Blood and Oil in the Orient: A 2023 Update

Blood and Oil in the Orient: A 2023 Update
Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2023). Working Papers on Capital as Power. No. 2023/03. November. pp. 1-13. (Article - Working Paper; English).


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Abstract or Brief Description

The 2023 war between Hamas and Israel elicits many different explanations. As with previous regional hostilities, here too, the pundits and commentators have numerous overlapping processes to draw on – from the struggle between the Zionist and Palestinian national movements, to the deep hostility between the Rabbinate and Islamic churches, to the many conflicts between Israel and Arab/Muslim states, the contentions between the declining superpowers (United States and Russia) and their rising contenders (like China, Iran, Turkey), the rift between western and eastern cultures, and so on.

The experts also highlight the growing importance of local militias – from Jewish settler organizations, to ISIS, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Houthi movement, the Wagner Group and Kadyrovites Chechens – groups that operate under different political, religious and criminal guises, with varying financing and support from local, governmental and international sources to proxy and/or challenge different states.

Our article does not deal with these specificities. Instead of focusing on the particular and unique, we concentrate on the general and universal. Concretely, we argue that the current war between Hamas and Israel shares an important common denominator with prior clashes in the region – namely, that it constitutes an energy conflict and that it correlates with the differential nature of capital accumulation. We coined these two terms in the late 1980s and have studied their underpinnings and implications for the Middle East and beyond ever since. Our purpose in this paper is to highlight our theoretical arguments, update some of our key empirical evidence and show how both the theory and findings apply to the current Hamas-Israel war.



Publication Type

Article - Working Paper


capital as power corporation differential accumulation dominant capital energy conflicts Gaza Hamas Israel Middle East oil Palestine prices Technodollar-Pharmadollar Coalition profit war Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition


BN International & Global
BN Money & Finance
BN Power
BN Region - North America
BN Region - Middle East
BN State & Government
BN Value & Price
BN War & Peace
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Class
BN Comparative
BN Conflict & Violence
BN Cooperation & Collective Action
BN Crisis
BN Distribution
BN History
BN Ideology
BN Industrial Organization
BN Institutions

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

09 Nov 2023 15:07

Last Modified

23 Nov 2023 01:39


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