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 what happened in these elections*; what the next government is likely to look like; how Netanyahu engineered such a dramatic come-from-behind victory, despite the polls giving Labor (Zionist Camp) an advantage almost until election day; whether there are winners here, besides Netanyahu; how Herzog and Lapid are likely to respond to their setbacks, and what “losers” on the right who are nevertheless likely to join the coalition are going to do; how to explain the phenomenon of Israel's seeming to be set on a right-wing course, with no end in sight; and assuming Netanyahu now forms a fairly cohesive right-wing coalition, what are the main challenges it will face.
This week, Alpher discusses what was wrong with Netanyahu’s speech before the US Congress last week; what were some possibly positive contributions in the speech from the standpoint of Israelis who don’t support the prime minister politically; what issues the event raised; and significant political dilemmas framed by the speech.
This week, Alpher dicusses Netanyahu's approach to rallying support against a prospective US-led nuclear deal with Iran and getting himself reelected back home in Israel by speaking this week to the United States Congress; why Netanyahu can’t affect the nuclear deal and what damage he is doing to the strategic relationship between the US and Israel; What challenges from Iran in the Middle East Netanyahu is neglecting, and how this is related to the US; the Israeli public’s response to Netanyahu’s congressional grandstanding and the administration’s angry reproaches; why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems right now to be all about money and if there is a timely US-Israel angle here too.
This week, Alpher discusses the likelihood Israel will produce a government capable of moving forward toward a two-state solution; whether a right-wing-led government is more likely at this point; what, at this point in time, is the most likely coalition to emerge from these elections; what surprises he envisions in these elections; the possibility of the United States and the international community ratcheting up the pressure on the next Israeli government; and what are the consequences thus far of the tension over Iran between Netanyahu and the Obama administration that has reportedly brought US-Israeli relations to a new low.
With one month to go, Netanyahu’s election manipulations
This week, Alpher discusses Netanyahu's real reasons for speaking to Congress next month; the damage the Congress speech initiative has done to US-Israel relations; whether Israel has any serious objective criticism of US policy regarding Iran, or whether it is all election hype and politics; and what message was PM Netanyahu sending the electorate last week, when he attempted to manipulate the Israel Prize for literature and weaken “leftist” trends?
This week, Alpher discusses Jordan being dragged into the Syria conflict on the ground in response to the Islamic State’s horrific execution of its pilot; how the escalated fighting in Sinai between the Egyptian army and Ansar Beit al-Maqdes, which has pledged fealty to Islamic State, affects Israel; whether Israel is affected by Russia’s economic crisis; and offers an election update
Codes of violence
This week, Alpher discusses whether there are new components to the Israeli-Hezbollah equation and if the attack of the IDF convoy is the end of this round of violence between them; how that relates to Iran; how Alpher understands the Washington Post’s revelation that the CIA and the Mossad collaborated in the 2009 assassination in Damascus of Hezbollah military chief Imad Moughniyeh; what his take on the film American Sniper and its controversial view of several aspects of US military involvement in Iraq; and why the recent Houthi coup in Yemen brings back interesting memories among a select group of Israeli security veterans.
This week, Alpher discusses the repercussions of the invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress; the Mossad advisory against escalating sanctions and Israel’s tactics against Iran; the attack last week across the Golan border that was attributed to Israel that resulted in the death of an Iranian Quds Force general; strategic ramifications for the elections given the united electoral list of Arab citizens of Israel and the Labor primaries having produced a list with an unusually large, young contingent of women reform advocates; the strategic balance sheet that King Salman inherits after the death of Saudi King Abdullah last week and a coup staged in Yemen by a Zaidi-Shiite sect;
This week, Alpher discusses the Israeli Air Force helicopter strike in the Golan; the broader strategic implications; the announcement last week in the Hague that the International Criminal Court was launching a preliminary inquiry to determine whether to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by Israel in last summer’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza; and why “Charlie Hebdo” drew so much more international attention than far more extensive Islamist atrocities perpetrated almost simultaneously by Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Qaeda and the Shiite-affiliated Houthis in Yemen
New fronts of warfare