Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BC2012: How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less by Gregory Levey

I enjoyed Levey's first book Shut Up, I'm Talking about his experiences as a speechwriter for the Israelis, so I bought this one at a closing Borders last year.

Obviously, the author is engaged in an exercise of futility, and if you can't figure that out at the start, you'll surely realize it by the end. Levey's narrative is very entertaining but ultimately doesn't really explain a lot about the Israeli-Palestinian situation. I think the pertinent chapters of Andrew Mueller's I Wouldn't Start from Here gave me a better understanding of the actual conflict, but this book probes the range of American perspectives. Levey talks to a lot of people in New York and Washington, including lobbyists from AIPAC and their upstart counterpart, J Street, as well as ordinary Jews and Palestinians.

How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less is far from scholarly, and it's probably too lightweight to interest someone deeply concerned about the issue. I learned more about the players involved, particularly in the United States, than I did about the conflict itself or how to go about resolving it. In fact, the more I think about what I learned, the more I realize that I didn't really learn much. The book was fun to read, but I probably won't retain much from it.

No comments: