Hard Questions, Tough Answers

Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

March 2, 2015 - Meanwhile, back home in Israel

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This week, Alpher dicusses Netanyahu's approach to rallying support against a prospective US-led nuclear deal with Iran and getting himself reelected back home in Israel by speaking this week to the United States Congress; why Netanyahu can’t affect the nuclear deal and what damage he is doing to the strategic relationship between the US and Israel; What challenges from Iran in the Middle East Netanyahu is neglecting, and how this is related to the US; the Israeli public’s response to Netanyahu’s congressional grandstanding and the administration’s angry reproaches; why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems right now to be all about money and if there is a timely US-Israel angle here too.

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February 23, 2015 - Knesset election assessment

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This week, Alpher discusses the likelihood Israel will produce a government capable of moving forward toward a two-state solution; whether a right-wing-led government is more likely at this point; what, at this point in time, is the most likely coalition to emerge from these elections; what surprises he envisions in these elections; the possibility of the United States and the international community ratcheting up the pressure on the next Israeli government; and what are the consequences thus far of the tension over Iran between Netanyahu and the Obama administration that has reportedly brought US-Israeli relations to a new low.

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February 16, 2015 - With one month to go, Netanyahu’s election manipulations

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With one month to go, Netanyahu’s election manipulations

 

This week, Alpher discusses Netanyahu's real reasons for speaking to Congress next month; the damage the Congress speech initiative has done to US-Israel relations; whether Israel has any serious objective criticism of US policy regarding Iran, or whether it is all election hype and politics; and what message was PM Netanyahu sending the electorate last week, when he attempted to manipulate the Israel Prize for literature and weaken “leftist” trends?

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This week, Alpher discusses Jordan being dragged into the Syria conflict on the ground in response to the Islamic State’s horrific execution of its pilot; how the escalated fighting in Sinai between the Egyptian army and Ansar Beit al-Maqdes, which has pledged fealty to Islamic State, affects Israel; whether Israel is affected by Russia’s economic crisis; and offers an election update

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Codes of violence

This week, Alpher discusses whether there are new components to the Israeli-Hezbollah equation and if the attack of the IDF convoy is the end of this round of violence between them; how that relates to Iran; how Alpher understands the Washington Post’s revelation that the CIA and the Mossad collaborated in the 2009 assassination in Damascus of Hezbollah military chief Imad Moughniyeh; what his take on the film American Sniper and its controversial view of several aspects of US military involvement in Iraq; and why the recent Houthi coup in Yemen brings back interesting memories among a select group of Israeli security veterans.

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This week, Alpher discusses the repercussions of the invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress; the Mossad advisory against escalating sanctions and Israel’s tactics against Iran; the attack last week across the Golan border that was attributed to Israel that resulted in the death of an Iranian Quds Force general; strategic ramifications for the elections given the united electoral list of Arab citizens of Israel and the Labor primaries having produced a list with an unusually large, young contingent of women reform advocates; the strategic balance sheet that King Salman inherits after the death of Saudi King Abdullah last week and a coup staged in Yemen by a Zaidi-Shiite sect;

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January 19, 2015 - New fronts of warfare: the Golan, the ICC and more

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This week, Alpher discusses the Israeli Air Force helicopter strike in the Golan; the broader strategic implications; the announcement last week in the Hague that the International Criminal Court was launching a preliminary inquiry to determine whether to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by Israel in last summer’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza; and why “Charlie Hebdo” drew so much more international attention than far more extensive Islamist atrocities perpetrated almost simultaneously by Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Qaeda and the Shiite-affiliated Houthis in Yemen

New fronts of warfare

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January 12, 2015 - The Paris attacks and the Islamist threat, election update, and more

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 This week, Alpher discusses the attacks in Paris, and Netanyahu's comparison of Israeli and French victims of terror; confronting the Islamist threat; and notable developments of recent weeks that can be understood to suggest strategic political trends in upcoming elections.

 

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January 5, 2015 - the PLO at the UN, Palestinians at the ICC, and the 50th anniversary of Fateh

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This week, Alpher discusses why the PLO toughened its statehood resolution at the Security Council at the last minute instead of waiting a few days for a friendlier roster of Council members; whether, with France voting for the resolution and the UK abstaining, if this is a breakthrough for the cause of Palestinian statehood at the level of international institutions; what is likely to happen now that the Palestinians are going to the International Criminal Court; possible US and Israeli punitive measures against the Palestinians’ UN and ICC moves; what does the Fateh movement, the mainstay of the PLO and PA, and which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on January 1, have to show for its efforts and how do they tie in with the UN and ICC; and -- what about Israeli elections?

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December 29, 2014 - End of year summary, strategic developments in the Middle East, and more

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This week, Alpher discusses the primary strategic developments in the Middle East in 2014 from Israel’s standpoint; strategic lessons do you draw from Secretary Kerry’s peace process failure and the Gaza war; the US-IS conflict that emerged in 2014; the revolutionary situation in general in the Arab Middle East and US-Iran negotiations; the worsening of Israel’s growing isolation; and the bottom line for the Middle East in 2015.

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