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.

December 15, 2014 - Israeli Elections - small signs of hope; and security and violence

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This week, Alpher discusses how the momentum for recognition of a Palestinian state is building up in Europe and at the United Nations and how this affects Israel, particularly at election time; emerging political dynamics as regards Israel's elections; the role of violence in Israeli and American security tactics; whether Palestinian Authority threats to sever security coordination with Israel over the Abu Ein incident are credible.

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December 8, 2014 - The Israeli elections issue

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Israeli elections

This week, Alpher discusses why the new Knesset elections have been set so soon; who Netanyahu's rivals on the right are; whether the left-center is incapable of mounting a challenge; what is happening with Yesh Atid; what will happen to the Arab parties, with a new threshold law that requires a party to gain a minimum of four mandates; and whether the bombings of Damascus airport and a second site at Dimas near Damascus that Syria accused Israel of on Sunday have any connection to Israel's elections.

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December 1, 2014 - The "peace plans" of Bennett and Lieberman; Egypt and the Arab Spring

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This week, Alpher discusses the "peace plans" for the Palestinian conflict of the right-wing stalwarts in Netanyahu's coalition, Bennett and Lieberman; where does this leave us in terms of Israeli politics and the peace process; the Egyptian President Sisi's peace plan; and what does the acquittal of deposed president Mubarak of all charges and Sisi's announcement that he will not pursue further prosecution say about the "Arab Spring" that began in 2011.

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November 24, 2014 - the ramifications of last week's attack: political, security, and more

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This week, Alpher discusses the strategic ramifications of last Tuesday's murderous attack on men praying in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem - in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, the security sphere, the political arena, and whether here are any additional levels.

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November 17, 2014 - Jerusalem, Gaza and the Shin Bet, new elections? -and more

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This week, Alpher discusses the meeting last week between Secretary of State John Kerry, King Abdullah II and PM Netanyahu, and whether that meeting signals a new departure in Israeli-Palestinian and Israel-Arab relations regarding Jerusalem; the talk of new elections in Israel brought on by the government's lack of cohesiveness; how the current borders of the "united" Jerusalem come about and what the rationale was, and whether it is still valid; and why the Shin Bet, an internal security service, is still responsible for intelligence regarding Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005.

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This week, Alpher discusses whether the unrest in Arab East Jerusalem is just a Palestinian-Israeli issue or is it also an internal issue involving the Arab citizens of Israel; whether the unrest accomplished anything for the Palestinian cause; how committed is the Arab-Israeli to the anti-Jewish demonstrations that broke out on Saturday; how does all this affect the broader Palestinian issue, and particularly the Fateh-Hamas/West Bank-Gaza reconciliation process; the Netanyahu government's apparent fraying;

 

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November 3, 2014 - the Temple Mount, more Jerusalem tension, is Netanyahu cowardly?

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This week, Alpher discusses whether last week's shooting of Israeli Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick and the subsequent, nearly unprecedented closing of the Mount for a day indicates that we are on the brink of a holy war or new intifada; where the potential is for further geographical expansion of the Jerusalem tension; whether Netanyahu is cowardly in his decision-making; and if the Netanyahu-Obama relationship "stands to get considerably worse after the November midterm elections."

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This week, Alpher discusses the differences between Washington’s approach to combating IS and that of Israel; why was Yaalon (reportedly) shunned by most of the Obama administration, in a rare display of dissatisfaction; Why Egypt just closed its border with Gaza and postponed convening Israel-Hamas ceasefire talks by a month, and what this means for a stable ceasefire; and whether there are emerging parallels between Israeli-Jordanian and Israeli-Egyptian security cooperation.

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October 20, 2014 - Fighting IS and an escalation of tensions in Jerusalem

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This week, Alpher discusses the mosaic of radically conflicting interests among countries and peoples ostensibly fighting for the same cause - fighting ISIS and the growing escalation of tensions between Jews and Muslims on and around the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem in general.

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October 13, 2014 - Recent books about the Israel-Arab dispute

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For a holiday change of pace, Alpher discusses some recent books about the Israel-Arab dispute, starting with the two best sellers by Shavit and Klein Halevy.

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