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.

January 09, 2017 - The Elor Azaria case

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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 last week's conviction in military court of a soldier of manslaughter in the killing of a wounded and neutralized terrorist in Hebron caused such a commotion in Israel; whether Azaria really benefited from such overt due process or if it were more of a Dreyfus process; how this affects Israeli society; whether with all the relevant figures now lining up behind the next steps: sentencing and either reduction of sentence or a pardon, this is becoming “old news;” and if there are broader ramifications to the Azaria case.

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January 03, 2017 - Kerry’s Israel-Palestine speech; two questions without answers

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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 Secretary of State Kerry's speech explaining the US decision not to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that condemned the settlements; Netanyahu’s angry reaction; an assessment of the part Netanyahu chose to ignore: Kerry’s six principles for a two-state solution; President Trump’s possible approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue; and substantive corruption charges and a meaningful police investigation against Netanyahu.

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December 27, 2016 - UN Security Council Resolution 2334

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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 US abstention from last Friday's the UN Security Council resolution condemning the settlements; Netanyahu’s reaction to the abstention: calling Israel’s ambassadors home, dressing down the ambassadors of Security Council members, cancelling meetings with heads of state like the UK’s PM May and Ukraine’s PM Groysman, and suspending a variety of international aid and cooperation programs as well as coordination meetings with the Palestinian Authority; the government of Israel's argument that this resolution renders new two-state solution negotiations less likely because it encourages the Palestinians to adhere to the international route of BDS, UN resolutions and appeals to international courts; whether he would have preferred to see a different Security Council resolution; and if 2334 could contribute ammunition to Palestinian attempts to confront Israel at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

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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 President-elect Trump's selection of David Friedman as US ambassador to Israel will be the "game-changer from hell;" what happens if the embassy is really moved to Jerusalem; what should Trump be doing about the embassy; and how the ambassadorial appointment and the Jerusalem embassy issues factor into the existing divides and conflicts within world Jewry.

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December 12, 2016 - 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 the ramifications are for Israel and the region of Aleppo's falling to the Assad regime and its allies, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah; if that means the end of the war; what will happen to Assad’s Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies as his regime regains control; how this is affecting Lebanon; what sort of Turkey is emerging from recent years’ revolution in neighboring Syria and recent months’ abortive revolution in Turkey itself; what sort of regime we can now expect to develop in Syria; where all this leaves Israel; how it contributes to Israeli-Sunni Arab relations; and how Syria affects the Palestinian situation.

NOTE: For full details of APN's policy - which advocates boycotts of settlement products and supports other activism targeting the occupation - see our dedicated policy webpage, here.

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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's new about Fateh's long-delayed seventh conference in Ramallah and unanimous reelection of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) to head the movement; what’s wrong with Abbas remaining in power and what are the alternatives; has this at least provided an extension of peace and quiet on the West Bank; If France’s decision last week to label all goods from the West Bank and the Golan as “settlement products” rather than “made in Israel” is a blow to Israel; the "flawlessness" of the French/EU approach; and where Yossi Alpher, himself, stands on boycotting settlement goods.

NOTE: For full details of APN's policy - which advocates boycotts of settlement products and supports other activism targeting the occupation - see our dedicated policy webpage, here.

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November 28, 2016 - Forest fires raise strategic issues; so does Golan clash with ISIS

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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 we have learned from Israel's recent emergence from a week of battling massive forest fires; climate change as a national security issue for Israel; "pyro-terrorism;" the state of Israel’s emergency services; the strategic significance of all this regional and international aid to Israel for the fires; and how significant is Sunday's IDF clash with an ISIS force on the Golan.

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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 the Levant is reacting as President-elect Trump announces key appointments; the reaction in Israel to Trump’s indication of the far-right direction he plans to follow; the striking exception to the pro-settler sentiments and atmosphere encouraged by the Trump victory; whether the Trump victory atmosphere will affect the upcoming Elor Azaria verdict; a seeming fixation with the Mediterranean and what can be learned from it.

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November 14, 2016 - Trump and the Middle East

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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 if it's possible that the Middle East contributed to Trump’s election victory; contradictions in Trump’s Middle East policy positions; whether Trump’s demand that countries like Japan and South Korea and NATO members pay their own way in defense matters could also affect Israel; are Trump’s first public policy statements since being elected that he welcomes the challenge of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict empty bluster or a serious commitment; whether Trump’s Republican, evangelical and militia-minded constituency committed to Israel’s security from a religious-ideological standpoint; if Middle East leaders, following the lead of Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi, were correct in their assumptions that Trump’s electoral victory will reduce US pressures on their regimes regarding human rights issues; and how much of this is pure speculation .

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November 7, 2016 - Netanyahu’s urgent concerns

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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 Netanyahu government’s most immediate preoccupation regarding the outcome of the US presidential election; how it depends on who wins, Trump or Clinton; the possibility of Obama intending to launch a last-minute policy initiative; and the number of heavy controversies on the Netanyahu government’s near-term agenda: the High Court, the media, and religious pluralism .

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