SAMSON ET DALILA
A war for public opinion
Inspired by the Biblical story of the Israelites bondage to the Philistines, was not the conflict, which opposed Samson against Dalila, essentially political? Two peoples disputing the same land, the sons and daughters of an immemorial hatred, carried forward despite them by the torrents of spilt blood. Politics has personal repercussions: hasn’t Dalila lost a child to the war? Is it not that which fills her heart, the pain of loss and hatred? Samson, at the end of his strength, begs his god to come to his aid to give him the strength to destroy his enemies in exchange for sacrificing his own: “Those he killed at his death outnumbered those he had killed in his life.––Judges 16:30-31.”
Victor Hugo: “From yesterday’s oppressed, tomorrow’s oppressor.” And thus the wheel turns.
May 14th, 1948, Israel proclaims its Independence. September 17th, 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte, United Nations Mediator and nephew of King Gustav V of Sweden, is assassinated by Zionist militants in Jerusalem. At the end of the Second World War, Folke Bernadotte succeeded through negotiations with Himmler to save tens of thousands of Jews from extermination by evacuating them to Sweden. Hatred creates victims far beyond its borders.
An opera addresses a given public, which quenches the thirst of a given culture within a circumscribed period of time.
In 1994, the Nobel peace prize is conjointly awarded to Shimon Peres, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin. These ancient enemies shake hands before the cameras of the entire world. Tremendous hopes for peace. November 4th, 1995 Rabin is assassinated by Ygal Amir.
For over sixty years the conflict between Israel and Palestine has been at the forefront of international politics and has divided the world in two. Information plays a critical role in determining who will win the media war and, consequently, who will win the war of public opinion. By sitting in front of their television sets are viewers still able to feel concerned? Horror in the long run loses its impact.
A high metallic wall, which separates fellow human beings, by sending back to them reflections of their humanity.
Pulling on the rope of territorial claims.
Lamp posts made of barbed wire, strangely beautiful, strangely cruel.
Refusing to speak for the benefit of action.
Martyrs. Sacrifices. Suicide-bombers. Diplomatic ballet. Gods. Media.
To address the cause, whatever the costs. Fighting for public opinion.
Children born out of hatred. And those born out of hope.