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Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle For Palestine Hardcover – 6 Nov 2008

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (6 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230609058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230609051
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,357,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review




'… a long overdue account of the importance of Palestinian politics on the politics of making peace.' - The Jerusalem Post
 
'…for anyone wanting to understand the background to this war and the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book is must reading.' - Washington Jewish Week
 
'Jonathan Schanzer has given us a very important book...accessible, lively, and instructive.' - Luis Fleischman, New Jersey Jewish News 

'This book provides a comprehensive overview of this deep, hidden, bitter and often lethal conflict within Palestinian society' - Colin Shindler, Asian Affairs

Book Description

A gripping history that explodes the myth of Palestinian unity

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book should be read with a good deal of caution. The author delivers sophistic account of the enormously complicated Palestinian/Israeli conflict that borders on propaganda, and certainly does not contain a '...useful history of the Fatah-Hamas struggle.' as the author states. Claims that the Palestinians chose to benignly 'relocate' after the wars in 1948 and 1967, that Arafat planned the Second Intifada, that Israel and the United States had to drag a reluctant Palestinian leadership into the peace process, and the spurious links between Hamas and al-Qaeda do no justice to the validity of the authors overall argument. He reduces complex issues such as the Oslo Peace Accords into neatly segmented 20 page vignettes which gloss over highly important issues for the sake of laying all blame for failure at the feet of the Palestinians, especially Hamas. There is no attempt to provide any form of understanding as to why the Palestinians were/are resisting Israeli occupation. There is no mention of burgeoning West Bank settlements seizing increasing amounts of internationally recognized Palestinian land, the gradual de-population of Jerusalem of its Palestinian residents to ensure that it can never be Palestine's capital, the oppressive nature of Israeli occupation on ordinary Palestinians that directly lead to the outbreak of the First Intifada in 1987 and the persistent question of the right of return to the millions of Palestinian refugees scattered throughout the Diaspora. The issue of suicide attacks is only dealt with in the continuing attempt to demonize Hamas and Fatah and to denigrate the Palestinian version of the conflict and to perpetuate the at times pernicious myth that Islamism = violence.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
In Gaza, June 2007, a high-profile battle broke out between two rival Palestinian factions. Fatah on the one hand was attempting to hold onto power after being defeated in landslide elections the year before by Hamas, and Hamas was now attempting to oust Fatah.

Although the violence was covered by the mainstream media, it seemed that this was merely a brief footnote in the Israel-Palestine conflict which soon passed. But far from it. Far away from the media's everyday coverage of the Jewish-Arab acrimony is another struggle, the struggle for Palestine with a long history. On the one hand, the secular nationalist Fatah (now ruled by Mahmoud Abbas) and Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. (Hamas being an Islamist organisation with terror status from the EU and US.)

Although many in the international community were surprised by the violence, this violence was the culmination of two decades of civil war started in 1987, during the first intifada.

With the over-reporting of the Israel-Palestine conflict in our media, you'd be forgiven for not having picked up on this aspect of Palestinian life. Jonathan Schanzer, a counterterrorism analyst for the US Dept of Treasury and research fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, laments the almost total lack of coverage of such an important story, and briefly goes into the reasons for this, such as a lack of press freedom in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as other reports that attribute this to academics `with an [political] axe to grind'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9028b12c) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x902a4de0) out of 5 stars Opens a new field of research 29 Nov. 2008
By Stuart Berman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Schanzer's new book signals a new field of research namely the internicine fighting between Palestinians. It also sheds fresh light on the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

The book is written in a style that reflects scholarly research and ample end notes although it is easily read by those with a basic interest in the violence in the region.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that is concerned about attacks on Israel, the prospects of peace between Palestinians and Israelis or those who want to learn more about recent history of this region.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9177b4a4) out of 5 stars Inner Conflicts 24 Jun. 2012
By L. King - Published on Amazon.com
The rivalry and subsequent division of the West Bank and Gaza between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, is a significant but often glossed over roadblock, yet it has profound implications for understanding regional politics and the internal failure for the Palestinians to achieve hoped for democratic norms. In other words - they're killing and oppressing each other, both governments are corrupt and nobody gives a s**t. The democratic deficit is appalling. Not as bad as the present situation in Syria or political oppression in Iran, but well within the ME average.

