Daniel Levy was born and raised in the UK but has grown to prominence as an immigrant to Israel who was a drafter of, and advocate for, the Geneva Accord (the unofficial agreement negotiated among prominent Israelis and Palestinians in 2003 as a detailed model for an actual peace treaty). He has since moved to Washington, DC to continue his work for Israeli-Arab peace as a policy analyst and activist involved with building a dovish alternative pro-Israel lobby that has been associated in the media with George Soros.
The various reactions to Professors Mearsheimer and Walt on the “Israel Lobby,” which Levy helpfully links us to, remind me of the proverbial committee of the blind examining an elephant. Although Levy admits that M & W overdraw the extent of “Israel Lobby” influence on Iraq policy, his focus is on how the Lobby inhibits a more assertive and positive role for the US in Israel-Arab peacemaking. A must-read at the Americans for Peace Now website is a closely reasoned analysis by stalwart peace advocate Leonard Fein who ably and forcefully refutes the M & W thesis on the Lobby’s impact on Iraq. (I found the review by Jeffrey Goldberg in The New Republic emotionally satisfying, but Goldberg did not get into the fine points with the detail that made Fein’s critique so effective.)
Levy’s not wrong on the facts, but I feel he’s politically misguided. We have a right as Jews and Zionists to feel threatened and insulted by M & W’s work. I want to say, “Where’s the outrage?” Levy expresses outrage for the Lobby but not M & W. Leonard Fein, with the same political values and outlook as Levy and therefore just as skeptical a view of the Lobby, is outraged by M & W. While I understand where Levy is coming from (he feels engaged in a political struggle–in Israel and in the US–against many of the same people assaulted by M & W), I personally lean toward Fein.