- Pathfinder

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

Joe Suh

Friedman argues that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is not a conventional territorial dispute but a complex narrative war in which both sides are fighting to establish their own versions of history, identity, and legitimacy. He argues that the focus on the physical land and borders of Israel and Palestine has overshadowed the deeper cultural, religious, and historical roots of the conflict.

Friedman contends that the international media has contributed to this narrative war by perpetuating a simplistic and biased narrative that portrays Israelis as colonial occupiers and Palestinians as oppressed victims. He argues that this narrative ignores the complexity of the situation and the legitimate claims and concerns of both sides.

Friedman further suggests that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of a broader regional conflict that is fueled by a clash of ideologies, including Arab nationalism, Islamic extremism, and Jewish nationalism. He argues that the resolution of the conflict will require a fundamental shift in the region’s political and ideological landscape.

Overall, Friedman’s essay challenges readers to think critically about the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to avoid oversimplifying the issues involved.