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How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less: Without Leaving Your Apartment

av Gregory Levey

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
273862,694 (2.92)7
Gregory Levey's modest goal is to solve the Middle East conflict--all by himself. After returning to North America following a stint in his midtwenties writing speeches for the Israeli government--first at the United Nations and then for the prime minister in Jerusalem--he thinks he is leaving the madness of the Middle East conflict behind. But nothing could be further from the truth. Levey soon discovers that everyone on this side of the Atlantic seems to think that they have the solution to the intractable conflict--and they all feel the need to tell him about it. Fatigued by the endless debate, the constant hostility, and the cacophony of shrill voices, he decides that the only way he is going to escape it all is if he solves the conflict himself, once and for all. So Levey sets out on a hilarious, quixotic, and surprisingly illuminating quest to broker a peace deal where a long line of world leaders have failed. Interacting with White House officials, DC lobbyists, congressmen, advisors to presidential candidates, high-profile journalists, secretive fundraisers, former Israeli spies now living in North America, and hundreds and hundreds of Jewish grandmothers, Levey tries to understand why the Middle East situation refuses to be resolved, and why so many people who live a world away are so obsessed with it. He combs through theories ranging from the eminently reasonable to the completely insane, engages in virtual peacemaking simulations, investigates an "online suicide bombing," spends time with a former advisor to Yasser Arafat, undergoes training with a half-baked Jewish paramilitary group, goes undercover as an Evangelical Christian, and somehow ends up at a real-life castle owned by an eccentric, cape-wearing crusader for peace. In How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, Levey brings his trademark brand of street-smart levity to a situation that many see as hopeless-- and thereby reveals the very human and sometimes very silly side of a brutal, decades-old geopolitical conflict. Along the way, he meets a cast of characters that would be outright funny if the situation weren't so dire. The result is a fast-paced, humorous, and insightful romp through U.S. policymaking in the Middle East.… (mer)
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This book is hard to categorize because it takes a tongue-in-cheek look at a very serious issue. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who wants to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, it really shines in examining how groups and people outside of the Middle East view the issue and why they care so much...worth reading for that aspect. ( )
  LynnB | Feb 7, 2017 |
Gregory Levey brings humor to the Israel/Palestine issue while presenting various sides of the issue through a number of interviews. As he says at the outset, he (like anyone else would) brings his own biases to the table.
For the me the most interesting point he makes is how much people who don't live in the region care about what happens in Israel and Palestine. I'd recommend it if you want a quick, lighthearted look at different perspectives on the peace process without expecting anything life-changing. ( )
  monzrocks | Nov 12, 2010 |
A reasonably funny work, but totally insubstantial. The author goes to various events and has conversations with a variety of people, not uncommonly just friends of his who may or may not have political connections, even talking at one point to a grocer of Palestinian descent, though mostly to Israelis and pro-Israel activists. But as the title implies, this is not a work to be taken seriously. It's humor with a light sprinkling of information thrown in, with surprisingly less pro-Israel bias than I expected. In truth, I didn't expect to find a single thing in this work that I wasn't already familiar with, but I had not heard about the Jewish community on Second Life, and that part alone was surreal and interesting, if not of any real significance.

The author may either be disappointed or pleased that he is now one of the many people involved in the conflict who qualify as "making a living off of it". Perhaps he'll feel a mixture of both, or perhaps he'll feel disappointed until his first royalty check clears and pleased afterwards. But at least his work isn't one of the more vile, disingenuous efforts put out to incite hatred of one side or another. He deserves some credit for that, especially since that seems to be a thriving industry these days. ( )
1 rösta IbnAlNaqba | Oct 1, 2010 |
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Gregory Levey's modest goal is to solve the Middle East conflict--all by himself. After returning to North America following a stint in his midtwenties writing speeches for the Israeli government--first at the United Nations and then for the prime minister in Jerusalem--he thinks he is leaving the madness of the Middle East conflict behind. But nothing could be further from the truth. Levey soon discovers that everyone on this side of the Atlantic seems to think that they have the solution to the intractable conflict--and they all feel the need to tell him about it. Fatigued by the endless debate, the constant hostility, and the cacophony of shrill voices, he decides that the only way he is going to escape it all is if he solves the conflict himself, once and for all. So Levey sets out on a hilarious, quixotic, and surprisingly illuminating quest to broker a peace deal where a long line of world leaders have failed. Interacting with White House officials, DC lobbyists, congressmen, advisors to presidential candidates, high-profile journalists, secretive fundraisers, former Israeli spies now living in North America, and hundreds and hundreds of Jewish grandmothers, Levey tries to understand why the Middle East situation refuses to be resolved, and why so many people who live a world away are so obsessed with it. He combs through theories ranging from the eminently reasonable to the completely insane, engages in virtual peacemaking simulations, investigates an "online suicide bombing," spends time with a former advisor to Yasser Arafat, undergoes training with a half-baked Jewish paramilitary group, goes undercover as an Evangelical Christian, and somehow ends up at a real-life castle owned by an eccentric, cape-wearing crusader for peace. In How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, Levey brings his trademark brand of street-smart levity to a situation that many see as hopeless-- and thereby reveals the very human and sometimes very silly side of a brutal, decades-old geopolitical conflict. Along the way, he meets a cast of characters that would be outright funny if the situation weren't so dire. The result is a fast-paced, humorous, and insightful romp through U.S. policymaking in the Middle East.

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