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Call Me Back - with Dan Senor

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News, Politics, News Commentary, Government, Society, Foreign Policy, Elections, Israel, Palestine, Geopolitics, Dan Senor

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Political and geopolitical analysis from the world's top experts, hosted by Dan Senor.

226 Episodes

SPECIAL EPISODE: Gallant Strikes (Again) - with Nadav Eyal

Last night, Israel time, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant took the exceptional step of publicly declaring his view that the current war trajectory is leading to one of two scenarios in Gaza: Hamas rules Gaza OR the IDF rules Gaza - both, Gallant says, are catastrophic outcomes. Gallant set an ultimatum for Prime Minister Netanyahu by saying that he would oppose Israeli military rule in Gaza, signaling that this is his red line and he blamed Netanyahu for what Gallant believes is a lack of a post-war plan. In this special episode, we asked Nadav Eyal to: A. Analyze Gallant's dramatic speech. B. Discuss what this means for the war, and C. Where this could lead politically. NADAV EYAL is a columnist at Yediiot. Eyal is one of Israel’s leading journalists, and a winner of the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most prestigious journalism award. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Published: 16 May 2024

Israeli Independence - with Dr. Tal Becker

HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: The first "Call Me Back" Live Event will take place on Monday June 3 at 6:00 pm at the Comedy Cellar in New York City. At the event -- which will ultimately be posted as an episode -- we will be talking to Michael Rapaport about the crisis of antisemitism in America and what it means for Israel and for American Jews. Partial proceeds for the event will go to Lev Echad ("One Heart"), an Israeli non-profit organization that has been doing indispensable work, especially since 10/07. To RSVP, please go to comedycellar.com, click the lineups button on the top left and select June 3. (There will also be an opportunity for audience questions and discussion following the formal conversation, and an extended smaller private event afterwards for those interested.) TODAY'S EPISODE: As Independence Day was winding down in Israel, I sat down for a conversation with Tal Becker in Jerusalem to discuss the deep uncertainty in Israeli society: we don’t know when or if the hostages will return home, we don’t when or if Hamas will be defeated, or even when or if the 100,000 displaced Israelis will return to their homes in the South and in the North. We don't know if a war with Hezbollah is next, and we certainly don’t know if and what could be a long term solution for the Palestinian conflict with Israel or Iran’s conflict with Israel. Dr. Tal Becker serves as a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and was the former Legal Adviser of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is a veteran member of successive Israeli peace negotiation teams and, most recently, represented Israel before the International Court of Justice and played an instrumental role in negotiating and drafting the historic peace and normalization agreements (the "Abraham Accords"). Dr. Becker earned his doctorate from Columbia University in New York City, and is the recipient of numerous scholarly awards, including the Rabin Peace Prize, and the Guggenheim Prize for best international law book for his book "Terrorism and the State".

Transcribed - Published: 16 May 2024

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

At 8:00 pm tonight in Israel, the siren will sound across Israel to mark the commencement of Israel’s Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism). This is the day that Israelis, as a nation, honor the fallen from Israel’s military and those casualties from its wars and victims of terror attacks. Since last Memorial Day, 1594 Israelis have been killed. Out of those, 834 are civilians murdered in terror attacks, 822 of them since 10/07 (this is out of a total 4,070 who have been killed from terrorism since the Jewish State was founded). We will have more to say about Israel’s Memorial Day and its Independence Day in the days ahead. As it relates to the war Israel is fighting today, this morning I spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about a number of issues, including the coming operation in Rafah, the necessity for continued IDF operations in other parts of Gaza that the IDF had previously cleared, what makes this war so different, whether the Prime Minister is thinking seriously about the ‘day after‘ in Gaza and the contours of a Day After Plan for Gaza, how the Prime Minister is approaching the hostage negotiations, and whether exile for Hamas’s leaders (including Sinwar) could be part of a final deal to get the hostages home. In this episode, passage read from “The Genius of Israel”: https://tinyurl.com/ytp43fx3 https://tinyurl.com/3sjkuczz

