This week, Alpher discusses how significant is it that Saudi Arabia has put together a ten-nation Sunni coalition to fight Iran-backed Zaidi-Shiite forces in Yemen; how does one explain Saudi and Egyptian alarm, given that Yemen is a poor, dysfunctional backwater parts of which are virtually unconquerable due to geography; what is unusual about the participation of Turkey, Qatar and Sudan in the Saudi-led coalition; if a joint Arab army is a serious proposition; what the Saudi-led war effort has accomplished thus far and what strategic challenges remain; if a Saudi-Iranian proxy war could spread elsewhere in the Middle East; if there is really solid evidence of Iranian participation on the side of the Houthis in Yemen; the Israeli angle to the Yemen struggle; and if there is a Palestinian angle.
For pro-peace American Jews and Israelis, billionaire Sheldon Adelson is the object of both fear and scorn.
He’s certainly an easy target. Crass and richer than Croesus, he seems to get a blank check for irresponsible remarks, such as calling the Palestinians “an invented people” and advocating a preemptive nuclear strike against Iran. He has made it his mission to thwart a peace deal that would bring a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
APN's Ori Nir will be speaking on a panel discussion with Gabriel Scheinmann at Goucher Hillel, 7pm on March 25th
There were only a handful of Israeli settlers beyond the Green Line in 1968, when Lyndon Johnson became the first American president to express opposition to settlements in the West Bank. Now, despite protest from every subsequent administration, there are more than 350,000 Israelis living in the West Bank and 200,000 in East Jerusalem. President Johnson’s prediction that settlements would “prejudice a peace settlement” has come true, as the dramatic rise of the settler movement—in both numbers and political power—has complicated repeated efforts to achieve a two-state solution. APN"s Lara Friedman, together with other experts on American and European policy explored what steps can be taken to halt further settlement growth and entrenchment, and discuss the political and policy implications of American and European initiatives—from discouragement of Israeli settlement subsidies to the labeling or boycott of settlement goods.
The recent Israeli elections definitively unmasked the real Benjamin Netanyahu.
- Netanyahu cynically campaigned as an adversary of President Obama
- Netanyahu brazenly ruled out a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians
- Netanyahu flagrantly incited racism and intolerance in the Israeli body politic
- Netanyahu shamelessly stoked divisions within the American Jewish community
- Netanyahu recklessly turned Israel into a partisan issue in Congress
On March 18, 2015, the day after Israel's general elections, Israeli political expert Yossi Alpher was APN's guest on a briefing call analyzing the election results.
Washington, DC – Israel’s general election results are
a disappointment for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans. They will undoubtedly make our objective even harder to
Pre-election polls and the overall atmosphere in Israel preceding the elections provided us with hope for a government that would embrace the policies and values that we support. It now seems like Israel’s next government will provide us with more of the same, if not worse.
Moments like this are not new to us. Yes, they disappoint us, but we do not succumb to the disappointment. We know that our fight to secure peace for Israel and its neighbors is a long-term fight. We care too deeply about Israel’s future as a democracy and a Jewish state to cede the struggle over Israel’s future character to the bullies and the bigots, the racists and the ultra-nationalists. We know that the only way for Israel to be loyal to the vision of its founders, to be both a secure, morally sound Jewish state and a democracy, is to end the occupation and reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians and the Arab world. Together with our Israeli sister organization, Peace Now, we will therefore redouble our efforts to advance this objective, serving as a bulwark against the rejectionists and the zealots, true to our core values.
This week, Alpher discusses what happened in these elections*; what the next government is likely to look like; how Netanyahu engineered such a dramatic come-from-behind victory, despite the polls giving Labor (Zionist Camp) an advantage almost until election day; whether there are winners here, besides Netanyahu; how Herzog and Lapid are likely to respond to their setbacks, and what “losers” on the right who are nevertheless likely to join the coalition are going to do; how to explain the phenomenon of Israel's seeming to be set on a right-wing course, with no end in sight; and assuming Netanyahu now forms a fairly cohesive right-wing coalition, what are the main challenges it will face.
On March 13, 2015, APN's Ori Nir was interviewed on Warren Olney's NPR nationally syndicated show, To the Point, to discuss Israel's upcoming elections.