Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Sources Of The Conflict
Plus: Hitch On Why The Mullahs Must Not Be Allowed To Get The Bomb

"Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations."
- Yasser Arafat (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1994)

This is a semi-re-post. But it's occurred to me that a quick glance of the founding documents of the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples might yield some insight into the causes of the conflict.

From the Charter of the extremist Palestinian Party which controls Gaza, Hamas
  • Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

  • There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

  • After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates … Their plan is embodied in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'.

From the Constitution of the moderate Palestinian Party which controls the West Bank, Fatah
  • Goals
    • Eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.

  • Method
    • Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine.

  • The Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished.

From the Proclamation of Independence of the State of Israel
  • Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland.

  • In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.

  • On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State … This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.

  • The State of Israel … will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

  • We appeal - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

  • We extend our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

Having made my point about the source of "the conflict," I'll add that I'm very glad that both parties have recently resumed direct talks. The Palestianian people deserve a whole lot better than they've gotten in the last 62 years. And we can dream of a day when the Israelis can be safe and at peace after 62 years of unending assault. "Next year in Jerusalem," as they say – with the Israeli and Palestinian people living as neighbours and friends.

…Unless, of course, they are all annihilated in a second (nuclear) holocaust next year, because of the world's refusal to confront another Jew-reviling madman at the head of a military dictatorship.

by Christopher Hitchens

The keyword of the current anguished argument – the word existential – is thought by a strategic majority of Israel's political and military leadership to apply in its fullest meaning. To them, an Iranian bomb is incompatible with the long-term survival of the Israeli state and even of the Jewish people.

If the Iranian dictatorship succeeds in "breaking out" and becoming a nuclear power, the following things will have happened:

  1. International law and the stewardship of the United Nations will have been irretrievably ruined…
  2. The "Revolutionary Guards," who last year shot and raped their way to near-absolute power in Iran would be immeasurably enhanced…
  3. The power of the guards to project violence outside Iran's borders would likewise be increased. Any Hezbollah subversion of Lebanese democracy or missile attack on Israel; any Iranian collusion with the Taliban or with nihilist forces in Iraq would be harder to counter in that it would involve a confrontation with a nuclear godfather.
  4. The same powerful strategic ambiguity would apply in the case of any Iranian move on a neighboring Sunni Arab Gulf state… which is why so many Arab regimes hope – sometimes publicly – that this "existential" threat to them also be removed.
  5. There will never be a settlement of the Israel-Palestine dispute, because the rejectionist Palestinians will be even more a proxy of a regime that calls for Israel's elimination…
  6. The concept of "nonproliferation," so dear to the heart of the right-thinking, will go straight into the history books along with the League of Nations.

Here's another one on the same topic that may be even more chilling . . .

  excerpts     hitch     holocaust     iran     israel     middle east  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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