, indiscriminately killing all - men, women, children, and himself - in the temple. Could Israel have possibly chosen a more inappropriate or religiously provacative title for this mission?

Does Operation Samson's Pillars really say "we're doing everything we can to protect innocents from harm."

Personally, I find this choice of mission title obscene, irrespective of any consideration of whether or not the actual mission is just and proper. That the irony of choosing a story of a man committing suicide in order to kill "the enemy" (since in the story the people in the temple are equivalent to the enemy state of the Philistines) escapes Israel is troubling. And for civilians in Gaza who have heard Israel's (proper and justified) lamentation that Hamas and Hezbollah hide among civilian populations, a mission with a title that equivocates Israel's actions to an act in which the roof is fatally pulled down on everyone can not be all that reassuring.

Edit - Plus, I find naming military missions after portions of the Old Testament in itself offensive. The Old Testament God is a god of retributional violence, cruelty, and mass slaughter. Any mission paying homage to him is starting out on the wrong foot.


Random Walker said...

I find groups that intentionally target women and children obscene. I find groups that advocate for the complete removal of all Jews from this planet, obscene.

Hume's Ghost said...

Yes, so do I. Care to say anything about this post?

Alonzo Fyfe said...

Well, I note that they did not call the mission "Operation Simon."

Perhaps they were trying to say that tearing down the pillars is wrong -- that the pillars themselves (which protect both the enemy and Simon) are to be defended and NOT brought down.

Hume's Ghost said...

One would hope that is what they are trying to say. That takes a bit of strechting to make that allusion say that, however.

Sky-Ho said...

" find groups that advocate for the complete removal of all Jews from this planet, obscene."

But, it is okay to advocate, and attempt to carry out, the removal of some not-Jew group?