- Pathfinder

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

Arielle Del Turco

Matti Friedman’s column is inspired and clarifying. Just by casually viewing or reading the news (which may have been my primary source of information about the “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” until recent months), you would absolutely believe, as Friedman suggests, that the conflict is only between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people and that as the more powerful party, Israel has more responsibility to end the conflict. Yet, this is easily debunked. The fact that most of the wars Israel fought were actually against Arab states, not Palestinians, is very telling. The picture is bigger than the narrative we’re often sold. Because Israelis have a “zoomed-out” perspective they see security risks caused by a possible Palestinian state (and subsequent power vacuum) that could be caused by Russia, Iran, ISIS, and Hezbollah. This informs Israel’s actions, and we can’t effectively grapple with the situation if we don’t recognize that. My key takeaway from Friedman’s column is that regional context matters, and you can’t understand the full truth about the “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” (for lack of a better term) without it.