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.

May 23, 2016 - The Herzog-Yaalon-Lieberman-Sisi-Bibi drama; the real Netanyahu at work

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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 happened last week, with Israel beginning last week with a Likud-Labor unity government, blessed by the president of Egypt, and ended with an even more right-wing government and the departure of a defense minister who stood up for IDF commanders with liberal values; the fallout; and where this leaves civil-military relations in Israel.

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May 16, 2016 - Hamas, Hezbollah, China and BDS

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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 State Comptroller’s report on conduct of the summer 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza and its significance; why, unlike Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon appears to remain highly reticent to engage Israel militarily again; impressions and insights that are relevant to Israel in his travels in Canada and New Zealand; and why Israel is, relatively speaking, smug about dealing with BDS and even the EU boycott of settlement goods.

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May 09, 2016 - Paris peace summit; Sykes-Picot century; Davutoglu’s demise

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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 backdrop to France's plan to convene an international conference on the Israel-Palestine issue on May 30; what Paris hopes to accomplish; how Israel and the Palestinians view the initiative; his assessment of the chances for progress; if there is a danger here; whether there is a lesson from the 100 year anniversary of the Sykes-Picot agreement between the UK and France that laid the foundation for the Levant boundaries of the modern era; if Syria and Iraq be put back together again; what the immediate ramifications of last week's resignation of Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu and if there is a link here to Sykes-Picot.

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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 why the very first Palestinian intifada erupted 80 years ago; if last month's arrival of Yemeni Jews fleeing the fighting in Yemen to Israel means the end of exile in Arab lands; and whether last week's announcement of the deployment of 250 additional US combat troops to Syria is a sign of mission creep.

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April 25, 2016 - 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 Israeli calculations regarding the means and benefits of responding with force to new Hamas tunnel-digging; if Israel’s deterrence has failed and Hamas continues to attack by diverse means, if there are additional reasons for the Netanyahu government to avoid retaliation; if there are people in Israel advocating re-conquering and reoccupying the Strip; and if recent sporadic rocket fire from Gaza was not attributed to Hamas, who’s in charge there?

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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 why, even though Israel has a peace treaty with Caiso, but no formal ties with Riyadh, Israel offered its blessing for a deal that affects a vital naval passage that has triggered war in the recent past; explains the timing of Sunday's declaration by Netanyahu’s government whence they met on the Golan Heights and the prime minister declared that the Golan would always remain a sovereign part of Israel; connects the regional conflict situations of the ceasefire in Syria, which appears to be ending, Yemen, where there is optimism regarding a ceasefire, and Ngorno Karabach (an enclave disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan) where renewed fighting has broken out; and why, now 15 years after his assassination by Palestinians and 11 years after he was declared a national hero to be memorialized annually in school ceremonies, far-right-wing Major General Rehavam Zeevi (“Gandhi”) is accused of having been a serial rapist and sexual harasser and having consorted with gangsters.

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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, at the far right and far left extremes of any prospective Likud-Labor coalition, we encounter views considered by many Israelis to be extremist: anti-Arab racism on the one hand, and a readiness to label some varieties of “terrorism” as legitimate resistance to occupation on the other; What the significance is of secret Netanyahu-Herzog unity government negotiations, a year into Netanyahu’s current right-wing coalition government; and what the backdrop is for the PLO's plan for the UN Security Council to vote on a motion to condemn the settlements on Pesach eve, April 22, and then reportedly backing down.

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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 Israel’s High Court of Justice's mandated revisions in the Netanyahu government’s deal with the gas multinationals; why the appointment of Dani Dayan, former head of the Council of Settlers in Judea and Samaria, to the post of consul-general in New York last week generated so much controversy and what political ramifications such an appointment may have for Israel-US relations; and what former Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren is doing in Netanyahu’s coalition.

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March 28, 2016 - Terrorism and the face of Israel today: Brussels, Hebron

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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 why so many Israelis were gloating regarding last week’s ISIS terror attacks in Brussels; PM Netanyahu equating Islamist attacks in Europe with Palestinian attacks against Israelis; what’s wrong with that approach; why there is so much controversy in Israel regarding the shooting of a wounded and “neutralized” terrorist last week by an IDF soldier; how to summarize this Israeli behavior regarding both Brussels and Hebron;

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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 he missed last week (along with every other analyst and commentator) in assuming that Russia would stay firmly in place and not predicting the subsequent Russian military withdrawal; is this good for Israel or the US; what the connection is between the Kurds of northern Syria and a recently-deceased (2006) Vermont-based Jewish anarchist ecologist philosopher named Murray Bookchin; whether Turkish concerns regarding the death of Israelis in Saturday’s ISIS suicide bombing in Istanbul facilitate Turkish-Israeli political reconciliation; and why Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was not allowed by Israel to visit the Palestinian Authority a week ago, what Israel chose to reveal in the aftermath about its relations with Indonesia, and what this tells us about Israel’s current approach to such clandestine ties.

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