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.

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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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 settlement construction restrictions that Netanyahu just imposed upon his government in deference to the Trump peace effort; the lack of substance in the self-imposed restrictions; whether Netanyahu is pulling the wool over Trump’s and Greenblatt’s eyes; the likelihood that Trump and Greenblatt will soon put a peace proposal on the table; and changing US military and diplomatic behavior in the Arab world.

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March 27, 2017 - Hamas, Syria, Hezbollah: should Israel deter proactively or avoid provocation?

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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 Hamas' accusation that the Mossad assassinated a senior militant Friday in the heart of Gaza City; whether the killing could lead to escalation and possibly a new conflict with Hamas in Gaza; if Israeli involvement in the killing would reflect a more aggressive deterrent policy; the application of this deterrent policy on Israel's northern fronts; and the dangers of this more aggressive Israeli policy.

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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 PM Netanyahu's threats to take the country to new elections and their relation to his demand to dismantle a new broadcasting authority; why the broadcasting authority issue is the focus of political tensions; why Netanyahu launched this bombshell while on his way to China; and where the security factor regarding Syria and Lebanon fits in.

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March 13, 2017 - Trump launches an Israeli-Palestinian peace process

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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 Trump's plan to bring Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to Washington and to send special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt to Israel and Palestine; possible advantages this administration might have over its predecessors in sponsoring a peace process; Trump's drawbacks as a peace mediator; possible collaboration with the region’s Sunni Arab states that need Trump's support against both Iran and ISIS; whether peace process issues are flexible enough to sustain concessions and enable creative compromise in the spirit of Trump’s brand of deal-making; and whether Trump's emerging team of negotiators are aware of important nuances.

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March 06, 2017 - Netanyahu and Russia; Trump, Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood

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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 possible agenda items for Thursday's meeting in Moscow between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian President Putin; the Trump angle; the Syrian civil war; whether all Israel wants from the Russians in Syria is to keep Iran far away; what Russia could want from Israel; and the possible effects of a Trump administration move to ban the Muslim Brotherhood on Muslim movements among Arab citizens of Israel.

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February 27, 2017 - Isaac Herzog’s peace plan

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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 Labor and Zionist Union leader Isaac “Bougie” Herzog's just published ten-point plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and its context; why this one is important; what Herzog’s proposal comprises; his view of the proposal’s relevance and validity; what we have learned from this drama, beginning with the abortive Aqaba summit and ending in Herzog’s proposal.

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February 21, 2017 - One state, two states, regional approach: Trump said, Bibi said

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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 mixed messages from the Trump-Netanyahu press statements last week in Washington - two-state solution or one-state solution, direct bilateral negotiations or broader Arab involvement; what Netanyahu's increasingly powerful right-wing supporters want; "the regional approach"; and the nuances of the one-state proposition.

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February 13, 2017 - Potential Disrupters in US Relationships with Israel and the Arab World

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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 updates on the agenda for the Trump-Netanyahu summit scheduled for later this week; new developments that could conceivably disrupt US-Israel relations in the near term beyond issues regarding the settlements, Iran, and Syria; potential Israeli responses to future Hamas attacks; Not labeling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group; and the report that Trump also wants to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization.

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