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 conflicting American statements regarding the objective of the current Israeli-Palestinian talks, how the relatively optimistic American approach jibes with repeated negative assessments by involved Israelis and Palestinians, whether last weekend's mega-storm that passed over the Middle East had any effect on Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, and what's behind the effort of the Israeli far right in once again trying to pass legislation that would restrict activities of foreign-funded NGOs.

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This week, Alpher discusses the seemingly significant high-level developments and statements regarding both the Israel-Arab peace process and Iran, against the backdrop of Israeli-American relations, how does the American security plan or "thoughts" challenge Netanyahu's security concept regarding the Jordan Valley, what is the significance of Obama's mention of a framework agreement as a negotiating outcome, what is the significance of Netanyahu's linkage of Iran and the two-state solution at the Saban Forum, and thoughts on Nelson Mandela's support for the Palestinians and consistent criticism of Israel.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: December 2, 2013

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This week, Alpher discusses whether Salafist Islamist terrorists in the West Bank is another sign of escalation toward a third intifada, if Netanyahu is inciting Congress and American Jewish leaders against Obama in the wake of the Geneva agreement with Iran, and what's behind the sharp protests by Druze and Bedouin--minorities who generally serve in the IDF.

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This week, Alpher discusses whether the Geneva agreement between the P5 + 1 and Iran is a "bad deal" and a "historic mistake" as Netanyahu argues, what about it should realistically worry Israel, what we have learned over the weekend regarding Israel's relationship with the Obama administration, whether Netanyahu's strategy regarding Iran and the international community has failed, what all this may say about the election in recent days of Yitzhak "Boozhi" Herzog to head the Labor party, and whether Netanyahu's invitation to Palestinian President Abbas to speak to Israel's parliament his inviting himself to a reciprocal appearance in the Palestinian parliament is a serious initiative.

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This week, Alpher discusses Netanyahu's meetings this week with Hollande, Putin, and Kerry to discuss the prospective Iran nuclear agreement, a possible revival of the French-Israeli alliance of the 1950s and 60s, how Netanyahu could allow tenders for planning 24,000 additional settlement units to be published last week, considering how sensitive the current juncture is for Israel's international relations, and whether there was something unique or particularly worrisome about the latest "price tag" attack launched against Palestinians by extremist settlers in the West Bank.

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This week, Alpher discusses Netanyahu's opposition to an interim nuclear deal with Iran and its consequent strain on the US-Israel relationship, the Israeli perception of a link between the Iranian nuclear issue and the Palestinian issue, the emergence of an ad hoc alliance between France, Israel and the Saudis and Emirates on Iran, who disagrees over what at this juncture, a rating of Netanyahu's overall performance on this issue in recent days, how will Avigdor Lieberman's acquittal and return to his post as foreign minister. affect Israel's foreign relations and how will it affect coalition politics in the Netanyahu government,

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This week, Alpher discusses the NSA listening in on Israel and whether the repeated leaks from Washington that link Israel to mysterious attacks on Syrian missiles are in the same category, Secretary of State Kerry's returning to Israel and Palestine this week and what new initiatives by the two sides await him upon arrival, and why the IDF needs more money now, with security threats from the Arab world reduced by chaos and revolution

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This week, Alpher discusses that given both an intensifying Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process and a spike in violent incidents with Palestinians, which way we are heading; whether, in addition to the Saudi decision to reject a UN Security Council seat, there are additional manifestations of anger or disappointment with America among its Middle East friends; and what was significant about Israel's recent municipal elections for the broader public and political scene.

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This week, Alpher discusses the renewed mystery regarding the cause of Yasser Arafat's death in 2004, what does Saudi Arabia's election to the UN Security Council followed by its prompt resignation tell us about Saudi-American relations and the Saudi role in the Iran and Syria issues, and why did it take so long for PM Netanyahu and Finance Minister Lapid to appoint Karnit Flug (pictured) as new governor of the Bank of Israel?

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: September 30, 2013

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This week, Alpher discusses whether the Syrian chemical weapons agreement and the Obama-Rowhani phone conversation evidence of an approaching "new Munich" and Netanyahu's "sounding the alarm," what the outcome depends upon, what Netanyahu's and Israel's most immediate legitimate concerns are regarding the upcoming round of talks with Iran, how would a possible administration linkage between Iran and Israel-Palestine, as implied in Obama's UN speech work, and how seriously does he take reports of growing tensions between Egypt and the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

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