03 August 2005

Samson's Echo

There's a line of Milton that begins:

Eyeless in Gaza...

Milton was referring to Samson, blinded and chained.

Before I went out to visit Gaza a few weeks ago, I thought that I would write about what I saw, and I suspected that I would use that phrase as the title. Nothing that I saw in Gaza struck me as particularly related to blindness, and neither did I write anything about what I saw.

Today I made the connection. We really are blind. The reports I read in one paper, the reports I read in another, the blogs, and what I hear from people can be so wildly different the I don't know what is actually happening in Ofakim, in the Prime Minister's office, or in Gaza.

Still, this is little more than a loose reference. A blind observer bears little in common with a blind Samson. But maybe our brothers in Gaza, who had been placed purposefully to fufill a strategic role, now find themselves eyeless, chained, a Samson captured.

...Promise was that I
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver!
Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find him
Eyeless in Gaza, at the mill, with slaves,
Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke.
Yet stay; let me not rashly call in doubt
Divine prediction...

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