As the pawns which they have long been of those powerful nations who crave control of the Middle East, the nations of the region continue to hammer away at each other at greater and greater cost.
The terrorization of their non-combatant populations and the spawning and nurturing of viciously fundamentalist entities and their outflow to other parts of the world continue apace.
While more recently the resurgent cold war ambitions of Putin's Russia have diverted the focus of combat and big power political influence to Syria, it is Israel that will remain at the core of resentment, military ambition and terror in the region for a long time to come.
The blame for this is commonly assigned to the hardline leadership of Israel's Netanyahu, Palestine's Abbas, Syria's Assad, Iran's Ayatollahs and the ascendant terrorist militias. Which avoids having to acknowledge, let alone deal with, what is propping up this kind of leadership and what still incites them to regard their key backers with such deep suspicion and mistrust.
Since the creation in 1947 of the sovereign state of Israel out of a huge slice of Palestine, in a wave of largely confected sympathy in the Christian West for what was done to the Jews by Hitler, both of the immediate sides to the ensuing conflict -the Israelis and the Palestinians -have time and time again had their claims and their aspirations betrayed in the interest of furthering, on the broader international stage, the power and influence of their backers. At stake was and still remains control of the hugely profitable oil-rich Arab States - created by key Western colonial powers led by Britain. Right from this beginning, the Israelis were confronted with an attempt by key elements of those nations backing the creation of their state to, at the least, seriously weaken its viability.
These elements managed to arm the new Israel's understandably angry Arab neighbors to the teeth, while obstructing efforts to protect the fledgling state. Though desperate for arms and effective political support, Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, found himself having to first assure the West that he was not about to accommodate communist Russia's willingness to fill these gaps. Ben Gurion would perhaps have regarded this nonsense as just another inept mask for unabated anti-Jewish feeling throughout the Christian West.
Yes, this was a long time ago, but not so long in terms of what the Jews have endured, and survived, since the casting out of the Judaean Jews from the Land of Israel after revolts, in CE 66 - 70 and CE 132 - 135, against the pagan rule of Imperial Rome, and the destruction of their great Temple in Jerusalem. The very Temple which had been inspired by David, completed by his son Solomon in 827 BCE (both Jewish kings revered equally by Jews, Christians and Muslims - to the latter of whom they are Dawud and Suleiman), destroyed by the Babylonian's Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE and which, after centuries of periodic persecution, was rebuilt by Herod the Great, Rome's vassal Hasmonean King of Judea, who was raised as a Jew, during his 37-4 BCE reign.
Since the inception of the Church of Rome, and as long as it suits the fundamentals of Christian doctrine, the Jews will, for many, remain outcasts. In the betrayal stakes, the Israelis and the Palestinians have a lot of history to brood over. Such as, for the Israelis, a number of plausible versions of key moments in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Including the one in which Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, while delaying the provision to Israel of vital intelligence about Egyptian-led plans to invade them, was backing the provision to Egypt of equally vital intelligence regarding Israel's seriously unprepared military resources and deployments. A political play so fraught with competing consequences for good or bad timing that the remarkably well-protected and well-resourced Egyptian plan actually had a chance of succeeding.
At a desperate point, while Nixon and Kissinger were fiddling and when Israel's Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan, may have been broaching with Prime Minister Golda Meir the unthinkable possibility of negotiating terms with the Arabs, Nixon's Chief of Staff, Alexander Haig, acting without the knowledge of Nixon, Kissinger or even the Defense Secretary Schlesinger - authorized an airlift to Israel of military materiel including, remarkably, the US Army's newly developed top secret TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) missiles.
The ensuing destruction of what had been Egypt's overwhelmingly superior tank force quickly turned the tide in Israel's favor. Haig, so this version indicates, kept to himself what he had done (presumably in the President's name) until after it was accomplished. Leaving the notoriously anti-Semitic Nixon and his abjectly sycophantic Kissinger hardly able to condemn it - at least not publicly. The Israelis prevailed, but only just, and the potential for a catastrophic bloodbath within their borders was averted.
Among rewarding exchanges with him about my book - 'Waiting 'Round The Bend' - the eminent American critic of US foreign policy, Noam Chomsky, though hardly a darling of the American right, took the conservative view of Kissinger's role. In an email dated December 21, 2017, he averred: "In '73, Israel intelligence had all of the relevant information and chose to disregard it in that period of euphoria. Kissinger backed Israel all the way, from its rejection of Sadat's peace offers from February '71, to authorizing Israel to violate the '73 ceasefire so as to surround the Egyptian third army ... He shared Israel's convictions about Arab incompetence, and bore considerable responsibility for the war by rejecting Sadat's peace initiatives and dismissing his repeated assertion that if the US-Israel continued to reject peace and to carry out the huge settlement programs in the Sinai, he would go to war."
Whatever the truth of the Yom Kippur War, this and further DNA-searing examples of perceived betrayals will continue to produce and support hardline leadership in Israel and to reinforce an enduring belief that anti-Jewish feeling around the world remains as strong as ever. Not, perhaps, quite so openly proclaimed as it once was, but just as mindlessly out there.
At the time of the creation of the State of Israel, the remnants of Palestinian territory achieved neither statehood nor the means with which to satisfy wholly just Palestinian aspirations for improving their status on the world stage and the quality of their lives.
Since then, their backers throughout the Muslim Middle East have preferred to institutionalize Palestinians as refugees in order to harness desperate Palestinian youth to what morphed into an Islamic war against Israel and its principal backers in the West.
With the emergence of successively better equipped and trained fighters, and careless Western leadership - especially in the USA and Britain - this has achieved results beyond their wildest dreams. Results which led directly to the serially stupid USA-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the collapse into dreadful disarray of Tunisia and Libya, and the ensuing flashpoints between Russia and the West, and now Turkey: Syria. In which the Americans - as the professed leaders of the free world - yet again proved to be catastrophically inept. All of which has greatly increased hostility and diminished moderation in the region and contributed to the emergence, in 2017, of the most immoderate and willfully ignorant presidency -Trump's- ever seen in the USA.
Understanding as they do these and related root causes of the ever growing conflict in the region, the Netanyahus and Abbas's of today and tomorrow have very little cause to let their guards down.
Little cause, that is, to do anything other than hold on until, say, the Old World values of the Muslim-dominated Middle-East, and the New World values of the Christian dominated West have reached some kind of accommodation.
This could be very long in coming, given that the hatreds arising from all of this are based on fundamentalist religious beliefs wherein, on the one hand - the Middle East - the Word of the Prophet has not yet been separated from the Will of the People and, on the other - the West - the separation between Church and State (the People) has had several centuries to mature.
Even more so given that the big players in the Middle-East have not yet been able to get past a belief, steeped as it so damnably is in the newly dusted-off chimera of the 'Warrior', that ultimate victory of one over the other can still, somehow, be achieved by force.
There was a time of hope, during the Obama years of informed diplomacy, reason and restraint, that this could be changed. But it would have only been possible had there been at the same time a Gorbachev in Russia and matching moderates of good will throughout the Middle East, Iran and Turkey.
Instead, we have the likes of Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Rouhani, the Al-Saud dynasty and the ever shrinking violets of Europe.
Howard Debenham is a former career diplomat and author of 'Waiting 'Round The Bend - A life in Australia's Foreign Service' who now lives in Batemans Bay.