. The Mad Dogs of Language
The Hamas videotape The Promise opens with four vignettes — barbed wire illuminated by blinding rays of light, a herd of goats with bells around their necks jingling like a bell choir, a flock of sheep flocking, and a group of dogs savagely attacking one another. In light of the initial spectacle of the dogs, it might seem that what is being represented in the rest of the video is not only violation and vengeance but also the wrenching of speech from speechlessness, the deliverance of men from “pure instinct” — the gift of religion — but the rhetoric and reality are so blood-soaked that the process seems aborted or incomplete.
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