Contributor Archives: Daniel Levy

About Daniel Levy

Daniel Levy is a Senior Fellow at the New America and The Century Foundations and directs their respective Middle East Peace policy initiatives. He formerly worked as an adviser in Israeli Prime Minister Barak’s office and as an official negotiator and as lead Israeli drafter of the informal Geneva Initiative peace plan.

More Than Just a Photo-Op

Barack Obama’s handshake meeting with Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu is not getting nearly the credit it deserves. In fact, Obama’s Mideast peace strategy is far more sophisticated than most observers realize. Headlines are now being prepared following U.S. President Barack Obama’s convening of a trilateral Israeli-Palestinian-American peace summit today in New York. Many will seek to belittle the president’s efforts thus far. The summit was being dismissed as a …

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Grasp the Promise of Annapolis

       By Daniel Levy Even the most hardened of Middle East cynics could be excused for momentarily feeling a fluttering of hope after witnessing the scenes at this week’s peace conference in Annapolis, Md. Israel’s much-maligned prime minister, Ehud Olmert, conducted himself with consummate dignity, displaying a rare capacity to combine unabashed national pride with sincere empathy for the other. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, met Olmert’s outstretched …

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Wanted: An Israeli school of realism

       By Daniel Levy Speaking at the Sharm summit this week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seemed to hit all the right notes – empathy, generosity, a passion for peace. It was a nice speech, lacking only one thing: relevance to the regional strategic environment. This absence of a realist policy outlook is hardly unique to Mr. Olmert. Much of the left still clings to the “heap everything on Abbas’ shoulders” approach that is at least two years past its sell-by date, …

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Plan B on Israel-Palestine

By Daniel Levy The dust is beginning to settle on a new Palestinian reality. Official statements from Washington, Israel, and the new Palestinian government in Ramallah suggest an emphasis on betting everything on the Abbas/Fatah option against Hamas, with goodies for the West Bank, while Gaza is kept on a strict diet. This is the proposed shortcut to a two-state solution. It may sound new, but it’s really the old Plan A on steroids. Martin Indyk came out with a much smarter and more …

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What Next on Palestine: Time to Get Real

By Daniel Levy Hamas is now in control of Gaza after a cruel, if somewhat surprisingly easy, military victory over Fatah. The images coming out of the Palestinian territories have been harsh to say the least and neither side looks good to put it mildly. The spillover to the West Bank, thus far, has been limited to sporadic Fatah-revenge attacks against identifiable Hamas targets. President Abbas has declared a state of emergency and the disbanding of the unity government. These actions appear to …

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If Gaza Gets a Second Chance, Europe Must Act

Daniel Levy argues that “Europe should be pushing a three-point agenda – part it can do alone, and part requires convincing others. First, EU diplomatic engagement with all parties, including Hamas, to promote a stable PA unity government. Second, resume direct financial assistance to the PA and encourage Israel to release Palestinian tax money it is holding. And finally, work with the Quartet and the parties to extend any future Gaza ceasefire to the West Bank.” As Israel and …

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How to Avoid Another Arab-Israeli War: Learning from Winograd

Five lessons can be learned from the explosive new report on Israel’s war with Lebanon. In the interest of avoiding another conflict, we should take them to heart. The Israeli Winograd Committee Report on last summer’s Lebanon war was published today, and it presents Israel with something of a Blackadder moment. During the first world war series one of the recruits tells Captain Blackadder he had wanted to see how a war was fought badly, to which the Rowan Atkinson character replies: …

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