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Benjamin Netanyahu

'Middle East conflict' describes more than just Israeli-Palestinian dispute

'Middle East conflict' describes more than just Israeli-Palestinian dispute

I heard a TV news anchor say that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington last week to discuss a path to resolving the "Middle East conflict" with the new American president.

That reminded me: I recently received a review copy of "The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict." It looked like a fine book, but that subtitle vexed me. I literally pulled it out of the envelope as the news on TV described some horrible slaughter in Syria. But the Syrian civil war isn't called the "Middle East conflict."

The term has always been a misnomer, making it sound like were it not for the Israeli-Palestinian...

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