Author returns to city to discuss book about Israel

May 18, 2019

Journalist Mark Lavie has covered the Middle East for more than four decades.

Next week, he’ll return to Fort Wayne, where he grew up. He’ll talk about his new book, “Why are we still afraid? A reporter’s 46-year story of Israel growing strong,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the History Center.

The book, released this year, “is a definite link to the way things are now and how we interpreted them or misinterpreted them,” Lavie said by phone this week from his home in Rehovot, Israel.

The book explains how different Israel is now compared with the early 1970s when Lavie moved there. 

Israel was weak but arrogant in the ’70s. It is strong but frightened today, his book says.

The book, more than two years in the making, is based on many articles Lavie wrote that were published in The Journal Gazette. The book is also dedicated to Craig Klugman, The Journal Gazette’s former editor-in-chief.

The book is written in four sections : conflict, society, people and media.

Ehud Olmert, Israeli prime minister from 2006 to 2009, gave the book a positive review. “I salute you for an exceptionally candid and sensitive story,” Olmert said in a letter published on Lavie’s website, www.marklavieauthor.com.

Lavie was born in 1947 in Fort Wayne. His parents were refugees from the Holocaust who came to Fort Wayne in 1941.

Lavie delivered The Journal Gazette at age 12 and wrote for the newspaper’s sports section when he was a student at South Side High School.

After graduating from Indiana University, Lavie was a television news anchor and reporter for WTTV in Indianapolis and WSBT in South Bend.

In 1972, at age 24, he moved to Israel, where he began a long career covering the Middle East for radio and print.

He has reported for NPR, NBC-Mutual Radio, CBC Radio (Canada) and the Associated Press, among other media outlets.

Lavie and his wife of 31 years, Ruth, have four children and 11 grandchildren, all living in Israel.

The last time Lavie was in Fort Wayne was in 2015 to talk about his first book, “Broken Spring.” It tells the story, from Lavie’s perspective as a reporter based in Cairo, of the failure of the Arab revolution known as Arab Spring.