show episodes
 
Ben Caspit, an Israel correspondent for Al-Monitor, brings you weekly interviews with newsmakers and officials to discuss the latest news in Israel. Ben is no stranger to broadcast, hosting a daily radio show from Tel Aviv and frequently appearing on television and radio programs. Caspit is one of Israel’s most in-demand journalists and his columns – deeply sourced and vividly written -- are must reads for his take on the latest political developments. His most recent book is The Netanyahu Y ...
 
Andrew Parasiliti, president of the award-winning news site Al-Monitor, interviews newsmakers each week from the US and Middle East about the latest news and trends in the region, with additional commentary from Al-Monitor’s ‘on-the-ground’ correspondents. Andrew has been writing about, and traveling in, the Middle East for over three decades, meeting and interviewing the region’s top political and civil society leaders. Since obtaining his PH.D from Johns Hopkins University, he has held app ...
 
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show series
 
Dr. Karen Young, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses why the Biden Administration needs early and clear communication regarding US policy toward Saudi Arabia and Iran; prospects for healing the rift within the GCC; the limits and constraints of economic normalization between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain; the prospects…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with Orit Farkash Hacohen, Israel’s minister of tourism and strategic affairs. The Blue and White minister says an organized campaign on Arabic social media is now targeting the UAE, Bahrain and all other countries who have chosen the route of normalization with Israel. “In the ministry, we exposed this campaign for what…
 
Dr. Philip Gordon, Mary and David Boies Senior Fellow in US Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, former White House Coordinator for the Middle East, and author of Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East, discusses the lessons learned, and not learned, from US regime change efforts in the region; tr…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with Brig. Gen. (ret) Michael Herzog, former chief of staff to Israel's defense minister, who discusses what Israel might expect from a Biden Administration, noting that "President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris have special feelings towards Israel’" which will keep the relationship with Israel st…
 
Bijan Khajehpour, Managing Partner of Eurasian Nexus Partners and an Al-Monitor columnist, discusses the options for US-Iran diplomacy and the Iran nuclear deal under a Biden Administration; the candidates and issues shaping Iran’s presidential elections next year; the prospects for Iran’s economy; how Iran’s relations with Russia and China are lin…
 
Ben Caspit spoke with Israeli-American businessman and philanthropist Haim Saban, who is hailing Joe Biden’s victory. Saban thinks that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still afraid of the unpredictable nature of President Donald Trump, who "shoots from the hip," and could turn against Netanyahu in a heartbeat. On the Democrats, Saban says that…
 
HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States, discusses the depth and endurance of the US-Bahrain security relationship; how normalization offers hope for both economic prosperity and progress toward a two state solution; the challenge and threat from Iran, and why Bahrain supports ‘all multilateral frameworks’…
 
One day after former Vice President Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidential election, Ben Caspit talks with Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post. Katz says that Netanyahu now faces an uphill battle vis-à-vis the Democrats, who have not forgotten his animosity towards the Barack Obama administration. Katz notes he was shoc…
 
Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, former National Security Adviser and the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, discusses his new book, Battlegrounds: Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World; why the US should not return to the Iran deal, a ‘political disaster masquerading as a diplomatic triumph’; how…
 
Four days before the presidential elections, Ben Caspit spoke with Dan Gillerman, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations. Gillerman thinks that whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden is elected, the US administration will strive for a deal with Iran. He also said that the trend of Arab countries normalizing ties with Israel will continue and i…
 
Al-Monitor Columnist Semih Idiz discusses why Turkish-pro government media has made former Vice President Joe Biden an ‘object of anger’; why Turkey is escalating the diplomatic fight with Europe over offensive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad; Russia-Turkey relations; and Turkey’s interests and objectives in Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Syria.…
 
On the backdrop of Israel’s tenth annual cyber-tech conference, Ben Caspit speaks with Professor General (ret.) Itzhak Ben- Israel. Ben-Israel – a pioneer figure in the cyber technology sphere – tells how the country took it first steps in transforming technological know-how into civil and security uses. Still, Ben-Israel warns, ‘’Unlike most of ou…
 
Steven Cook, the Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses why the US needs to stay in the Middle East, but with a bit more realism; how to contain Iran; his personal observations and assessment of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; and why the US needs a new embassy in Iraq.…
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with veteran Israeli diplomat, Foreign Ministry General Director Alon Ushpiz. Speaking about peace with the Gulf states, Ushpiz says, “The beauty of what we’ve been doing in the last two to three months, is that it continued what we’ve been doing for the last 20 years.’’ Relations with United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and ot…
 
