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This week, Alpher discusses whether Egypt's reported proposal to help solve the Palestinian issue by allowing the Gaza Strip to expand into Egyptian territory in northeast Sinai in realistic; is it a breakthrough that for the very first time a senior Hamas official stated that there is no religious prohibition on negotiating directly with Israel; is it a watershed event that Friday 43 reservists from the IDF's elite listening unit 8200 published a declaration refusing to serve, in protest at the abuse of intelligence data to perpetuate the occupation; why the Sunni Arab world is seemingly so reluctant to sign up for President Obama's military campaign against ISIL.

 

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September 8, 2014 - Islamic State; Status of Israel-Gaza Ceasefire

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Q. The Obama administration appears to be engaging in limited military cooperation with Iran against the Islamic State. How does this sit with Israel?

A. This development leaves the Israeli security establishment very uneasy.

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September 2, 2014 - The Gaza war: on the absence of a viable Israeli strategy

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Q. The obvious opening question is, will the Gaza ceasefire hold?

A. At this point in time, barely a week after the ceasefire agreement and several weeks before talks on substantive issues are scheduled to begin in Cairo, three scenarios appear possible.

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This week, Alpher discusses military stagnation and attrition, how the Israeli public is viewing Netanyahu and Yaalon's  caution, last week's promise by Netanyahu of a "new political horizon" and his release of a report that Hamas had planned an intifada and a power grab on the West Bank, the talk of a new and dramatic proposal from Abu Mazen, and a UN option, and where this bewildering catalogue of diplomatic and military initiatives leaves us.

(Monday, August 25, day 49 of the Gaza conflict)

 

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August 18, 2014 - Ceasefire talks, Obama-Netanyahu tensions, missing Leibel Fein

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This week, Alpher discusses the ceasefire talks; whether Israel should cooperate with its investigation of the conduct of the Gaza war; the Obama-Netanyahu tensions; and remembers Leibel Fein.

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August 11, 2014 - New Dynamic in Gaza War

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Q. Last week, Israelis appeared to think the Gaza war was over. Now we seem to have entered a cycle of ceasefires and negotiations. Has a new dynamic emerged?

A. Yes. Roughly speaking, it breaks down as follows. Both sides are now completely dependent on Egyptian mediation: Israel willingly, because Egypt is more hostile than ever to Hamas and is strategically friendly to Israel; and Hamas unwillingly, having lost any capacity to recruit its supporters Turkey and Qatar to mediate and having accepted that the West Bank-based PLO and Palestinian Authority represent it.

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August 4, 2014 - An Honest Look at the Suffering in Gaza

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Day 28 of the Gaza war: An honest look at the suffering in Gaza...

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: July 28, 2014

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The Gaza war, as of late Monday afternoon Israel time:

This week, Alpher discusses whether the latest ceasefire will last; whether Israel's war aims changed in the course of the fighting; if ignoring the strategic potential of the Hamas attack tunnels an Israeli intelligence failure; why is there such extraordinary solidarity among the normally divisive Israeli public during this war; regarding a ceasefire, what happened with the Egyptian agenda and a Turkish-Qatari agenda, and in between what appears to be a failed US mediation attempt; if all this means that Hamas has not, or not yet, registered a sufficiently significant accomplishment in this war to "declare victory;" whether Hamas is part of the regional and global militant Islamist movement currently led by ISIS/Islamic State and the likes of Boko Haram as Netanyahu argues, or if is it a faction of the Palestinian national liberation movement and in the long term, what this seeming Hamas membership in two such distinct Middle East groupings means for Israel.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: July 21, 2014

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This week Alpher discusses War in Gaza: as of Monday afternoon July 21 Israel time:

Was it necessary for the IDF's Golani brigade to go into Gaza's eastern district of Shejaiya and fight a battle that caused such heavy losses on both sides and if there is a broader meaning to all this death and destruction in and around Gaza; accusations that the IDF is perpetrating war crimes in Gaza; why Hamas' ceasefire conditions are outlandish; how will this end and some early strategic lessons learned.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: July 14, 2014

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This week, Alpher discusses whether Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza is winding down; what the two sides' conditions for a ceasefire are; why Israel doesn't want to remove Hamas from power; what are the alternative strategies that Israel could invoke; whether Hamas' strategic aim is to kill Israelis; and some perspective, looking back and looking forward on Operations Cast Lead in 2009-10, Pillar of Defense in 2012, and now Protective Edge.

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