The Mideast is a rapidly developing region, and it takes decades of hands-on experience to understand it. Then it takes decades of explaining it to readers and listeners to make sense of it. That’s what I do.
My public lectures, seminars, closed meetings and briefings are meant to give you the information you need to navigate the stormy waters of news, fake news, faulty analysis, and downright chicanery that dominates the “news” business these days. I spent four decades covering the Mideast before I left daily news in disgust. Or as I prefer to say, I didn’t leave journalism–it left me.
Broken Spring came about because of my frustration with the lousy media coverage of
Arab Spring. I started writing it in Cairo when I was still working in daily news media, a one-person militia trying to maintain proper journalistic standards as the industry deteriorated. Here’s a quick example of what I encountered in my last years.
“Why Are We Still Afraid? is both different and similar to my first:
It’s different in that it concentrates on Israel, incorporating feature articles I’ve written from here over the past 46 years. It’s similar in that it takes the facts first and goes where the facts lead–that Israel has grown strong enough to deal with its problems, foreign and domestic–and the time has come for Israel to act from a position of strength, not fear. One problem is that its present leaders play the fear card to stay in power. Why Are We Still Afraid? tells the stories as they happened, as I reported them in real time, with some explanations and background but without tendentious wax and polish, and welcomes readers to draw their own conclusions.
Then as now, I’m an old-fashioned journalist. Even if I have political views, you won’t know what they are. When I write, when I broadcast, when I speak–I’m not ideological. I am not out to reinforce your dearly held beliefs or to undermine them. I am out to provide facts, background and cogent analysis to allow you to arrive at intelligent decisions. After four decades of reporting from the front lines of the Mideast, usually with a microphone in my hand, I have had unique opportunities to examine, first hand, the assumptions and mantras spread around by armchair “experts” who don’t know a felafel from a taco. And it turns out that many of these assumptions and mantras are false. I’ll tell you why.
You can watch excerpts from one of my lectures in North America here, here and here. The subject is Israel’s 2008 peace offer to the Palestinians. I discovered it — a real scoop — but The Associated Press, my employer at the time, banned me from writing about it. You’ll hear me call this the worst journalistic fiasco I’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be involved in.
You need to know the truth. You’ll hear it from me:
I’m warmly received wherever I went. Here’s a recommendation from Mary Grossman of the Jackson Hole WY Jewish community:
Here are two endorsements from a previous tour:
From Rabbi Jonathon Gross, Congregation Beth Tfiloh, Baltimore:
“I spent this past Shabbos with my dear friend Mark Lavie.
He is an amazing speaker and I highly recommend him. We love listening to him when he comes to Beth Tfiloh.”
From Rochelle Reich of the Asheville, NC JCC:
“Thank you again VERY much for a well done, breath of real and personal honesty. It was truly refreshing to have you share things that the audience both agreed with and didn’t- but in such a way that provoked contemplation and discussion, rather than blocked inability to listen to one another. Your vast experience as a journalist enabled you to easily maneuver between topics and time periods and offer both retrospective and modern perspectives. Thank you! I’m VERY glad that you came here.”
I’m available to visit your community whenever you want. Contact me and let’s get together.