Al-Monitor contributor Sebastian Castelier discusses how the Gulf states balance their ties with both the US and China; why the GCC may prefer a Trump victory in the US presidential election; the impact of the Gulf economic downturn on migrant workers; the potential and limits of Israel’s normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain; the ‘lost…
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Gershon, who was one of the only IDF generals to express support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s settlement-annexation plan. The latter was subsequently abandoned for the sake of the normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates. The decorated general insists that while peace wi…
 
Former US Ambassador Ryan Crocker says the US should keep its embassy open and stay the course backing Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi; explains why he supports former Vice President Joe Biden for president; assesses the benefits and impact of Israel’s normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain; and discusses US policy toward Syria a…
 
Ben Caspit talks with popular diplomatic analyst Barak Ravid on demonstrations in Israel, developments in Azerbaijan and the peace agreements signed with the Emirates and Bahrain. Ravid argues that contrary to affirmations by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that the peace agreements broke the old 'peace-for-land' paradigm, normalization with Ara…
 
Dr. Alanoud Alsharekh, director of Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy, discusses the impact of the late Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on Kuwait and the region; what we can expect from the new Emir, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah; trends in Kuwait and the region toward women, youth, and independents becoming more engaged in politics; and the progres…
 
US Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) makes the case for a Biden foreign policy in the Middle East; discusses the Trump Administration’s policies toward Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, and the Israel normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE; and explains how, in his view, Russia and China have been gaining at the expense of the US in the region.…
 
On this week’s episode, foreign news editor of Israel’s Channel 13 Nadav Eyal explains to Ben Caspit how the government failed in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and why it pushed Israel to become the first western state to impose a second nationwide lockdown. Israel opened up its economy much too early after the first lockdown, with large we…
 
This week Ben Caspit speaks with former Israeli envoy to the UN Ron Prosor. The veteran ambassador argues that the normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates transforms Israel from a 'secret mistress' into a 'legitimate wife'. For Prosor, the UAE is telling the Palestinians: We are engaging with Israel so that we can change its policy, instea…
 
Al-Monitor Associate Editor Dr. Ali Al-Mamouri discusses the situation in Iraq, Prime Minster Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s reform agenda, the evolution of the Iraqi protest movement, the US troop presence in Iraq, and Iraq’s regional policies, including Iraq’s relationship with Iran.
 
Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, and a close adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, talks about the normalization agreement with the UAE and what comes next, the prospects for negotiations with the Palestinians, the US sale of F-35 fighter aircraft to the UAE, the threat from Iran and what would make a successful nuclear agreemen…
 
Ben Caspit, publisher of the bestselling book "The Netanyahu Years," talks to journalist Anshel Pfeffer, who in 2018 published "Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu." Pfeffer says that by reaching the agreement with the UAE, Netanyahu has reached the peak of his political career as a leader. In his opinion the premier has finish…
 
Ben Caspit speaks with former National Security Expert Maj. Gen. (ret.) Giora Eilad about the behind-the-scenes details of the historic agreement signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. For Eiland, by signing an agreement with Israel, the United Arab Emirates turned its back on the 2002 Arab Initiative, which conditions advancement of t…
 
CNBC News Anchor and International Correspondent Hadley Gamble discusses what Lebanon’s creditors may be thinking; the future of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s Vison 2030; her career covering the Middle East; the impact of the #metoo for women journalists, and more.
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with Science and Technology Minister Izhar Shay of the Blue and White party on the current budget crisis, which is shaking Israeli politics. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz traded shouts at the weekly corona cabinet meeting on Sunday. For Shay, the country’s nine million citizens…
 
Mina Al-Oraibi, editor of The National, on her personal and professional observations on Iraq; the UAE’s successes in managing the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the pandemic’s likely long-term impact; the UAE mission to Mars; and the challenges of digital journalism in the Middle East.
 
Ben talks with former Finance Minister and head of the opposition Yesh Atid Party in the Knesset, Yair Lapid. Lapid explains why he blames Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for incitement against demonstrations and why Israel’s political salvation won’t be coming from Blue and White Leader Benny Gantz.…
 
Emirati columnist and researcher Sultan Al-Qassemi, founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, discusses the impact of political events on contemporary Arab art; the role and recognition of women artists; trends in Iraqi, Palestinian, and Gulf art; the vibrant UAE art scene, and more!
 