Transcribed - Published: 12 May 2024

Screams Before Silence - with Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is one of the most accomplished executives in the tech industry. After attending Harvard University for undergrad and for an MBA, Sheryl’s early career included stints at the World Bank and the U.S. Treasury Department in the Clinton Administration, where she served with then-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. She then joined Google as VP of online sales and operations in 2001, before joining META as COO, where she worked from 2008 to 2022. Today both companies are among the top 10 market cap companies. Sheryl is also an accomplished author: she co-authored "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)"; and "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy" (with Adam Grant, 2017). But since 10/07, Sheryl has been focused on one cause – Israel and the Jewish people. Sheryl has been confronting: Rape Denialism. She has done this primarily through a documentary film she created called "Screams Before Silence", which you can watch on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAr9oGSXgak&t=1456s You can also learn more about the film here: https://www.screamsbeforesilence.com Sheryl has also raised awareness about this issue all over the world, from the UN to capitals throughout Europe. In this conversation, Sheryl and I discuss how Judaism and Israel had shaped or fit into her life before 10/07, how 10/07 changed her, and how she came to create this film and commit to this cause.

Transcribed - Published: 10 May 2024

The Rise and Fall of a Hostage Deal - with Nadav Eyal

What exactly unfolded in Israel over the past 72 hours? Details are still emerging, but at one point it appeared that all sides may have been close to reaching a hostage/temporary ceasefire deal. Except that we now know that Israel had made major concessions in one deal, while Hamas was agreeing to an entirely different -- and new -- deal, so there wasn't actually any kind of agreement to speak of. All against the backdrop of the IDF commencing its operation in Rafah. And, what is Israel doing at the Rafah border with Egypt and what are the implications for Israel-Egypt relations? Our guest is NADAV EYAL, who is a columnist at Yediiot. Eyal is one of Israel’s leading journalists, and a winner of the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most prestigious journalism award. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Transcribed - Published: 8 May 2024

The Age of Grievance - with Frank Bruni

Frank Bruni is a long time journalist, including more than 25 years with the New York Times. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. He is now also a full professor at Duke University, teaching at the school of public policy, while he continues to write his popular weekly newsletter and additional essays for the Times. Two of Frank’s recent books are relevant to what we are watching play out right now on America’s college campuses. Eight years ago, he published “Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania” -- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/where-you-go-is-not-who-youll-be-frank-bruni/1119921235?ean=9781455532681&aug=1 And Frank’s most recent book, which was just published last week, is called “The Age of Grievance” -- https://tinyurl.com/3yj4c92s In our conversation and in his new book, Frank addresses the fact that Jews are being blamed for objecting to the 10/07 massacre of Jews. How did this happen? It didn’t come out of nowhere? How is it the college campuses have become the focus of this debate over here? "The Age of Grievance" addresses the shocking upside down debate that erupted over here following 10/07, which we discuss in our conversation. We also try to understand how some universities are getting it right and others are getting it so wrong. Frank is uniquely positioned to have insights – from his perspective at the Times, on the front lines as a professor at a top American university, and as a bestselling author of a new book about grievance.

Transcribed - Published: 6 May 2024

Israel's Sophie's Choice - with Haviv Rettig Gur

There are two major decisions Israel is contending with right now: I) proceed with the military operation in Rafah; or II) pause the fighting, perhaps for an extended period of time, in service of a hostage deal. Of course a hostage deal would also most likely include the release of a large number of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons. These decisions are coming to a head right now for Israel and for Hamas. All while Secretary of State Blinken is in the Middle East. All while Riyadh is working on some kind of defense pact with the U.S. and the possibility of normalization with Israel. And all against the backdrop of Hamas and Hezbollah issuing statements of solidarity with American college kids. Fortunately, we’ve got Haviv Rettig Gur back, as we resume our regular check-ins.

