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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 ...
 
Each week Andrew Parasiliti, president of the award-winning news site Al-Monitor, and Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor’s Senior Correspondent, interview newsmakers, journalists and thought leaders from the US and Middle East about the latest news and trends in the region. 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 ...
 
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show series
 
Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow, discusses why Russia wants an agreement with the US on cyber security; why Russia does not expect the US to lift sanctions on Russia; how Russian and Iranian policies differ in Syria; why Syria and Iran are minor issues in US-Russia relations; how to understand Russia…
 
Raphael Cormack, visiting researcher at Columbia University, discusses his book, Midnight in Cairo; profiles the amazing women who shaped and dominated Egypt’s music, theater, film, and cabaret scene in the early 20th century against the backdrop of dramatic political and social change; describes the rivalry between Mounira al-Mahdiyya and Oum Kalt…
 
Ben Caspit hosts this week former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Speaking just minutes after the swearing-in ceremony of the new government, Olmert says former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his "thugs" in the Knesset behaved shamefully, yelling and shouting at Israel’s new PM Naftali Bennett as he delivered his inauguration speech. "You may di…
 
Hana Salah, Al-Monitor columnist reporting from Gaza, discusses the impact of Israeli restrictions on Gaza’s reconstruction; the lack of clarity on the mechanism for international assistance; why people are flocking to Gaza’s polluted beaches; and how she managed her family life and professional responsibilities while reporting during the bombing.…
 
On the backdrop of an especially turbulent week in Israeli politics, Ben Caspit speaks with Oren Magnezy, co-founder of a business accelerator that helps Israeli start-ups work with the US Department of Defense. The former strategic adviser to prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert says, “What Benjamin Netanyahu fears most is a moment when he…
 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden are scheduled to hold their first meeting since Biden took office on the sidelines of next week's NATO summit in Brussels. Turkey's growing ties with Russia, symbolized by its acquisition of S-400 missiles, has driven a wedge between Ankara and Washington that is threatening to grow …
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with former Blue and White Knesset member Ruth Wasserman Lande. Wasserman, a strategic expert, public speaker and Middle East affairs’ commentator, talks about recent clashes in Jewish-Arab mixed cities, arguing there was no symmetry between attacks on Jews and attacks on Arabs. She claims the number of attacks against A…
 
Dr. Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, Director of the University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, explains what to expect, and not expect, from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to the region this week; why another eruption of political violence…
 
Ben Caspit hosts this week on his podcast Orit Perlov, a leading social media analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies who specializes in social networks in the Arab world. Perlov said that Gazans were shocked over the outbreak of violence and barrages of rockets fired against Israel. "The writing was not on the wall. Nobody in Gaza w…
 
Jon Alterman, senior vice president, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy and director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discusses the escalation in violence in Israel and Gaza and its impact on Israeli and Palestinian politics; the prospects for US mediation to stop the fighti…
 
Dr. Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, president of the Emirates Policy Center, discusses how the Abraham Accords could help provide context for tough concessions on the most controversial issues facing Israelis and Palestinians; UAE interests and expectations in dealing with regional security and Iran; why the UAE is well-placed to help mediate in the Horn of Afri…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with strategist Eran Etzion, who previously served as head of planning policy at Israel’s foreign ministry and as deputy head of the National Security Council in the prime minister's office. Etzion argues that the main reason for the escalation we now see both in east Jerusalem and the West Bank is Prime Minister Benjami…
 
Hana Salah, Al-Monitor columnist based in Gaza, discusses the uptick in violence after the cancellation of Palestinian elections and skirmishes in Jerusalem; why Gaza youth feel hopeless about politics; the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and people’s lives; disappointment among Gazans over the Abraham accords; perceptions of Iran; and expectatio…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week to professor Chuck Freilich, a senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. This expert on Israel’s national security strategy and Israel’s decision-making processes details five failures which brought about the tragedy of Mount Meron, where 45 people were trampled to death last week. For Freilich, the first …
 
Middle East scholar Arzu Yilmaz argues that Iran has made irreversible gains in Iraq allowing it to more or less dictate the limits of Turkish intervention in Iraq. Turkey is free to operate against the Kurdistan Workers Party in Iraqi Kurdistan but territories such as Sinjar that are disputed between Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurds are a red line.…
 
