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

James Diddams

One takeaway from Matti Friedman’s article is the framing that the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors is presented through. Israel is shown to be this bully that constantly suppresses the Palestinians for apparently no good reason, but the reality is that allowing a power vacuum in the West Bank or ignoring the presence of Hamas in Gaza would bring existential threats so close to home for Israel as to be intolerable. Israel is a geographically small nation that has very little strategic depth, and so a loss on its borders could instantly trigger an immense crisis. The international community which consistently tells Israel to take a softer approach with the Arabs on its borders, as well as with Iran, act as though Israel has all of the power in the world as opposed to a very delicate position vis-a-vis its neighbors that could very easily be upset. The rest of the world takes the stability of Israel for granted, not seeing the ways in which it could collapse in an instant if threats around Israel are allowed to metastasize.