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.

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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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This week, Alpher discusses Jordan's draft resolution to the UN Security Council regarding Palestinian statehood; last week's request from Tzipi Livni to Secretary Kerry to delay the UNSC vote and thereby keep the Palestinian statehood issue off Israel's election agenda lest this generate more votes for the Israeli political right and whether this makes sense; whether there is still an Israeli consensus against UN intervention in the conflict; and why last week's firing of a rocket from the Gaza Strip at an Israeli community on the Gaza periphery was cited by a number of Israeli security commentators and authorities as a step toward renewed escalation of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

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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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