Caution: Samson is Israel

The nations of the earth could be Israel’s Delilah.

“Samson and Delilah,” oil on canvas painting by José Echenagusia Errazquin, 1887. Credit: Bilbao Fine Arts Museum via Wikimedia Commons.
“Samson and Delilah,” oil on canvas painting by José Echenagusia Errazquin, 1887. Credit: Bilbao Fine Arts Museum via Wikimedia Commons.
Bruce Heitler. Source: LinkedIn.
Bruce Heitler

The biblical story of Samson (Judges 13-16) can help us understand Israel’s current situation in world politics. As the redoubtable contemporary biblical scholar Edward Greenstein said many years ago: “Samson is Israel.” This is particularly apt today.

The story is subtle and ironic, both in the choices made by its hero Samson and the various interpretations open to the reader.

Samson reaches out to the surrounding peoples, even though their worldview is at odds with his own. The final act of the story centers on his relationship with Delilah. He loves her, and she uses him. Samson feels secure in her arms, even though he knows that her commitment is unreliable.

The assistance from the United States together with Britain, France and Jordan in defeating the onslaught of missiles and drones launched at Israel by Iran this past weekend evokes Delilah’s seduction of Samson:

“Even though I have deceived you before and induced you to act against your own self-interest, this time you can trust me!”

“Enjoy the comfort of my embrace.”

“No need to act impulsively against Hamas in Rafah. Too many civilians will be endangered and you will lose my affection.”

“No need to act impulsively against Iran’s nuclear program. That may lead to a wider war in which there could be adverse consequences for America’s upcoming elections.”

“Relax, you have demonstrated your enormous power to prevent Iran from harming you directly. Don’t even think about the possibility that Iran may have restrained itself in order to facilitate our romance.”

“Your enemy is willing to pull its punches, so your beloved can dissuade you from confronting a nation dedicated to your destruction.”

“Leave Hamas in place. Don’t hit Hezbollah. Don’t provoke regime change in Iran. Don’t impede Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Just relax and tell me the secret of your formidable power.”

Delilah delivers Samson into the hands of his enemy, shorn of his power, blinded and left with only his nuclear option.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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