Transcribed - Published: 2 May 2024

Proof of Life - with Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin

Share on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/4ku8n3r3 After over 200 days, Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin saw proof of life of their son Hersh Goldberg-Polin for the first time, who was severely wounded in the October 7th massacre and taken hostage by Hamas. Just last Wednesday, a video surfaced — which was produced by Hamas — of Hersh speaking to camera. In short, in the video, Hersh describes the he was taken hostage, he criticizes the Israeli Government, and he expresses love for his parents, Jon and Rachel and his two sisters. He addresses his severe wound from October 7th, in which his left hand — his dominant hand — was blown off. When I was in Israel,I visited with Rachel and Jon and we recorded a conversation for this podcast about the video, as well as what else they had learned from it, especially about Hersh’s severe wound — he continues to be medically fragile. Jon and Rachel discussed why they decided to approve media release and coverage of the video. Rachel and Jon also reacted to the shocking protests on US campuses — they are both from the US, as is Hersh, and they reflected on what they regarded as some encouraging news about a statement on the hostages, which was signed by 18 countries. They also addressed the possibility of Israeli elections in the midst of this ongoing hostage crisis and war. Follow “Bring Hersh Home” on Instagram: bring.hersh.home Hersh Goldberg Polin video: https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/hostage-hersh-goldberg-polins-family-approves-publication-of-hamas-propaganda-video/ Column by William McGurn of the WSJ: “Hamas’s American Hostages” — https://tinyurl.com/ymraw2yv

Transcribed - Published: 30 April 2024

Bonus Episode: Diary from Columbia’s ‘Liberated Zone’ - with Michael Powell

Michael Powell has been covering New York City life and politics for decades, as a long-time reporter for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and now the Atlantic. He recently was on Columbia’s campus to try to better understand the encampment movement that has taken over the campus. He joins us to report what he saw and learned. Article discussed in this episode: The Unreality of Columbia’s ‘Liberated Zone’ — https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2024/04/columbia-university-protests-palestine/678159/

Transcribed - Published: 30 April 2024

An Insider's Account of Columbia's Pro-Hamas Protests - with Shai Davidai

Share on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/3uucbtrr Since 10/07, no faculty member at Columbia University (or any university for that matter) has been more outspoken about the shocking and staggering rise in antisemitism than Shai Davidai. He brings his first-hand accounts to our conversation today. Shai is Assistant Professor in the Management Division of Columbia Business School. He received his PhD from Cornell University in 2015. Prior to joining Columbia Business School, Shai spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University and 3 years as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at The New School for Social Research. Since Columbia students established the most recent pro-Hamas encampment on the Columbia campus days ago, Israeli-born and raised Shai Davidai has been barred from campus. Having just now arrived in Israel, Shai joins us in Tel Aviv today to describe what exactly has been happening since 10/07, the early signs of antisemitism he identified at Columbia well before 10/07, and the common misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the rhetoric and incitement being used by a number of Columbia student organizations and faculty. You can follow Shai on X here: @ShaiDavidai

Transcribed - Published: 26 April 2024

A lot is happening in the Middle East... and nothing at all - with Nadav Eyal

Share on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/3wv3d77z As we try to make sense of the past two weeks, consider this: 1. IDF withdraws from most of the Gaza Strip while it now also appears increasingly likely that the IDF will conduct an operation in Rafah. 2. An historic Iranian attack of 300 ballistic missiles, UAVs and cruise missiles, and an historic coalition force that includes Israel, the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia and Jordan that shot down almost all of the projectiles. 3. A week later, Israel attacks Iran. 4. A widely backed U.N. security council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state, which the US vetoed. So a lot is happening, but is Israel closer to achieving the war's objectives? To help us understand what’s going on, our guest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. He is a columnist for Yediot. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news.

Transcribed - Published: 22 April 2024

How Israel Lost The Story - with Scott Galloway

Share the episode on Twitter: https://tinyurl.com/yc2yfbmz Just about every day we’re asked: how did Israel lose the story?We wanted to put this question to an expert in marketing and storytelling, but could come at Israel’s story with some distance. Someone who wasn’t inherently hostile to Israel but also wasn’t a cheerleader. Scott Galloway is a Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches Brand Strategy and Digital Marketing. He’s the host of the Prof G Podcast and the Pivot podcast, which he co-hosts with Kara Swisher. He is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books ,including “The Four”, “The Algebra of Happiness”, and “Adrift: America in 100 Charts”. He has a new book coming out, which you can pre-order, called “The Algebra of Wealth: A Simple Formula for Financial Security.” Scott has served on the board of directors of Eddie Bauer, The New York Times Company and the Berkeley School of Business. In this episode, Scott talks for the first time in an extended conversation about his observations from Israel. We also discuss the future of higher education, and we talk about his new book and comparisons between the experiences of young Israelis and young Americans during their formative years. Pre-order Scott Galloway’s new book: “The Algebra of Wealth” — https://tinyurl.com/2s38vxpb Follow Scott at: ProfGMedia.com

Transcribed - Published: 17 April 2024

Special Episode: Did Iran Miscalculate? - with Nadav Eyal

Share the episode on Twitter: tinyurl.com/yc3rjw6y To help us understand what happened overnight in Israel, ourguest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. He is a columnist for Yediot. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news.