For his podcast this week, Ben Caspit hosts Tal Schneider, political correspondent for The Times of Israel. Schneider, an expert on Israel-US relations, says violence similar to that seen at the US Capitol on Jan. 6 is unlikely to happen in Israel. "Storming the Knesset is not really an option," she says. Yet if an anti-Netanyahu government is form…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with senior researcher and policy-planning expert Udi Evental. The former IDF colonel warns that Israel’s current policies on Iran and confronting the Biden administration over a return to the nuclear deal were crafted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alone, without any consultation or a decision-making process. Even…
 
Murat Mercan, Turkey’s Ambassador to the United States, discusses the prospects for enhanced US-Turkish cooperation during the Biden Administration; his country’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system; Turkey’s position on Syria, the Kurds, Ukraine, Greece, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean; and more.…
 
Nureldin Satti, Sudan’s Ambassador to the United States, says that the ‘stumbling block’ in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations so far has been Ethiopia’s unwillingness to engage in talks leading to a binding agreement; that, with an agreement, the GERD can be a symbol of integration rather than a cause of conflict; that Sudan d…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with Labor party chair Merav Michaeli, who succeeded in reviving a party on the brinks of demise. Despite gloom public opinion polls, under her leadership the Labor party garnered seven seats in the March 23 Knesset elections. Referring to the strong correlation between the party and the foundation of the country, Michae…
 
Raziye Akkoc, a British-Turkish journalist based in Ankara who reports for Agence France Presse and co-edits a highly regarded weekly newsletter Turkey Recap, speaks to Amberin Zaman about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's unchallenged grip on politics. For all his recent setbacks — most notably a weakening economy — he is, she says, "still …
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with Shimrit Meir, a senior Middle East analyst and journalist. The veteran commentator hails the exceptional campaign delivered by leader of the Arab Ra’am party Mansour Abbas. She says that Abbas’ preferred option is not a coalition with the center-left, but a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ri…
 
Afshin Molavi, senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Foreign Policy Institute and founder of Emerging World newsletter, discusses why we shouldn’t oversell the Iran-China agreement; the prospects for employment and growth in the MENA region following the coronavirus pandemic; the post-covid prospects for Dubai and Egypt; China’s role i…
 
Renad Mansour, senior research fellow and project director of the Iraq Initiative at Chatham House, discusses the origins, impacts and trends in Iraq’s protest movements; the influence and role of the US and Iran in Iraqi politics and security; the normalization of Iraq’s foreign policy; how network analysis informs our understanding of Iraq’s Popu…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with Haaretz political analyst Chaim Levinson. The veteran columnist says that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wins in the upcoming elections, Israel could witness new legislation that would completely change the structure of its democracy. Explaining the electoral success of Israel’s premier, Levinson says Netanyah…
 
Sherri Kraham Talabany, the president and executive director of the Iraqi Kurdistan-based SEED Foundation NGO, speaks to Amberin Zaman this week about the enormous challenges facing Iraq as the country grapples with the human toll of the havoc and brutality wreaked by the Islamic State. Few have suffered as much as the country's Yazidi community, w…
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute. Plesner warns that the undermining of Israel’s democracy may seem unconceivable, but is indeed possible. For Plesner, some eastern European countries — where democracy is being eroded — are models that Israel should not learn from. "Under certain circumsta…
 
Dr. Denise Natali, former Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations and Director of the Center for Strategic Research at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, discusses the impact of the bipartisan Global Fragility Act on US policy; the challenges of re-integration of non-state arme…
 
As tensions between Israel and Iran continue to rise, Ben Caspit speaks with former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy, who says Israel should revisit the issue of the Iran nuclear deal. "It would be a mistake to adopt the policy adopted by Israel when President [Donald] Trump came in, convincing him to leave the [deal]…Once you leave an agreement you no l…
 
Dalia Dassa Kaye, RAND senior political scientist and Wilson Center Fellow; Linda Robinson, Director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy; and Jeffrey Martini, RAND Senior Middle East researcher, discuss their recent RAND report, ‘Reimaging US strategy in the Middle East, including a new approach to assess US partnerships in the region;…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with Ambassador Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former consul general in New York and an expert on Israel-US relations. Pinkas discusses what the US declassified intelligence report on Jamal Khashoggi means for Israel-Saudi ties …and US-Israel relations. Faced with this new reality, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to t…
 
Sam Blatteis, CEO of The MENA Catalysts, explains the continued potential and vitality of the digital economy and high tech sectors in the Gulf, post-COVID; the Gulf’s commitment to the knowledge economy, and how it has become a differentiator in a fragmenting Arab world; why the US is still the partner of choice for Gulf governments, but why and h…
 
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