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.

November 28, 2016 - Forest fires raise strategic issues; so does Golan clash with ISIS

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses what we have learned from Israel's recent emergence from a week of battling massive forest fires; climate change as a national security issue for Israel; "pyro-terrorism;" the state of Israel’s emergency services; the strategic significance of all this regional and international aid to Israel for the fires; and how significant is Sunday's IDF clash with an ISIS force on the Golan.

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses how the Levant is reacting as President-elect Trump announces key appointments; the reaction in Israel to Trump’s indication of the far-right direction he plans to follow; the striking exception to the pro-settler sentiments and atmosphere encouraged by the Trump victory; whether the Trump victory atmosphere will affect the upcoming Elor Azaria verdict; a seeming fixation with the Mediterranean and what can be learned from it.

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November 14, 2016 - Trump and the Middle East

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses if it's possible that the Middle East contributed to Trump’s election victory; contradictions in Trump’s Middle East policy positions; whether Trump’s demand that countries like Japan and South Korea and NATO members pay their own way in defense matters could also affect Israel; are Trump’s first public policy statements since being elected that he welcomes the challenge of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict empty bluster or a serious commitment; whether Trump’s Republican, evangelical and militia-minded constituency committed to Israel’s security from a religious-ideological standpoint; if Middle East leaders, following the lead of Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi, were correct in their assumptions that Trump’s electoral victory will reduce US pressures on their regimes regarding human rights issues; and how much of this is pure speculation .

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November 7, 2016 - Netanyahu’s urgent concerns

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses the Netanyahu government’s most immediate preoccupation regarding the outcome of the US presidential election; how it depends on who wins, Trump or Clinton; the possibility of Obama intending to launch a last-minute policy initiative; and the number of heavy controversies on the Netanyahu government’s near-term agenda: the High Court, the media, and religious pluralism .

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October 31, 2016 - Egypt, Lebanon: the wages of chaos on Israel’s borders

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses developments in both Egypt and Lebanon, two of Israel’s Arab neighbors, which appear to reflect a steady expanse of the regional influence of Russia, Syria and Iran, based on their military progress in Syria; what this means for Israel and the US; Egypt's tilt toward Assad; Lebanon's attempt to break an extended political logjam; who gains strategically from all this; where this leaves Israel; and does this affect the Israeli-Palestinian equation.

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October 26, 2016 - Lieberman and Shaked define crucial right wing government strategies

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses the unusual interview that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman gave to a Palestinian daily; his comments about Gaza; his comments about Abbas; his peace formula; some significant things Lieberman did not say; he also discusses the right-wing establishment’s designs regarding the Jewish character of Israel, including Justice Minister Shaked's significant statement made a few weeks ago.

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October 19, 2016 - The UN, the US and the Palestinian issue

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses what in particular in last week’s UN Security Council discussion of the settlements angered the prime minister; B'tselem's Hagai El-Ad's and APN’s Lara Friedman's testimony before the Council on the settlements issue; at the broadest strategic level, what the Security Council discussion contributes toward a two-state solution; and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's suggestion that a “Potemkin” Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be better than none at all.

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September 26, 2016 - The outgoing year, 5776

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses where Israel positioned itself in the Middle East during the outgoing year; how the Israel-US relationship appears to have suffered; how events in the surrounding Middle East affected the mood of Israelis; how the so-called “lone wolf intifada” affected Israelis; and the prospects for progress between Israel and the Palestinians in the year ahead .

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September 19, 2016 - Special edition – Books of note

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses books! The best book on the Arab revolutionary wave, books on additional causes for the current chaos in the Arab world, books on the Arab revolutions that add a more human dimension, on the US role in the Middle East before the Arab revolutions, and on Israel and the Palestinians.

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September 12, 2016 - New two-state peace initiatives coming up?

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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.

This week, Alpher discusses three new Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives that are reportedly being incubated: a set of “Obama principles”, a Moscow summit, and an Israeli referendum in terms of potential content and advantages and disadvantages; what would he recommend for an Obama peace formula as part of his legacy; PM Netanyahu seemingly contemplating steps to dissuade Obama from any peace initiatives, including a possible Moscow summit with Palestinian leader Abbas; allegations that Abbas had been recruited sometime before 1983 by the KGB; and the campaign to hold a national referendum on the two-state solution, “Decision at 50.”

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