Schanzer's book focuses on largely on the implications of factionalism which is based on a mix of hamullah (clan), family, regional, organizational and
religious differences. Hamas over the years has received a great deal of its funding from the Shia state of Iran, which irritates the local Sunni
community as well as inviting distrust from Egypt, Wahabist Saudi Arabia and the GCC, keeping in mind that these three are wary of each other as well.

Whereas the PA which also had a history with Iran, chose to emphasize its relationship with Iraq, whose conflicts with Iran and the Gulf States strained
relationships with the KSA, the Gulf States (and therefore Jordan) and the West. Hamas has also flirted with Al Queda, for example sending operatives to training camps in Afghanistan. At the Nared al-Baradi UNRA camp in 2007 the purported infiltration of AQ gave rise to a clash using tanks with the Lebanese army leaving dozens dead and many more wounded. Schanzer feels that there is little chance that Hamas would allow an external rival such as Al Queda would be allowed to usurp the in Gaza even though the groups share similar goals and approaches. I was suprised to learn that one of the founders of AQ, killed in Pakistan in 1989, was a west bank member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdullah Azzam, who also was one of the founders of Hamas - had he lived there might have been more concern about cooperation. AQ's goals are regional and grievances span centuries; Hamas is more focussed on the local struggle with Israel. Everyone has their own set of interests - there are always more than two sides.

The book did not contain everything I would have liked, and improvements would have been a look at other actors such as the Bedouin of the Sinai who have been instrumental in smuggling arms, the role of UNRWA both as an enabler and moderator, exploration of the Syrian and Sudanese connection to Hamas as well as the business class in both territories. The discussion of the various clans could have used more depth. Completed in late 2008 just before the start of Operation Cast Lead, it's just a bit dated in terms of current events but still serves as good grounding of where we are at today as, aside from various "unity meetings", the two sides appear as far apart now as they were then.

Now consider the implications of Egypt run by the Muslim Brotherhood, which leans towards Hamas.

An informative read. Recommended.
9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90a38c18) out of 5 stars The truth of the Palestinian political reality 31 Dec. 2008
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Barack Obama should read this book. Also , Hillary Clinton. I would also recommend that Daniel Kurtzer, Dennis Ross, Richard Haas, Martin Indyk read it. In fact I would recommend that all those who have anything to do with the 'peace- process' between Israel and Palestinians read it. And this because it exposes the lie of a moderate Palestinian Fatah, truly ready for peace. And it makes clear just how filled with deceit and hatred Palestinian politics are.
In tracing the historical development of the rivalry and occasionally open physical conflict between the Fatah of Arafat and the Hamas of Sheik Yassin and Haniyeh Jonathan Schanzer gives a close- up look of where the mind and hearts of Palestianian leaders truly have been and are. He shows the process by which 'Hamas' has gradually gained power, replacing Fatah not only in Gaza but in the minds and hearts of the intellectuals of Palestinian society.
He too traces the connections of the Palestinians with other actors in both the Arabic and Islamic worlds. And he indicates the increasing role Iran is playing in the Palestinian story.
This is first- rate research, clearly written.
It also brings us pretty much up to date, and gives a strong sense of the internal Palestinian struggles at this moment.
A must read for anyone who would understand the Middle East today.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x902b1198) out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of the topic 11 Jan. 2009
By Geoffrey Carman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book, learned a fair bit, and left myself tags for reference back to it at later dates.

Well written, scary topic, but an important read.
HASH(0x902b1978) out of 5 stars Five Stars 30 Aug. 2015
By William Wolff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great
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