Henry: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Fri Nov 12 13:41:00 EST 1999

Dear Henry,

>Uh, guy, 

This is such a genteel way of starting a letter. Who were you writing to
with such a tone and why? It would seem to me not fitting for the decorum
of this list.

>I haven't read the books that are being plugged on that
>web-site, and I have no idea whether the summaries offered on the
>web-site are particularly accurate -- but none of that is especially
>relevant to what I was saying.  What I was pointing out is that here
>political Palestinians, who in the normal course of events wouldn't
>particularly care one way or the other about the question of the
>historical accuracy of the Bible, are seizing upon a book which (in
>their own interpretation) argues that David and Solomon and the united
>monarchy never existed (which I consider to be a thesis of
>"minimalism" in a broad sense), in order to bolster their own
>previously-held political views, and propagandize on behalf of the

I sometimes get dumbfounded by the unintentional irony of people's posts.

Is not the trumpeting of "David and Solomon and the united monarchy" in
itself an effort to "bolster their [certain Jews'] own previously-held
political views, and propagandize on behalf of the same". This is the way
of the world, Henry. Dispossessed people tend to do this sort of thing (as
well as dispossessors for self-justification, though the dispossessors'
mythology usually reduces the dispossessed to second class entities along
the way, "in order to bolster their own previously-held political views,
and propagandize on behalf of the same").

People use cultural markers for political and polemic reasons. Those
cultural artifacts do not necessarily reflect history. Taking a historical
approach to the data available, ie literary texts of unknown date of
writing (the earliest exemplars of which come from the last centuries of
the previous era), can you demonstrate that there is sufficient evidence to
even consider such notions as "David and Solomon and the united monarchy"?

People seize upon books so often. Think of those who have seized upon the
Bible for political and polemical reasons. 

I look forward to a more balanced approach in the future from all parties,
once the Palestinians have overcome the pain and anger of being
dispossessed from their lands by the people they will have to learn to live
with -- who in turn had been full of pain and anger for extremely
well-known reasons.

It might be calming to look at the different versions of cultural history
given by the Greeks and the Turks, by the Hungarians and the Romanians, by
the Serbians and the Croatians. Still, I look forward with more hope for
conviviality between Israeli and Palestinian. This has been a much shorter
term conflict, the major problem being that the real conflict (between Jew
and the west has been subliminated and redirected onto the Palestinian, and
the west now washes its hands).



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