The Israeli/Palestinian issue has seen five conventional wars since 1948 between the Israelis and various coalitions of Arabs in support of the Palestinians. This area also became a proxy war for the West supporting Israel and Russia supporting the Arabs. The Russian bear went into hibernation in 1989, but reawakened with the invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the invasion of Ukraine last year. Although it is a shadow of its former self, it has aligned itself with the next superpower, China, and a bunch of crazy as bat shit nuclear regimes like Iran and North Korea. Meanwhile, China is increasingly flexing its muscle in the South China Sea and ramping up its rhetoric and intimidatory manoeuvres against Taiwan.
Has the outrage by Iran-backed Hamas been carefully scripted by Iran to take advantage of the realignment of world order to force a massive international confrontation. Will history record this as the spark that led to WWIII, like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that snowballed into WWI?
Given China’s leading role in this possible outcome, perhaps it will be called WWXI.
It is with trepidation that I tackle what is going down in Gaza. If I say something vaguely anti-Jewish, I might be subjected to a second involuntary circumcision, if not worse. I could also inadvertently insult Islam and I could have a Fatwa issued against me. Then I would end up like Salman Rushdie, only less famous. Perhaps I might unknowingly insult some radical fundamentalist Christian sect and be subjected to some inquisitional rite of passage, starting with being burnt at the stake on earth as an entrée to being flambe’d by the eternal fires of hell. So, as the coward that I am, I will tiptoe carefully through the minefield of the Abrahamic religions.
|What God Wants…|
God wants peace
God wants war
God wants famine
God wants chain stores
What God wants, God gets
God wants sedition
God wants sex
God wants freedom
God wants Semtex
What God wants, God gets…
“God wants Semtex.” Is a line from a song, What God Wants, by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame off the 1992 album, Amused to Death. The album rails against war, religious dogma and the banality of consumption, materialism and watching TV until we are amused to death.
God is our patsy, the ultimate fall guy. I believe that the gods were created to explain the inexplicable. The crazy thing is that in so doing, we created something even more inexplicable. We had just kicked the can down the road. We can also invoke our god to justify otherwise unjustifiable and evil actions, particularly against people with other gods.
Back to the Jews. The Middle Ages found them in small settlements spread through North Africa, the Middle East and Europe, especially in the east. They became to be the most reviled religious/ethnic /cultural group in the world. In Christian Europe they suffered routine pogroms (a Russian word meaning “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.”), persecutions and expulsions through the centuries. Any or all society’s ills could be blamed on them. They became a convenient whipping boy, and pogroms were routinely visited upon their settlements. The ultimate pogrom came when the Nazis visited the Holocaust on them with the aim of eradicating every single Jew in Europe after having extracted the last bit of value from them, including their gold teeth and hair. This gave impetus to the Zionist movement of the late 1800s, and made the Jews more determined than ever to establish their own safe space. They were rewarded with the splitting of Palestine into two in 1948 by the UN. There immediately was conflict and this has never abated. Although each side believes that their god is the supreme god, ultimately it is a land issue exacerbated by cultural differences and mediated by religious dogma of the orthodox and nationalist Jews on the one side and the Palestinians on the other. The continual intransigence of Israel and the increased marginalisation of the Palestinians in their ancestral lands has led to the rise of the radical Hamas movement.
The attack by Hamas on 7 October was outrageous, and gave Israel the moral high ground in their decades long struggle. But they blew it. Instead of leveraging this, their kneejerk desire for retributive retaliation has made the moral pendulum swing against them. It is promoting anarchy within liberal democracies and a dangerous polarisation in geopolitics which started with the Ukrainian war and threatens to engulf all of us. I believe that the outrage was designed precisely to provoke the massive Israeli response and this is a potential Götterdämmerung purposely scripted by Iran.