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.

March 07, 2016 - Israel and Trump; Israel and Reform Judaism; Israel, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon

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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 Netanyahu is risking his coalition with the ultra-Orthodox by granting prayer rights at the Western Wall to the US-based Reform and Conservative movements and how this is connected to his quest to shore up American public support for Israel; what Israelis think of Donald Trump; and what does it mean for Israel that Saudi Arabia is punishing Lebanon because of Hezbollah’s ties to Iran and support for the Assad regime in 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 whether the reform camp, allied with President Rouhani, is poised to triumph in Iran's elections; what are the advantages and drawbacks of a seaport for Gaza and who opposes it; Alpher's forecast on the matter; and whether we can say it's "good news" that the Syria cessation of hostilities appears to be holding, however partially and tenuously.

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February 22, 2016 - Olmert, Eizenkot

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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 former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s tenure as head of government; the ramifications of IDF Chief of the General Staff Gadi Eisenkot speaking out against excessive use of force by soldiers and police in dealing with knife attacks by Palestinian youth; and two key issues of domestic and international sensitivity that his comments point to.

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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 recent poll revealing that fully two-thirds of Israeli Jews believe it is possible to continue to occupy the West Bank yet remain truly democratic and how this finding meshes with emerging developments inside Israel; what has changed in Israel and the Middle East over the last 20 years; Is the Levant conflict and the agreement, reached last week in Munich, for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid in Syria the beginning of the end of ISIS; and whether there is a broader global strategic meaning to these developments.

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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 Labor party leader Isaac “Bougie” Herzog's partial measure for the Palestinian issue and whether it is any more feasible than the two-state solution; is it better than nothing; if a possible Hamas initiative to start another Gaza war is a possibility; and where he envisages regional conflict escalation and how relevant this is for Israel and the US.

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February 01, 2016 - Regional initiatives, regional spying

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This week, Alpher discusses the flurry of high level discussions and agreements between Israel, Greece and Cyprus, with Egypt also mentioned as an economic and military partner, seemingly directed at isolating Turkey regionally; more Edward Snowden revelations of far-reaching electronic monitoring by the US and UK, and whether Israel is alarmed at its friends’ spying; if there is any chance of success trying to end the slaughter in Syria, via the convening of yet another high-level meeting in Geneva to try; how do Israelis react to more and more instances of regime-led siege warfare against Syrian civilian villages, leading to starvation; his reaction to French FM Fabius calling for an international peace conference and threatening that if it fails, France will recognize a Palestinian state.

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January 26, 2016 - Palestinian issues revisited

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This week, Alpher discusses why he has had so little discussion on issues related directly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and prospects for new negotiations recently; whether, even if that’s the case regarding the PLO in the West Bank, we can ignore assessments regarding Hamas and Hezbollah activity there, alongside predictions regarding violence emanating from Gaza, extremist inclinations among the Israeli Arab community, and even a high-level forecast of ISIS activity against Israel; the angry Israeli reaction to US Ambassador Dan Shapiro's statement that Israel exercises a legal double standard in its approach to Israeli settlers as opposed to Palestinians in the West Bank; and whether Israeli-Turkish negotiations regarding normalization of bilateral relations hold out any hope for a better situation in Gaza.

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January 18, 2016 - Basic questions on the broadest issues

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This week, Alpher discusses the Iran nuclear deal being fully implemented, with sanctions lifted earlier than originally predicted, and the US and Iran exchanging detainees; where these leave Washington’s relations with Israel and the Sunni Arab states; and the essentially Sunni Arab movements of Islamic State and al-Qaeda and the collapse of several Arab states - how and why all this began five years ago and whether we have figured that out so we can avoid repeating past mistakes.

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January 11, 2016 - States-within-a-state

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This week, Alpher discusses what strategic insights regarding Jewish-Arab relations in Israel can be derived from the manhunt and death of Neshat Melhem, the Dizengoff shooter; whether Israel can afford a larger police force; why Wadi Ara is particularly prone to pro-Palestinian sentiments; what did PM Netanyahu mean when he termed the Israeli Arabs a “state within a state;” whether this sort of state-within-a-state situation is unique to Israel in the Middle East; and how did the “state within a state” situation in Saudi Arabia and Iran find expression last week in the crisis in relations between the two.

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This week, Alpher discusses what we can expect in Israel and Israel-US relations in 2016; the notion that the Palestinian issue increasingly will become an internal Israeli affair; how the Arab and Muslim worlds will respond to this and if we will witness external aggression against Israel; and prospects for some sort of international political agreement regarding Syria, spearheaded by the US and Russia

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