This week Ben talks with Professor Karine Nahon, an associate professor of information science at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya, the president of the Israel Internet Association and chairwoman of the National Committee of Ethics, Regulation and Artificial Intelligence. Prof. Nahon says that while Israeli democracy isn’t dead yet, there a…
 
Elissa Slotkin, US Representative from Michigan and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, discusses the threat from Russia to US interests in the Middle East and worldwide; the US-Israel partnership and differences on annexation; why Congress matters on the use of force in the Middle East; US policy toward Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Turkey; …
 
In this week’s episode, Ben discusses the Israeli government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, the threat of Iranian retaliation on Israel, and potential for Tehran and Washington renegotiating the nuclear deal with Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, executive director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and a for…
 
In this week’s episode of On Israel, Ben speaks with Erel Margalit, the founder and executive chairman of the Jerusalem-based venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners and a former lawmaker from the Labor Party from 2013-2017. Margalit offers a sharp and focused critique of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and says that …
 
Hook, the Trump Administration’s top official on Iran, talks about the prospects for further prisoner exchanges and diplomacy with Iran; the threat from Iran’s nuclear programs; whether the US can sustain the UN-imposed arms embargo on Iran; and why iran is again at the top of the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.…
 
This week, Ben talks with former chief of staff of the IDF and Knesset Member Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Yair Golan. The left-wing lawmaker, a member of the Meretz Party, said that he is opposed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, expressing his fears that annexation will endanger the Zionist dream and turn Israel int…
 
Danny Danon, permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, and Riyad Mansour, permanent observer of Palestine to the United Nations, talk about the prospects for annexation, the extension of Israeli sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the potential reaction in the region, the Trump Administration’s peace plan, and the …
 
In this week’s episode, former defense minister and head of the right-wing Yamina party Naftali Bennett calls on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare full annexation of parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, while expressing his confidence that Israel is winning the war against Iran in Syria.…
 
HE Meshal Al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the United States, talks about the prospects for reconciliation with Qatar’s neighbors; US-Qatar relations; Israeli-Palestinian issues; Iran, plans for the World Cup, and how his country is managing with COVID-19.
 
Ben Caspit speaks with former Labor Party leader Isaac “Bougie” Herzog, who is now serving as the head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, the largest Jewish nonprofit organization focused on the diaspora and the ‘Aliyah’, meaning the immigration of Jewish people to Israel. Herzog talks to Ben about how coronavirus has changed the landscape for Aliyah…
 
Al-Monitor senior correspondent Amberin Zaman explains the background to the Kurdish question in Syria, US-Turkey relations, and what to expect next in the now nine-year war, as well as observations and advice for young journalists covering conflict and the Middle East.
 
Ben talks with Professor Uzi Arad, Netanyahu's former National Security Adviser and a lifelong friend (now a foe) says that "Netanyahu can be the loser of the annexation dream from both sides. His legacy argument and tendency to take credit and inflate his accomplishments is dangerous. Fake accomplishments and the attempt to imprint it into history…
 
Renowned scholar Gilles Kepel discusses his latest book and the trends and new fault lines that are shaping the region, including the impact of COVID-19, falling oil prices, political Islam, and the fallout of what was called the Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the region.…
 
Ben talks with Major General ( retired ) Amos Gilead who has had a long and distinguished career in the military and government in Israel. General Amos and Ben discuss Netanyahu’s plan to annex the West Bank. Gilead calls it a fiasco that can sabotage the stability of the Hashemite kingdom, risk the peace treaty with Israel and cause huge damage to…
 
HE Yousef Al-Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the United States, discusses how the UAE is managing the coronavirus pandemic; lessons being learned for governance in the post-COVID19 Middle East; Iran; Yemen, Syria; Libya; Qatar; Israeli-Palestinian issues; and more.
 
Joining Ben on this week’s podcast is MK Ofer Shelah, a leader in the Yesh Atid party and former journalist. Shelah gives his thoughts on the recent unity government between Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and Benny Gantz’s Blue & White Coalition, and whether he thinks Gantz has any real political leverage in this arrangement. Will Netanyahu actua…
 
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