Charismatic British-Israeli peacenik Daniel Levy made a remarkable presentation this morning, at a big conference on US-Israeli relations organized by the extremely rightwing, pro-Israeli think-tank, the Hudson Institute.
Luckily Matt Duss of the Center for American Progress’s Wonk Room was there to video and verbally describe the highlights for the rest of us.
If you scroll down Matt’s blog post there to the 6-minute video you can enjoy not just Daniel’s great presentation but also the extreme discomfort of his fellow-panelists Doug Feith and the equally craven Bob Lieber. It is also kind of fun to see Daniel speaking his mind about the disaster of the current Israeli government’s policy while many iterations of the Hudson Institute’s logo are waving around behind his head.
Scroll down even further for the handily provided actual transcript of what he said.
Talk about Daniel in the den of lions, eh?
So okay, here is my big confession. I was actually at that same conference– until just before Daniel and Co. got to speak; but I had to duck out just before their panel started.
I was there, however, for the peroration made earlier by Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, who until recently worked under some degree of cover as a ‘neutral’ (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) US historian of the US’s Middle East policy.
The heart of what Oren had to say was a fuller, verbal elaboration of the theme he introduced in this recent article in The New Republic:
- Where Ahmadinejad leaves off, the Goldstone Report, or, as it is officially called, the “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” persists…
The Goldstone Report goes further than Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews not only of the ability and the need but of the right to defend themselves. If a country can be pummeled by thousands of rockets and still not be justified in protecting its inhabitants, then at issue is not the methods by which that country survives but whether it can survive at all. But more insidiously, the report does not only hamstring Israel; it portrays the Jews as the deliberate murderers of innocents–as Nazis. And a Nazi state not only lacks the need and right to defend itself; it must rather be destroyed.
Oren is a sad, sad, and deeply wounded guy if he can even imagine such an accusation against Judge Goldstone.
That is why I am really glad that his sick ranting was followed, in short order, by the eminent good sense from Daniel Levy.
I wish Oren could have stuck around to hear Levy. But he, too, had to duck out. His driver nearly ran me down as I biked away from the Hudson Institute.