Greg Levey: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Greg Levey

Author, Professor, Former Speechwriter, Delegate at the United Nations, and Senior Foreign Communications Coordinator for Israeli Government

Gregory Levey served as a speechwriter and delegate for the Israeli Government at the United Nations and as Senior Foreign Communications Coordinator for Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. He is the author of How To Make Peace In The Middle East In Six Months Or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, and Shut Up, I’m Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned In The Israeli Government. An in demand speaker, he has spoken at dozens of universities, Jewish Community Centers and temples, libraries, churches, and conferences.

In How to Make Peace, his latest hilarious and insightful work, Levey—a thirty-year-old journalist—attempts to solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict himself, within six months. When Levey returned to the U.S. and began to promote his first book, he was deluged with suggestions for solving the conflict. Everyone on this side of the Atlantic seemed to think that they had the solution to the problem—and that, if they were only given the proper resources and about six months, they could fix the seemingly intractable conflict that has plagued the Middle East for sixty years.

So Levey set out on a quixotic, and surprisingly illuminating, quest to make peace himself. Drawing on his broad base of contacts—former White House officials, a few former U.S. presidents, lobbyists, former spies, pro-Israel bigwigs, generals, the Palestinian grocer on his street corner, and dozens of Jewish grandmothers—Levey attempts to find out why the Middle East problem refuses to be resolved, and why everyone thinks they know the answer.

Shut Up, I’m Talking describes how does a New York law student apply for an internship at the Israeli Mission to the U.N. and wind up writing speeches for Ariel Sharon during one the of the most turbulent times in Israeli history and recounts his bizarre and often hilarious journey as an outsider thrust into the nerve center of Middle-Eastern politics.

Levey describes the unbelievable situations he was thrown into over the course of his three years in the Israeli Government—from being the only “Israeli” delegate (even though he’s Canadian) at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, with no idea how “his” country wanted to vote; to nearly inciting an international incident with his high-school French translation of anti-Israel remarks made by an Arab diplomat; to communicating with Israeli intelligence about the suspected perpetrators of suicide bombings; to being offered leftover salami from Ariel Sharon’s lunch. As he got better acquainted with the personalities in the government’s inner sanctum, he realized that he wasn’t the only one faking his way through politics.

Levey embraces the Israeli practice of finding humor in difficulty, offering a thoughtful, irreverent perspective on Israel and the Middle East, and ultimately concluding that the Israeli Government is no place for a nice Jewish boy.

Levy has written for Newsweek, The New Republic, The New York Post, Salon, The Globe and Mail, and other publications. He is now on the faculty of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, where he is an assistant professor of Professional Communication.

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  • The Lighter Side of Diplomacy
  • The Situation in Israel and the Middle East
  • North American Jews and Israel
  • Intercultural communication

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