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.

June 26, 2017 - Syria

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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 it means for Israel and the US that Syria's President Bashar Assad appears to have survived the prolonged insurrection against him; why Israel has stepped up assistance, including military assistance, to relatively moderate Syrian rebel groups across the Golan border; what is changing with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon; where the US comes into the picture; and American boots on the ground in Syria and the bigger strategic picture.

 

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June 19, 2017 - Israel's Gaza problem, locally and regionally

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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 some of the creative thinking on what Israel could do to head off a disaster in the Gaza Strip, such as Katz's proposal for a man-made island off Gaza; whose hands the island’s security would be in; the regional and international complications that appear to render the island idea unrealistic under current circumstances; and whether this issue is linked in any way to PM Netanyahu’s zigzag regarding a plan to allow the West Bank city of Qalqilya to expand into Area C and double its population.

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June 12, 2017 - Israel-Palestine-Qatar-Gaza

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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 revelations in recent days regarding peace proposals and negotiating initiatives in the Israeli-Palestinian sphere since 2014; whether these reported moves offer any new hope; the bottom line; whether things could get worse in the near future if progress is not likely; how possible deterioration links up with the Saudi-led economic siege of Qatar; and the violent ISIS attack on Iran last week and Trump's “condolence” message.

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June 5, 2017 - Fifty years to the Six-Day War

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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 whether the Six-Day War was a just war from Israel's standpoint; the benefits that came from Israel's victory in the war; the costs at the regional strategic level; the Palestinian issue coming out of the war; where we are today; and what Israel should have done after the war in 1967, in hindsight.

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May 23, 2017 - The Trump Middle East visit

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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 which leg of Trump’s Middle East tour was strategically more significant, Riyadh or Jerusalem/Bethlehem; how Trump can square his presumed achievements in Riyadh with his sweeping campaign declarations against Muslims; whether it is really such a success story; Trump's trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem; particularly comic and sensational moments; the presentation of Trump's strategy for making peace between Israelis and Palestinians; whether any of these strategies really offer the kind of hope for the future that Netanyahu mentioned so optimistically; and the significance of Trump's closing speech at the Israel Museum where he vowed to fight Iran and terrorism, protect Israel, and pursue peace.

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May 15, 2017 - Israel’s prospective nation-state law

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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 prospective "nation-state law" that the Israeli Cabinet’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation submitted to the Knesset last week; why the law is surfacing again now; the law's proposed components; differences in the alternative versions that have been proposed; and whether Israel really needs this law.

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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 significance of Abbas's meeting with Trump, the election of Hamas's new leader, and Hamas's new "Document of General Principles and Policies"; the importance of these developments from Israel's standpoint; and the connection between the new document and the election of Ismail Haniyeh.

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May 1, 2017 - War and Diplomacy on the eve of Israel’s 69th Independence Day

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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 rising tensions with Syria; the outlook on Trump's upcoming meeting with Abbas and trip to Israel; whether Abbas or Netanyahu are in a position to "deal"; possible ramifications of Germany's increasing pressure on Israel; tension between Israel and North Korea; and celebrating Israel's Independence Day in light of the present mood.

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April 24, 2017 - Israel’s most volatile borders, on Holocaust Remembrance Day

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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 assertions of a Hezbollah spokesman that Israel is now on the defensive, fearing Hezbollah attack; whether Israel should have launched a punitive attack on Syria after Assad's Sarin gas attack on his own people; and the recent spat in the Knesset between a mother who blamed the Netanyahu government for not retrieving the body of her son, which has been held by Hamas in Gaza since the summer 2014 war, and two Likud MKs who answered her with brutal language.

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April 19, 2017 - Marwan Barghouti and the Fatah prisoner hunger strike

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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 Marwan Barghouti's op-ed in the New York Times about the Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike; why only 1,200 of the 6,000 prisoners convicted of terrorist offenses in Israeli jails are participating; the intra-Palestinian tensions at play; Barghouti's point about worsening conditions in Israeli prisons; the accuracy of some of Barghouti's assertions; why Israel can't release Barghouti and negotiate with him; and possible strategic implications of the strike and the background struggle for Palestinian leadership.

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