None of this addresses the problem at the "tectonic level," if you will. For this, one must turn to the unique revelatory witness of the canonical New Testament for the deepest anthropological underpinnings of human culture, human interactions, human violence. And, in the service of the Magisterium of the Church, no one has explicated the ramifications of biblical understanding in anthropological terms better than René Girard. If you don't know a thing about Girard or are convinced that your mentor/interpreter of human life is much better than Girard, c'est la vie.
This blog is not an apologetic, but a forum for "Squaring the Circle of Our Rad Trad Catholic Girardian Conserberalism." So, in the words of Father Goose, if you don't happen to like (us), pass (us) by.
Hamas and Fatah, structurally, are rivals. To the observer, one would have a difficult time discerning many differences in them. Both lay claim to leadership via authority from the people and, more importantly, from Allah. Both see Israel an abomination to Islam. Both strive to observe Shariah, with subtle and slight differences that are hardly noticeable. And that is the issue: a crisis of distinctions. That which causes conflict is not difference but similarity. As Girard notes:
Sometimes the cause is internal -- political disturbances, for example, or religious conflicts. Fortunately, we do not have to determine the actual cause. No matter what circumstances trigger great collective persecutions, the experience of those who live through them is the same. The strongest impression is without question an extreme loss of social order evidenced by the disappearance of the rules and "differences" that define cultural divisions. Descriptions of these events are all alike ... We should not be surprised since all the sources speak endlessly of the absence of difference, the lack of cultural differentiation, and the confusion that results. For example the Portuguese monk Fco de Santa Maria writes in 1697:What terrifies the onlooker is that one worries with a not-insignificant fear that what is happening in Gaza (or Sarajevo not so many years ago) may happen in Paris, in Madrid, in New York, or Dearborn before long. What happens when ad-hoc "priests" (aka "street youth") light very dry tinder near me? Thus, Girard lays open the anxieties of the post-modern western person who is beginning to realize with Girard that the inchoate fall-back religion of the human race is not a sweeping, Rousseau-esque "Co-Exist" naïveté of so many New Age bumper-stickers, nor is it the Golden Rule (that is a hard-fought value as every Christian parent knows).
As soon as this violent and tempestuous spark is lit in a kingdom or a republic, magistrates are bewildered, people are terrified, the government is thrown into disarray. Laws are no longer obeyed; business comes to a halt; families lose coherence ... Those who were burying others yesterday are themselves buried today ... No pity is shown to friends since every sign of pity is dangerous.
Rather, the natural and fallen human religion is bloodthirsty, violent, and sacrificial -- other, not self-. The anthropology of the Bible knows this. The deposit of the faith safeguarded and dilegently taught by Mother Church knows this. Modern westerners have forgotten or rejected this, and those not under the influence of Christ's teaching never knew this.
The "crisis of distinctions" in Girard's stunningly accurate analysis is the world we now live in. How we shall address this crisis when it draws near to us is the task given us to perform.