Hamas vs. Fatah: The Strug­gle for Palestine

  • Review
By – January 16, 2012

The Pales­tin­ian world is not unit­ed. Jonathan Schanzer’s new book, Hamas vs. Fatah, proves this beyond any rea­son­able doubt. 

Schanz­er explores the depth of the his­to­ry and the ele­vat­ed degrees of ten­sion which evolved into an inter­nal strug­gle between the reli­gious rev­o­lu­tion­ary extrem­ist Hamas par­ty and the main­stream Fatah move­ment which was cre­at­ed by Yass­er Arafat and is now led by Mah­moud Abbas. 

This book is more than a sim­ple his­to­ry of the devel­op­ment of the two rival Pales­tin­ian groups. Hamas vs, Fatah shows how each move­ment plots the other’s destruc­tion and how they are both com­mit­ted to the down­fall of the other. 

One comes away from this book think­ing that there is absolute­ly no way that Hamas and Fatah will ever come to an under­stand­ing of who the oth­er is and how they can live and serve the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple togeth­er. Hamas believes that they have been duly elect­ed while Fatah believes that Hamas is no longer in a posi­tion of lead­er­ship. Hamas wants influ­ence over the entire Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty and Fatah wants Hamas only in Gaza. 

Hamas vs. Fatah explains in great detail the Ara­bic con­cept of Fit­na, which means inter­nal Mus­lim con­flict. This prin­ci­ple is cru­cial in under­stand­ing the way in which Mus­lim lead­ers make deci­sions — they are pet­ri­fied of the idea of Fit­na and yet, see it hap­pen­ing every­where around them. 

Hamas vs. Fatah is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for any­one who wants to try to under­stand the Mid­dle East and espe­cial­ly the Palestinians. 

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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