This week, Alpher discusses Netanyahu's comment at Davos last week that he "doesn't intend to remove a single settler" and the reactions it provoked; whether Livni has joined the chorus of Israelis despairing of this peace process, and if so, why doesn't she resign; why is the Israeli security establishment returning to the tactic of targeted killings of Gazan extremist now, after a two-year lull, and a few last words in memory of Shulamit Aloni.
Hard Questions, Tough AnswersYossi 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 there is any chance of replacing Assad with a transition regime as discussed at the Geneva I talks, who else agrees with Israeli Defense Minister Yaalon's labeling of Kerry by as "obsessive and messianic," or if this is "last week's news," and whether there is anything really new on the Israeli-Palestinian scene.
This week, Alpher discusses how the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships are positioning themselves in anticipation of being presented with some sort of framework agreement by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the story of Ariel Sharon's meeting with Alpher in 1994 to discuss his use of the settlements to "divide and rule" the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, what he thinks of the Palestinian allegation that Israel could do far more to prevent settler attacks, and whether there is a broad strategic significance to the internecine fighting in Sunni areas of both northern Syria and western Iraq.
This week, Alpher discusses the pronouncements on the peace process made by Secretary of State John Kerry in the course of his most recent Middle East trip, Foreign Minister Lieberman's departure from his traditional hawkish stance in his pronouncements that seem to view Kerry's performance as highly constructive, the relevance of Ariel Sharon's legacy for the current situation, and whether there is a Palestinian angle to Sunday's demonstration of more than 20,000 Eritreans in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, demanding freedom to work and live in Tel Aviv.
This week, Alpher discusses what Kerry is doing differently from his many predecessors who have tried and failed to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, how bad the escalating Palestinian violence is, whether there is escalating Israeli opposition to a deal brokered by Kerry, the interaction between Israeli prisoner release and the new settlement construction and the third release of pre-Oslo Palestinian terrorists and whether Pollard fits in somewhere, and whether he has any predictions for the Middle East in 2014.
This week, Alpher gives an interim assessment of ramifications for the region on the three year anniversary since the outbreak of the Arab revolutions and where this leaves the United States and Israel, discusses whether Sunday's terrorist bus-bombing in Israel is part of a new escalation, and comments on the latest Snowden revelations regarding American eavesdropping on senior Israeli leaders' cell phones and emails.
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.
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.
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.
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.