The unholy alliance between Netanyahu and Hamas

Malmö, Amsterdam, Washington, everywhere both Hamas and the Israeli government are getting precisely what they want: mayhem that clouds what is really going on in their particular corner of the Middle-East. Their joint purpose: to prevent the bloody conflict between them, which has now been raging for more than three quarters of a century, from ending.


No, Hamas would not be known by that name for decades to come, and Bibi Netanyahu was just an incontinent toddler in the years that saw the inception of the conflict that has kept them right at the eye of a media storm that has been raging across the Western world for eight months now. Yet, at its core, this conflict is but a vulgar turf war in the back o’beyond, a feud between tribes that cannot stand the sight of each other, fuelled by doctrines that come straight from the proverbial stone age. Other conflicts, such as the war in Ukraine or the exploding internal violence that is tearing apart tragic Sudan, rich in gold and other precious minerals, are far more important and dangerous to us in the West. They both have genocidal aspects as well. Yet all the media seem to have eyes for is the senseless, endless and hopeless bloodshed that has been going on in and around Gaza.

A cynic might consider this a resounding propaganda success for both parties. The unsavoury gang of thugs called Hamas has succeeded in enlisting the services of parts of academia and the cultural avant-garde of the Western world – an impressive if dismal achievement. Meanwhile the Israeli regime and its out-of-control entourage of colonists has reverted to unabashedly criminal behaviour, while reaffirming the staunch support of groups that matter to them, primarily rich and influential Jewish and conservative Christian religious groups in the United States and the American government. Thus, both sides have created excellent opportunities for themselves to keep stoking the fire indefinitely. Just the haemorrhaging wounds that they have inflicted on each other since the early hours of 7 October 2023 guarantee at least another fifty years of mutual hatred, vengefulness and distrust.

The relentless hatred between Israel and the Palestinians partly stems from deeply entrenched delusions of religious superiority on either side, partly from historical accident. It all began with Zionism, the desire for a homeland of their own that took hold of Jews the world over in the late nineteenth century. This land they envisaged in the territory that had been inhabited by the Jewish people in Biblical times. When Zionism sprang up, the region had been part of the Islamic Ottoman Empire for centuries. Nevertheless, from the early twentieth century the British government formally backed the Zionists’ attempt to colonize the area. Imperial London wasn’t at all averse to a strongpoint manned by culturally Western Jews at a stone’s throw from the Suez Canal, the bottleneck in the lifeline connecting the motherland to both the Arabian oilfields and the jewel in the crown, India.

Although the British had demanded in no uncertain terms that the Zionists respect to the full the civil and religious rights of Palestinians and others who lived in the area, the colonists misbehaved from the start. They saw themselves as God’s chosen people with a God-given claim, those Palestinian desert rats would just have to make way. Unsurprisingly the Palestinians begged to differ. Like the surrounding peoples, they were Arabs and  Muslims, adherents to an aggressively proselytizing faith that has no time for infidels, and felt way superior to those Jewish interlopers.

It didn’t help that the Ottoman Empire of the time was as weary and mouldy as it was big, thus further deepening the intellectual, cultural and administrative crisis that had been crippling Islam at least since the Reconquista. The resulting long lasting frustration eventually sublimated into the culture of resentful victimhood typical of Islam today – an Islam degenerated into a stifling, totalitarian ideology that appeals mostly to losers, while stymieing all emancipation and all real progress, even among parts of the Muslim diaspora.

From the end of World War II, things were complicated further by the poisonous inheritance of the Third Reich: the Holocaust. This unfathomable horror saddled the Western world with an inescapable yet hardly bearable guilt-complex towards the surviving Jews. It led to the immovable conviction that the Jewish people had a right to their own sovereign state, which was then conveniently projected onto the Palestinian lands which had already been partly usurped by the Zionists anyway. There was no way the Arab countries would stand for an onslaught like that on “their” territory. As soon as the state of Israel declared its independence in 1948, they went to war with it. Due to incompetence and inflated ego the campaign ended in a humiliating defeat for the Arabs, and the tragedy of naqba for the Palestinians.

What ensued was the stalemate that both Hamas and Israel want to continue to exist for as long as possible. To the straightlaced, most deeply frustrated Muslim factions the only acceptable solution is for Israel to vanish from the map. Anything less would add insult to injury. This can only be overcome once the Islamic world has progressed sufficiently to be able to shed its joyless and fruitless culture of victimhood and its delusions of grandeur.

Unfortunately this isn’t likely to happen in the foreseeable future. Even the sometimes astounding opulence in some Arab countries stems mainly from essentially parasitic oil-economies. Everything is flown in from abroad, from air conditioners to luxury cars and labour. Tinsel apart, hardly anything is created under their own steam.

That said, Israel has little use for a true solution of the conflict either. As long as the Middle East remains in turmoil, the West will want a strong outpost in the area, just like the British did a century ago. A country that can police the region, helps keeping firebrands such as Iran at bay and does some of the West’s dirty work. Both militarily and economically, Israel lives way above its station. It functions on support from the West, but that support is contingent. Should the Middle-East recover from its current sorry state and get rid of its bad governments and its infighting, then Israel would lose its geo-political significance as well as its aura of continuously threatened but indefatigable David. It would become a somewhat insignificant little country, sporting a strong it-industry and a potential for religious tourism. Politically, it would mainly be a nuisance on account of its nuclear bombs. So rather than annihilating Hamas, Netanyahu wishes to destroy every prospect of a real and lasting peace – And he’s proving quite effective.

Meanwhile, there is no right or wrong anymore in this conflict, morally or otherwise. All parties are up to their elbows in each other’s blood. There are no good guys and no bad guys left, just lots of seriously deranged people. As always, it is the Palestinians, collectively traumatized for generations, who  ultimately foot the bill. Although lately they have become very much en vogue among student protestors and their ilk, nobody really gives a damn about them.