Transcribed - Published: 14 April 2024

What it’s like to fight for your (captive) family - with Maya Roman

There has been growing tension within Israeli society over where to prioritize a hostage deal – at what cost (in terms of how many and which Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons should be part of the deal and the length of any temporary ceasefire). At the same time, the sense of urgency behind Israel's hostage cause in capitals around the world is…drifting. Not disappearing, but drifting. A turning point seemed to be when the UN Security Council passed a resolution – 14-0 (made possible by a US decision not to veto) – that, for the first time, did not call for a ceasefire that was conditioned on the return of the hostages. It’s a sense we get from families of hostages, who are in regular contact with media, NGOs and governments around the world. It’s against that backdrop, that we sat down in person with Maya Roman, who was in New York and Washington, DC. Maya Roman is an Israeli journalist from Tel Aviv. On October 7th, Maya’s cousin, Yarden Roman-Gat, was visiting her husband’s parents in Kibbutz Beeri along with other family members. Yarden and her sister in law, Carmel, were taken hostage. Yarden’s mother-in-law (and Carmel’s mother), Kinneret, was murdered. Yarden was released as part of the hostage deal last November. Carmel is still being held. Since 10/07, Maya has not stopped organizing or advocating for the release of her family. When we hear of the hostage families movement, Maya is the kind of person who has been in the middle of it. In our conversation, Maya talks about what they have learned from Yarden since her return from captivity, and where the hostage movement may go from here, at this crucial and very raw phase. "Bring Carmel Back" on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bringcarmelback?igsh=MTBkaGlsd3JtbXI4eQ==

Transcribed - Published: 12 April 2024

Data Science Vs Hamas Math - with Abraham Wyner

30,000. You hear that number and you already know exactly what we are referring to. It’s 30,000 casualties. That’s the number of Palestinians that have been killed in Gaza as a result of the IDF response to the October 7th invasion of Israel, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Of course, we don’t know how the Gaza Health Ministry arrived at that number. How does it collect this data, analyze it, and how does it account for civilian casualties versus Hamas terrorists? It’s a big round number that everyone - from news reporters, to aid organizations to governments - mindlessly repeat. Well, a data scientist at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania has taken the time to try to understand how these numbers are computed. He published his study in a piece in Tablet Magazine — it’s called “How the Gaza Ministry of Health Fakes Casualty Numbers”. You can find it here: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/how-gaza-health-ministry-fakes-casualty-numbers Abraham Wyner is Professor of Statistics and Data Science at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Faculty Co-Director of the Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative. Professor Wyner received his Bachelor's degrees in Mathematics from Yale University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with distinction in his major. He was the recipient of the Stanley Prize for excellence in Mathematics. His PhD in Statistics is from Stanford University.

Transcribed - Published: 10 April 2024

Is the war in Gaza over? With Nadav Eyal

There have been two major developments in the past few days. First, the IDF has announced it is withdrawing much of its ground force presence from Gaza, at the same time that Iran is threatening a direct military hit against Israel or Israeli assets globally. The Iranian threat is in response to the IDF operation that destroyed Iran’s Consulate in Damascus one week ago. To help us understand whether we are at a truly new stage (or late stage) of the war, our guest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. He is a columnist for Yediot. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news.

