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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
 
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…
 
We prowl the halls of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team in the capable hands of Tim Cato (@tim_cato), a staff writer with The Athletic. Tim got into sports reporting as a 17-year-old fan, but now he’s seen too much and the fandom has melted away. Still, he loves his job reporting on the huge characters, power dynamics and colorful feature storie…
 
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…
 
Ode to a Grecian journ(alist). Family looms large in this episode with Joanna Kakissis (@joannakakissis), a correspondent in Athens for National Public Radio, whose Greek parents instilled in her the importance of their culture from a young age. She made a mark early in her career as part of a Pulitzer finalist newspaper reporting team before retur…
 
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…
 
As a journalist, who you are matters. Freelance journalist Fariba Nawa (@faribanawa) tells how she learned this the hard way. But her identity, that early in her career may have hindered her, has turned into a strength. She has gone from refugee to a reporter who covers refugees. She is an Afghan American proud of her heritage who also struggles wi…
 
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…
 
A very special election episode! Libby Nelson (@libbyanelson) talks to us about how she is approaching U.S. presidential election coverage as Senior Deputy Policy Editor at Vox. As you may well have guessed, covering this election has turned out to be very different than we could have predicted. Libby also talks about how she came to work for journ…
 
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…
 
What’s this? There’s more? We talk in-depth about his job helping shape the visual language of The New York Times and his approach to video journalism, as well as an offbeat story set in North Korea that never quite happened. Countries featured: North Korea, USA Jonah's short doc about zoonotic diseases - https://nyti.ms/2F0fOkS Follow us on Twitte…
 
Gen X photo bum finds journalism, makes good. Well, ok, there’s about 15 more steps in the middle that leaves out. And like 60+ countries. Jonah Kessel (@jonah_kessel) is proof that the right camera can change someone’s life. Now at The New York Times, he is constantly trying to push the limits of what video and visuals can do, even when those limi…
 
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.…
 
A love story between Cuban spies. Jungle warfare in Central America. A military coup in Chile. A roller coaster relationship with Fidel Castro. Lucia Newman, Latin America Editor and a Senior Correspondent in Chile for Al Jazeera English, has seen and reported on it all over several decades covering the region, dodging more than a few bullets along…
 
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…
 
What do you do when there's a pandemic on, but you are a video journalist with no choice but to go out to capture the images you need? Atish Patel (@atishpatel, Insta: atishp) a videographer for Agence France-Presse discusses the calculations he makes when deciding whether to go out. He also talks about how being fired helped him to change his pers…
 
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…
 
What insanity inspires 20,000 normal people to run 56 miles (90 kilometers) every year in South Africa? Ryan Lenora Brown (@ryanlenorabrown) tells us how Apartheid helped make this race a phenomenon. She talks about trying to tell stories that don’t revert to stereotypes of Africa, even as we ponder the ethics of white foreigners reporting on South…
 
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…
 
Bopha Phorn (@bophaphorn) tells of hunting down a Russian pedophile and fearing for her life as she reported on deforestation in Cambodia. The International Women’s Media Foundation has honored her brave reporting with its Courage in Journalism Award. Bopha now reports for Voice of America’s Khmer language edition, a rare source of unrestricted new…
 
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…
 
The Feel Good Episode of the Year! Bangladeshi photographer Ismail Ferdous (IG: ismailferdous) went from borrowing money to pay for a camera to his first paid project being published in the New Yorker. He lays out his philosophy of seeking the work that speaks to him and working on personal projects without thinking of where it will be published. N…
 
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 …
 
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