Friday, January 9, 2009

Revisiting the Tale of Samson

Revisiting the Tale of Samson by Gary Leupp on

Me, I'm just an old hippie who doesn't want to cut his hair, and I always liked the song. :)

If I had my way, If I had my way,
If I had my way, I would tear this old building down.

From Mr. Leupp's article ...

The author of this fictional work, writing perhaps 2600-2800 years ago, states that Yahweh himself was looking for a fight. The secular humanist might interpret the passage to mean that the worshippers of Yahweh were spoiling for a fight with the Philistines, whose land they coveted.

(2) “Then the spirit of Yahweh seized on him. He went down to Ashkelon, killed thirty men there, took what they wore and gave the festal robes to those who had answered the riddle…” (Judges 14:19)

Ashkelon, the former Palestinian town taken over by Zionist settlers since 1948, has been in the news lately. We have heard a lot about the indiscriminate Palestinian bombardment of the town which is occasionally hit by homemade rockets from Gaza. Here in the Samson story we have the Israelite hero indiscriminately killing thirty men there. But he does so filled with the spirit of God!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gaza Seen From Paris

Gaza Seen From Paris by By JEAN BRICMONT and DIANA JOHNSTONE on

Since the article starts with sentiments similar to what I wrote below, I can't resist posting it ....

There are surely millions of us, invisible to each other, enraged and powerless as we watch the massacre of Gaza and listen to our media describe it as a "retaliation against terrorism", "Israel’s right to defend itself". We have reached a point where answering the Zionist arguments is both useless and unworthy of humanity. So long as it is recognized that the shells landing on Ashkelon are likely to have been fired by descendants of the inhabitants of that region who were driven out by the Zionists in 1948, talk of peace is a smoke screen for continued Israeli assault on the survivors of that great injustice.

What then is to be done? Yet another dialogue between "moderate" Arabs and "progressive" Israelis? An umpteenth "peace plan" to be ignored? A solemn declaration from the European Union?

All such mainstream gestures are mere distractions from the ongoing strangling of the Palestinian people. But more radical demands are just as futile. The call to create an international tribunal to judge Israeli war criminals, or for an effective intervention by the United Nations or the European Union will accomplish nothing. The real existing international tribunals reflect the relationship of forces in the world, and will never be used against the cherished allies of the United States. It is the relationship of forces itself that must be changed, and this can be done only gradually. It is true that Gaza is a dire emergency, but it is also true that nothing really effective can be done today to stop it, precisely because the patient political work that should have been done before still remains to be undertaken.

On the three modest proposals that follow, two are ideological and one is practical.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


What does silence mean?

I fear I've grown silent the last week or so. On a personal level, I've been with friends and family celebrating the holidays. A wonderful time. But, when I try to read the news, I get depressed at what I can only describe as the mass murder of hundreds of people, the wounding and maiming of thousands more, and what seems to be the collective torture of a million and half peopl by the US and Israel. The result is silence as I turn back towards the pleasant. A silence driven by a sense of powerlessness.

But, what is silence when one does have the power to stop this if one wanted to? If one is the President-elect, and who with a word could do much to bring this to a halt, what then does silence mean? Sometimes silence is complicity. Sometimes silence is support. Sometimes silence is collaboration. When speaking a word could end horror, what then is silence?

Since I'm not posting much right now, here's an open thread .....