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2024

Is Israel Losing America's Jews? With Yossi Klein Halevi and Rabbi David Ingber

Over the past several weeks, especially the Biden administration’s statements Thursday, Israel has been subjected to a fresh round of harsh criticisms. We’ll be turning to the elevating U.S.-Israel tensions in our Monday episode with Nadav Eyal. But today we have a conversation about the criticisms we have been hearing in intra-Jewish community debates here in the U.S. and other Diaspora communities. While there is a growing number of American Jewish leaders calling on Israel to change course and pursue a permanent ceasefire -- or at least wage a more “humane” war -- these voices are still a small minority (albeit a very loud minority). These voices get outsized attention, but they should not be ignored. They are people that many of us know. Some have large platforms. Many non-Jews hear them on those platforms and cite these Jewish figures as sources. What does all this tell us about trends in American Jewish life long before October 7? What is the impact now on Israel? These are some of the questions we try to unpack with: -Yossi Klein Halevi, who is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Yossi has written a number of books, including his latest, "Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor," which was a New York Times bestseller. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Times of Israel. He is co-host of "For Heaven's Sake" podcast. -Rabbi David A. Ingber is the new Senior Director for Jewish Life and Senior Director of the Bronfman Center at 92NY. He serves as the founding rabbi of Romemu, the largest Renewal synagogue in the United States. Items discussed in this episode: -Rabbi David Ingber's Shabbat sermon on Israel (03/22/24): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px5i9mIxd5E&t=3942s -Rabbi Angela Buchdahl's letter to her congregants on her position on the war in response to the "Times of Israel" article: https://centralsynagogue.cmail20.com/t/j-e-sulquk-dhkutlbli-r/ -Yossi Klein Halevi's books: https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B001IXOA04

Transcribed - Published: 5 April 2024

Is Gantz headed for the exit? with Anshel Pfeffer

On Wednesday, Benny Gantz announced he was calling for new elections to take place in September. What is the significance of this announcement? Is it a sharp turn for Israel’s Government? What are the implications for the war and the War Cabinet? What does it mean for the protest movement? Anshel Pfeffer — who has covered Israeli politics, Israeli national security, and global affairs for over two decades — joins our conversation very late at night in Jerusalem. He is a senior correspondent and columnist for Haaretz and Israel correspondent for The Economist. Anshel is the author of the book: “ Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Transcribed - Published: 4 April 2024

Biden’s two-pronged Israel strategy — with Bret Stephens

Since October 7, the United States has vetoed three resolutions put before the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire. But suddenly, this past Monday, in a jarring change of course, the U.S. abstained, which -- for all practical purposes -- means the Biden administration chose to allow the 15-member Security Council to pass a similar resolution by a 14-0 vote.

Transcribed - Published: 29 March 2024

Is Israel Alone? With Haviv Rettig Gur

The new edition of The Economist Magazine features a photo of an Israeli flag, blowing in the wind…all alone. The cover title of this issue’s editorial is just that — “Israel Alone”. The editorial reads: “Today Israel has destroyed perhaps half of Hamas’s forces. But in important ways its mission has failed. “As estrangement from the West deepens, so deterrence may weaken. Firms could be blacklisted. Bosses could move high-tech businesses abroad or, if they are reservists, be arrested there.” But is Israel actually alone? This is what we unpack today during our regular check-in with Haviv Rettig Gur. And in the first part of the conversation, we wound up discussing why the criticism of Israel today looks almost identical to criticism of Israel in previous wars, regardless of which politicians are leading Israel.

Transcribed - Published: 25 March 2024

War Cabinet Member, Ron Dermer

In the days ahead, Minister Dermer will be flying to Washington with a small delegation to meet with the Biden administration about the IDF’s options for Rafah, which we discuss. We also discuss where the overall military operation in Gaza stands now, the hostage negotiations, whether the Israeli Government should be expected to have a day-after plan rolled out now, what role the Arab world can or should play in that day-after planning, and the Government of Canada’s decision to ban future arms sales to Israel.

Transcribed - Published: 21 March 2024

Biden's Bibi Problem - with Nadav Eyal

On October 6th of last year there was a long-standing ceasefire in place between Israel and Hamas. On October 7th, Hamas launched a massive war against Israel. Israel responded to this war that Hamas launched. Wars are violent. In all wars, civilians tragically get killed in the crossfire. What is unique about this war is how Hamas has used violence against civilians – Israeli civilians and Palestinian civilians -- as core to its war-fighting strategy. What is unique to this war is how Hamas has built a 300-plus mile tunnel system underground to protect Hamas leadership and fighters while it set up its own civilian population to suffer. What is also unique about this war is the lengths the IDF has gone to telegraph so many of its operations so Palestinian civilians can re-locate in advance of those operations. This is the reality of this war. And, yet, the Biden administration has supported Israel in this war from Day 1. Israel articulated its objectives in this war. The Biden administration made clear it supported Israel in pursuit of those objectives. But suddenly, the Biden administration and some of its allies on Capitol Hill are excoriating Israel's government. In fact, they are calling for the toppling of Israel’s leaders in the middle of this war. Well, as Minister Benny Gantz said on Friday, “ Israel is a strong democracy, and only its citizens will determine its leadership and future. Any external intervention is unacceptable.” How does this shifting US-Israel relationship impact actual events on the ground? The actual things that matter in this war -- the hostage negotiations, the debate about a day-after plan for Gaza, and the coming operation in Rafah, to name a few. To help us understand what’s going on here,guest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. He is a columnist for Yediot. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news.

