by Joe Settler
This question is not about the fact that Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen is legally no longer the president of the Palestinian Authority and that the presidency of the PA is now in the hands of Hamas.
If you think about it, this war with Hamas is more a reflection of what goes on in Arab society in general then about destroying Israel.
Only if you understand the fiction that is called Palestine, can you then understand what is really happening in the Middle East.
There has never been a Palestinian state, a Palestinian nation, or a Palestinian people. These are just recent developments and concepts that evolved more as a reaction to what I am about to discuss then from national evolution.
Look around at all the Arab states such as Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. It's all about internecine fighting and the control of one family, tribe or clan over another — and in general the brutal and oppressive methods of keeping that control.
With the exception of Iran (established 1935, but was previously Persia) and Egypt, what Arab state even existed as an identifiably unique entity 100 years ago?
Look at their dates of statehood: Saudi Arabia — 1932, Iraq — 1932, Lebanon — 1920, Jordan - 1946, Kuwait — 1961, Syria — 1946. Until then they were just a bunch of different clans and tribes under the fist of ever-changing rulers, often external ones, with no real individually unique national identity beyond Islam and Arabia.
Even Lebanon which had its period of semi-autonomy and identity was simply one family/tribe such as the Maans or Shihabs gaining temporary control over the other clans..
The people of Palestine (as they are called now), a significant majority the descendents of immigrants from Egypt and the Syrian Levant less than 100 years ago, never had any uniquely unifying elements, history, or culture to join them together as a nation or people besides the same general nebulous Arab/Islamic tribal identity that permeates the entire Middle East.
Until the Arabs attacked Israel and created the "refugee problem", there was nothing historically unique about the Palestinian people to define them as a unique people, so these internal schisms that afflicts the rest of the Middle East affects these Arabs that also live in the Land of Israel.
That affliction is the question of which tribe will rule (or at least have more control) over the others.
And while on one hand you can claim that the division is between the Islamists (Hamas) and the Nationalists (Fatah), it reality they are almost all Islamists and Nationalists.
Most likely it is due to urbanization, but the clan you are born into has become secondary as the extended family/tribal structure breaks down, while the paradigm of the tribe and clan remains in place.
Instead of the traditional family-based clan, the organizational clan has replaced it as the typical clan structure (but not as a national clan concept, just a local one). And all the while, the model of one clan trying to gain superiority over the others is just as strong as ever.
HAMAS NEEDS to fight Israel to show that it is the stronger clan than Fatah — no different than the Shiites and the Sunnis. Both (Hamas and Fatah) want to see Israel replaced by an Arab state, they just disagree on the methods, and which clan should have control.
For all their whining, crying and big talk about Palestine, you don't see a single other Arab nation coming to their aid in their war against Israel.
And why should they?
First of all, Palestine is big in their minds of the Arab people simply because their rulers use it as leverage to keep control over their populations by redirecting their citizen's anger frustration away from their oppressive and backwards regimes and against a third party enemy.
But more importantly this war isn't about defeating Israel.
This is about which clan/tribe is going to defeat the other, Israel being incidental to this battle, and as such not the fight of the other Arab nations.
Which brings us to the actual reason why Hamas is really still fighting.
Shouldn't Hamas have conceded defeat already?
Well if this war was against Israel, then yes, that would be true, but this war isn't against Israel.
THE IDF has frustrated Hamas's plan to militarily wrest control of the West Bank away from Fatah.
If Hamas can't fight Fatah directly and take over the Fatah clan by force, then the next best thing is to win over the hearts, minds and imaginations of the residents of the West Bank and show them that they will fight the common enemy between them and for them — unlike the Fatah clan.
Every day Hamas doesn't give in just means more members of Hamas tribe for them in the West Bank (and among the Arabs citizens of Israel).
No matter how bad their military losses, Hamas is achieving it goals of expanding the size of its clan simply by fighting and hanging on.
Unless Israel realizes this and totally obliterates Hamas, Hamas will have won, and will expand much more easily throughout the land.
Yes, militarily, Israel has unquestionably won, and this war will be taught in war colleges around the world as a classic case study on how a traditional military force can beat a guerilla army.
But Israel did not achieve its objective of defeating Hamas (if that was its objective).
And so while Hamas may have militarily lost this war — big time, they have achieved their objectives of remaining in power, showing they are the only clan (besides Hizbollah) to fight Israel, and most importantly expanding their fan base throughout the Land of Israel.
In short, the Fatah clan remains in power due to the graces of the IDF. If the IDF were pulled out, the Hamas clan would be in control very quickly.
And the answer to question at the top of this post is simple, there is no ruler in Palestine, because there is no a Palestine, just a bunch of clans and tribes, a bunch of loseres which can't accomplish anything in their life except death, war and destruction, fighting each other in a particular geographical region for control.
Joe Settler is a blog about the Jewish State.