The Israel-Palestinian Conflict Is Not the Root of the Middle East’s Problems

January 19, 2024 | Matthew Continetti
About the author:

This week, the rich, powerful, and famous gathered in the Swiss resort town of Davos to talk to each other and be photographed by journalists. One of the numerous sessions featured a conversation between the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and the American secretary of state Antony Blinken. While it revealed little about global affairs, it revealed much about the way some prominent people think about them. Matthew Continetti writes:

On the morning Blinken spoke in Davos, Iran launched missiles into Syria, Iraq, and nuclear-armed Pakistan. War rages. What most interests Tom Friedman, however, are the chances for a Palestinian state. He says it’s the key to peace in the Middle East—a position from which he has not wavered, despite all evidence to the contrary, for more than twenty years. Antony Blinken is more than happy to indulge in this delusion.

In a world filled with crises, the U.S. secretary of state has decided to resume a generations-long quest for the diplomatic Holy Grail: a Palestinian state. Governed by whom? His answer is a “stronger, reformed Palestinian Authority that can more effectively deliver for its own people.”

Where will that come from? Jupiter? . . . A Palestinian state is a nonstarter until Israel defeats its enemies, reestablishes deterrence, and evicts UNRWA from the premises.

It was in the Sunni Arab interest to back the “strong horse” of Israel and its ally, the United States, to ward off the Shiite radicals. Nor is the region disintegrating because the Palestinians remain stateless. It’s falling apart because Israel has been weakened and American power has declined. . . .

The transcript of Blinken’s conversation runs for 6,868 words. Israel is namechecked 23 times. Iran is mentioned just six times.

Read more on Washington Free Beacon: