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.

October 31, 2016 - Egypt, Lebanon: the wages of chaos on Israel’s borders

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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 developments in both Egypt and Lebanon, two of Israel’s Arab neighbors, which appear to reflect a steady expanse of the regional influence of Russia, Syria and Iran, based on their military progress in Syria; what this means for Israel and the US; Egypt's tilt toward Assad; Lebanon's attempt to break an extended political logjam; who gains strategically from all this; where this leaves Israel; and does this affect the Israeli-Palestinian equation.

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October 26, 2016 - Lieberman and Shaked define crucial right wing government strategies

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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 unusual interview that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman gave to a Palestinian daily; his comments about Gaza; his comments about Abbas; his peace formula; some significant things Lieberman did not say; he also discusses the right-wing establishment’s designs regarding the Jewish character of Israel, including Justice Minister Shaked's significant statement made a few weeks ago.

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October 19, 2016 - The UN, the US and the Palestinian issue

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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 in particular in last week’s UN Security Council discussion of the settlements angered the prime minister; B'tselem's Hagai El-Ad's and APN’s Lara Friedman's testimony before the Council on the settlements issue; at the broadest strategic level, what the Security Council discussion contributes toward a two-state solution; and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's suggestion that a “Potemkin” Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be better than none at all.

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September 26, 2016 - The outgoing year, 5776

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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 where Israel positioned itself in the Middle East during the outgoing year; how the Israel-US relationship appears to have suffered; how events in the surrounding Middle East affected the mood of Israelis; how the so-called “lone wolf intifada” affected Israelis; and the prospects for progress between Israel and the Palestinians in the year ahead .

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September 19, 2016 - Special edition – Books of note

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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 books! The best book on the Arab revolutionary wave, books on additional causes for the current chaos in the Arab world, books on the Arab revolutions that add a more human dimension, on the US role in the Middle East before the Arab revolutions, and on Israel and the Palestinians.

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September 12, 2016 - New two-state peace initiatives coming up?

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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 three new Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives that are reportedly being incubated: a set of “Obama principles”, a Moscow summit, and an Israeli referendum in terms of potential content and advantages and disadvantages; what would he recommend for an Obama peace formula as part of his legacy; PM Netanyahu seemingly contemplating steps to dissuade Obama from any peace initiatives, including a possible Moscow summit with Palestinian leader Abbas; allegations that Abbas had been recruited sometime before 1983 by the KGB; and the campaign to hold a national referendum on the two-state solution, “Decision at 50.”

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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 can learn from the exchange in late August between late August a UN envoy who called Israeli settlement construction an impediment to peace and a Netanyahu spokesperson who retorted that the envoy was “distorting history and international law;” who are the winners and losers in this round of the seemingly endless Syrian civil war and what is the strategic significance of Turkey's invasion of northern Syria with the blessing of the US; and whether Washington wins or loses and Where this leaves US and Israeli strategic interests regarding the Syria issue and its regional and international ramifications.

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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 choice of Diaspora partners for the Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs' new program for outreach among Jewish university students tells us; how significant is it that Director General Dore Gold of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs has paid a brief secret visit to a Muslim country in Africa with which Israel has no diplomatic relations; and any redeeming qualities to Defense Minister Lieberman’s new “carrot and stick” policy toward the Palestinians.

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August 22, 2016 - Russian-Iranian strategic cooperation and its ramifications

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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 we are on the cusp of a major Middle East power reorientation; why Iran would, when the Islamic Republic has always insisted on “Neither East nor West”, allow Russian bombers to use the Hamadan air base to launch bomber strikes against anti-regime targets in Syria; Russia’s motive; how Moscow’s power plays in Turkey and Iran, neither necessarily a friend of the Arabs, are expanding its influence elsewhere in the Middle East; how all this affects Israel; how he assesses the U.S. response to greater Russian penetration of the region; and if a Netanyahu-Abbas summit, perhaps in Moscow, is likely.

 

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August 15, 2016 - North of Israel: Turkey, Russia, Aleppo

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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 significance of last week’s rapprochement in St. Petersburg between Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan; where this leaves the US, Europe, and Israel; if we are witnessing, apropos Erdogan, Putin and Netanyahu, the evolution of regional leadership toward a kind of democratic-autocratic model; how Putin and Russia became so central to the Middle East drama; and why Aleppo is so important.

 

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