03/14/2006 12:35 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The First Suicide Terrorist


The first suicide terrorist was Samson. In the book of Judges, chapters 13 -- 16, the Jews were oppressed by the Palestinians -- I mean Philistines. For 20 years, Samson resisted that oppression like a one-man Al Qaeda. He killed random Philistinian civilians, and burned their crops and their stored grain. Then, fearing their wrath, he hid out in a cave. But like the USA after 9/11, the Philistines massed their armies and demanded that the Jews turn over the terrorist. Unlike the Taliban, the Jews complied. They went to Samson's cave, since of course they knew where he was, and demanded his surrender. Samson agreed but then was seized by the spirit of G-d and killed another thousand Philistine husbands, fathers and sons. He was finally captured due only to his weakness for Philistine women.

Samson's suicide attack came at a huge party in honor of the Philistinian god of grain, Dagon. Maybe because Samson had destroyed so much grain, the revelers brought him in as part of the celebration. Leaning against a set of pillars that he knew would kill scores of innocent people, Samson's last prayer was that G-d would let him die along with his enemy. His prayer was answered and Samson, along with over three thousand people, more than died on 9/11, perished in a single act of violence.

We, just like the Islamists, celebrate our favorite martyr -- suicide terrorist -- Samson. He is the poster boy for manly strength. We name luggage, weightlifting competitions and hair restoration products after him. We name our largest sons, dogs and most powerful machines Samson. And of course, Hollywood made a blockbuster movie staring the most studly he-man star of his day, Victor "I have bigger boobs than Anna Nicole Smith" Mature.

We all admire strength, self-sacrifice and the triumph of the underdog. We all agree that some folks deserve a big bowl of whop-ass and celebrate those who dish it out. And we all remember that one nation's terrorist is another nation's media idol.