Transcribed - Published: 18 March 2024

The Sobering of the Israeli Left - with Dr. Einat Wilf

Since October 7, we have heard from more and more friends in Israel who came of age -- politically -- in the 1990s. Some of these friends were key political figures on the Israeli Left and were committed to working on a two-state solution as the final resolution to achieve regional peace. Dr. Einat Wilf joins us to discuss the sobering of many of these figures and what it means for Israel's future. Einat also discusses an essay she penned for Sapir journal about the tendency of activists in other countries to project their political debates on Israel -- something happening today -- however disconnected from Israel those debates may be. Her essay is called "How Not to Think About the Conflict" and it can be found here: https://sapirjournal.org/social-justice/2021/04/how-not-to-think-about-the-conflict/ Einat was born and raised in Israel. She was an Intelligence Officer in the IDF. She has worked for McKinsey. She was Foreign Policy Advisor to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and an advisor to Yossi Beilin, who was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Wilf was a member of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) in the early 2010s, where she served as Chair of the Education Committee and Member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. She has a BA from Harvard, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge. She was a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University and is a lecturer at Reichman University in Israel. Einat is the author of seven books that explore key issues in Israeli society. “We Should All Be Zionists“, published in 2022, brings together her essays from the past four years on Israel, Zionism and the path to peace; and she co-authored “The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace”, which was published in 2020. "THE WAR OF RETURN" -- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-war-of-return-adi-schwartz/1131959248?ean=9781250364845

Transcribed - Published: 15 March 2024

My 'Come to Jesus' Moment with Haviv

As Ramadan begins, many analysts are speculating on what this means for Israel’s coming military operation in Rafah. There is a threat from Hamas to deter a Rafah operation. There is a threat from the Biden administration seemingly designed to encourage Israeli’s War Cabinet to re-think the operation. Are these real threats? How does Israel evaluate these threats? This is what we unpack in our weekly check-in with Haviv Rettig Gur. Then we discuss whether President Biden is beginning a turn against Israel. Is it real or is it performative? Is there a difference? What are the implications?

Transcribed - Published: 12 March 2024

Israel’s Near Death Experience - with Micah Goodman

Micah Goodman is on the speed-dial of a number of Israeli political leaders – from right to left, but especially on the center-left and the center-right. He is a polymath, a podcaster and one of Israel’s most influential public intellectuals, having written books ranging from biblical lessons for the modern age to Israel’s geopolitics. One book in particular, had an outsized impact in terms of its framing of the conundrum that Israel has been in with the Palestinians since 1967. That book is called Catch-67: The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War, Not only have all of his books been bestsellers in Israel, he essentially created a new genre; books that bring core texts of Jewish thought to a general, secular audience. But Micah has a new book, which he wrote in a four-month sprint following October 7. His new book is called ‘The Eighth Day’, in which Micah tries to understand the implications of the nation’s trauma and what it means for the other ‘day after’ (not the ‘day after’ in Gaza, but the ‘day after’ inside Israel). What does this moment mean for Israelis? How will 10/07 re-shape Israeli society…and its politics?This is the first interview Micah has done about his new book, which will be published (in Hebrew) at the end of March. Micah Goodman’s books: Catch-67 — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/catch-67-micah-goodman/1128089735?ean=9780300248418 The Wondering Jew — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wondering-jew-micah-goodman/1136574622?ean=9780300252248

Transcribed - Published: 6 March 2024

External pressures on Israel, and within - with Haviv Rettig Gur

Will there be a negotiated pause in fighting in advance of Ramadan, or will the IDF move against the remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah? At the same time, what to make of the new external and internal pressures on Israel? Externally, there is mounting pressure on Israel regarding delivery of humanitarian aid, and increasing internal pressure — specifically on Prime Minister Netanyahu — relating to how he’ll hold his Government together in the midst of a new debate about exemptions of Haredim from military service. To help us unpack what’s going in with these intensifying external and internal political pressure points, we are joined by Haviv Rettig Gur, for our regular check in.

