Review: In ‘Pumpkinflowers,’ a New Style of Middle East Combat
By Jennifer Senior, Books of the Times
During the 1990s, Matti Friedman and his fellow Israeli soldiers fought in a string of conflicts that never collectively earned a name. These battles existed in historical parentheses, wedged between Israel’s first Lebanon War, in 1982, and its second, in 2006.
But that didn’t make the conflict any less real. At the time, Israel was embroiled in an endless, lethal sequence of skirmishes in southern Lebanon, hoping to secure the border against incursions by Hezbollah. In “Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story” Mr. Friedman has written a top-notch account of this under-analyzed war, persuasively arguing that it heralded a new style of combat in the Middle East, though no one knew it at the time.
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