Rula Jebreal (author of Miral) and my friend Daniel Levy wipe the floor with neocons Elliot Abrams and Bret Stephens. (The discussion begins at about 20:00.) Daniel is particularly good at keeping the discussion focused on the question of Palestine. He notes that the hysteria over Iran is being used by Netanyahu to distract attention from the expanding settlements and the dwindling prospects for peace. He also rebuts forcefully the neocon talking points about the alleged support among Gulf Arabs for a war with Iran. Kudos to Fareed Zakaria for hosting a balanced panel, a rarity on mainstream US television, and for beginning the show with a strong statement opposing war with Iran. This, without doubt, is part of the Mearsheimer & Walt-effect.
Daniel Levy, one of the sharpest analysts of US-Israeli relations analyses Netanyahu’s recent visit to Washington. In an insightful piece for Foreign Policy he had already predicted, based on a close analysis of Israel’s internal political dynamics, that it was highly unlikely that Netanyahu was going to attack Iran. The real danger however was that Israel would use its powerful lobby to induce the US to fight another war for it. For now this danger has been averted. But Levy warns that ‘the President may have boxed himself in…All the arguments the President made for why it’s not a good idea to have a strike now apply later on down the line as well. And yet we’re still in a discourse here where rightsizing the Iranian threat is largely out of balance.’