The three factors that gave us the No vote
A statement for our people & our country

Hamas, Iran, Israel & war without end

| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - Numerous articles and commentaries on social and mass media are focusing their attention on the issue of would the Middle East be at peace if Israel vanished.

In this short analysis, I want to discuss three related issues that I believe form the core of present conflict in the Middle East: the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran; the religious rift among Muslims; and the shared animosity of Arab countries against Israel.

The Sunni - Shia religious divide

Just like Christianity has numerous churches and denominations, so the Muslim faith is divided into numerous sects, the two main ones being Sunni and Shia. These sects offer differing interpretations of the Quran, just as numerous Christian denominations have different interpretations of the Bible (such as whether the holy day of worship should be Saturday or Sunday).

Shiites hold that Imam Ali, the prophet's son-in-law, should have succeeded him as leader of the Muslim world and that the prophet's lineage should be the source of future leadership.

Sunnis disagree that a hereditary line of succession should be used to determine Muslim leadership.

There has been and still is carnage as a result of these divisions. In Syris, for example, the conflict involves Shia rebels seeking to topple the Sunni dominated government.

Saudi Arabia is the largest and richest Sunni nation in the Middle East and among Muslims and the richest and most powerful Shia nation is Iran. Both aspire to lead the Muslim world and their opposing religious philosophies prevent them from cooperating in other areas. Both nations provide funding for conflict and unrest in the Middle East.

Iran, for example, is arming and financing the Shia rebels in Syria who are battling the Saudi Arabian-backed government forces, who are dominated by Sunnis. Under the presidency of Donald Trump, the US and Iran collaborated to eradicate ISIS, a Sunni terrorist organisation. So, in light of these factors, how does the conflict between Hamas and Israel conflict make sense?

The Abraham Accord & Iran

The Abraham Accord, a peace agreement signed by Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain and Morocco under the auspices of the Trump administration, was planned to bring about peaceful co-existence between the Arab countries and Israel.

The Abraham Accord posed a great problem for Iran’s goal to become undisputed leader of the Muslim world because of Saudi Arabia’s alignment with Israel as a membership of the Accord. Iran has defied convention by arming and training Hamas militants, a Sunni organisation (noting that Iran is Shia not Sunni).

It seems the Iranian strategy was that an attack on Israel by Hamas would lead to an Israeli rampage which would trigger Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations to take concerted action against Israel. So far this has not happened.

Hamas, Iran & the conflict with Israel

Notwithstanding their differences in faith, Shia Iran and Sunni Hamas share the common objective of eradicating Israel from the Middle East. Hamas opposes a two-state solution where Palestinians and Israelis would coexist. The hatred of Hamas for Israel is so strong it turned to Iran for support despite their religious differences.


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Philip Fitzpatrick

I think you are right William.

I've read that the Israelis always planned to displace the Palestinians. Apparently the plan is to drive them into Syria.

Bibi is simply reviving that old idea. He apparently secretly financed Hamas to give him an excuse to act if you believe the conspiracy theorists.

But isn't that what always happens? In Australia and particularly in Queensland, the plan was to eliminate the Aborigines via genocide.

There's a myth that the British stepped into Papua because of fear of German expansionism but if you delve deeper you discover the real cause of securing British New Guinea was a fear of letting murderous Queensland squatters loose on the Papuans.

William Dunlop

Philip - Are the Israelis following in the steps of the great Genghis Khan in eliminating radical influences in what we now call the Middle East?
History repeating itself?

Philip Fitzpatrick

Nope, supression never works with addicts.

The only solution is to resign from the human race and find a nice little human-free nook somewhere to live out one's days.

Michael Dom

So, I guess that's a different border to the 1967 line supposedly agreed to seven years ago?

But now of course it's more sincere because reasons.

And Phil, I'm afraid your idea of suppression doesn't work.

The evidence, for a start, try wokeism.

Peace and happiness are what we might wish for but security and unpleasant surprises are what we get.

Even the Lord Buddha knew that there was no perfection only practice and, for those who believe, penance.

Lindsay F Bond

Dog's breakfast of pik and god?
For more one quirk, see:

Bal Kama

The conjecture in this article of 24 October 2023 regarding the Hamas-Israel conflict is problematic.

First stating that "Hamas opposes a two-state solution where Palestinians and Israelis would coexist" is unfortunately not correct.

It is a line often used but should not be accepted.

There are many reasons Hamas may have a contrary view; reasons that are not so obvious, including returning the Palestinian land to the 1976 border as declared by the United Nations.

The article further discusses the "hatred of Hamas" without explaining why.

The why is the important bit, including the many UN resolutions on human rights violations against Palestinians.

And now, in retaliation against 7 October's attack on Israel that killed at least 1,139 people, at least 34,904 Palestinians have been killed and more than 8,000 reported as missing.

I have updated Bal's casualty figures as current to 10 May (see the link below) - KJ

Philip Fitzpatrick

After 70 plus years observing the world and all its goings on I’ve come to the conclusion that religion and other superstitions, apart from trying to rationalise our existence, were mainly invented to give us something extra to fight about.

The thought first occurred to me when I was posted to the Western Highlands in the 1960s. Here was a paradisiacal environment with a perfect climate and an abundance of natural resources and yet everyone seemed to be preoccupied with fighting each other.

What on earth are they fighting about, I thought. Shouldn’t they be happy in their pristine environment and get on peacefully with each other?

Maybe their heaven-like circumstances produced some kind of ennui and they quarrelled with their neighbours out of boredom.

That idea sort of made sense when one delved into the cause of the tribal wars.

Something that began as a simple disagreement between neighbours could quickly escalate into full scale warfare and the deaths of many people. And then, of course, the paybacks started, causing even more deaths.

Those simple disagreements between neighbours in other parts of the world more often than not were about religion. Who were God’s chosen and who were not? Who were the righteous and who were the heathens?

Someone’s pig breaking into your garden is no more of an excuse to slaughter your neighbours than is a silly dispute about who is God’s favourite son or daughter. Neither motivation makes sense.

Humans like to fight, however, and they’ll use any excuse to do so. It is their normal state of affairs. It is a proclivity that has to be constantly suppressed.

The level of suppression is a measure of our civility. It is a measure that now seems to be spiralling out of control everywhere, in the Middle East and the streets of the USA and the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

What we need to do as a species is work harder on the job of suppression. To do that we need to remove as many catalysts as possible. Getting rid of religion would be a good start. Building stronger 'banis pik' might help too.

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