- Pathfinder

Reply To: What were some of your primary takeaways after reading Matti Friedman’s “There Is No ‘Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’”?

Katherine Helmick

Before I understood many details about the conflict, Israel had my support because they fought to defend themselves. The reasonableness of their position seemed so obvious to me that it was difficult to understand how so many people could find fault with them. This editorial helped me to understand both what makes people oppose Israel, and why that opposition is based on a misunderstanding. When Friedman pointed out that Israel sees itself surrounded by enemies, I realized that some people consider Israel the aggressor simply because its army is stronger, larger, and better equipped than the Palestinians. From this point of view, Israel is ungenerous at best for not making more concessions. Friedman dispels this misperception by explaining how Israel must look beyond Palestine, to the Arab neighbors waiting in the wings. While many perceive Israel as holding the upper hand in the immediate conflict with Palestine, we must remember that Israel is heavily outnumbered in the regional conflict encompassing the Middle East.