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

1948 - with Benny Morris (Part 1)

PART 1 of 2 For more than 30 years of ‘on again-off again’ peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, many Israelis, and certainly most interested observers in the West, looked to the 1967 Six-Day War as the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If only we could reverse the results of that defensive war in which Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza, the problem would be solved, so the narrative goes. And this served as the basis for all peace talks and agreements that have taken place since. But, to anyone willing to listen, the story that Palestinian leaders were telling had nothing to do with 1967, and everything to do with 1948. And the story they tell goes something like this: ‘In the 1940s Jews escaped the Nazis, fled Europe, colonized Palestine, and unprovoked - ethnically cleansed the Arabs. A textbook case of settler colonialism.’ They have managed to propagate this false narrative throughout much of Western society, where millions are mindlessly chanting those six words - ‘from the river to the sea.’ So while we never thought we’d need to re-litigate this topic, we invited to the podcast (for a special two-part discussion) one of the quintessential historians of 1948 - Benny Morris. Professor Morris has dedicated his entire career to studying and writing about the war of 1948, the circumstances that led to it and its aftermath - i.e The Palestinian Refugee Problem. Morris's first book was “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”. His other books include: “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War”, and “Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001”. He completed his undergraduate studies in history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a doctorate in modern European history from the University of Cambridge. Links to all of Benny Morris’s books can be found here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Benny%20morris His recent published essays can be found here: https://quillette.com/author/benny-morris/?gad_source=1

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2024

1948 - with Benny Morris (Part 2)

PART 2 of 2 For more than 30 years of ‘on again-off again’ peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, many Israelis, and certainly most interested observers in the West, looked to the 1967 Six-Day War as the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If only we could reverse the results of that defensive war in which Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza, the problem would be solved, so the narrative goes. And this served as the basis for all peace talks and agreements that have taken place since. But, to anyone willing to listen, the story that Palestinian leaders were telling had nothing to do with 1967, and everything to do with 1948. And the story they tell goes something like this: ‘In the 1940s Jews escaped the Nazis, fled Europe, colonized Palestine, and unprovoked - ethnically cleansed the Arabs. A textbook case of settler colonialism.’ They have managed to propagate this false narrative throughout much of Western society, where millions are mindlessly chanting those six words - ‘from the river to the sea.’ So while we never thought we’d need to re-litigate this topic, we invited to the podcast (for a special two-part discussion) one of the quintessential historians of 1948 - Benny Morris. Professor Morris has dedicated his entire career to studying and writing about the war of 1948, the circumstances that led to it and its aftermath - i.e The Palestinian Refugee Problem. Morris's first book was “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”. His other books include: “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War”, and “Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001”. He completed his undergraduate studies in history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a doctorate in modern European history from the University of Cambridge. Links to all of Benny Morris’s books can be found here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Benny%20morris His recent published essays can be found here: https://quillette.com/author/benny-morris/?gad_source=1

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2024

The Anatomy of a Deal - with Nadav Eyal

Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu released to his cabinet what could be interpreted as a first sketch, an early blueprint, or a statement of principles for post-war Gaza planning. At the same time, and much more newsworthy, it appears that there is some progress on the negotiations to return more Israeli hostages. To help us understand what’s going with both tracks, our guest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. He is a columnist for Yediot. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news. One of Israel’s leading journalists, Eyal was a winner of the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most prestigious journalism award. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Transcribed - Published: 26 February 2024

How Hamas fooled the world - with Matti Friedman

Every day we see news accounts “reported” by reputable journalists. There is typically one frame in the post-10/07 War: ‘Gazan Palestinians are the victims of Israel.’ How does this happen? How do journalists actually operate in Gaza and around the world? And is this a window into what had Hamas figured out long before 10/07 — that the forces of barbarism could manipulate the intentional press reaction to their massacre of 10/07? That is why we wanted to sit down with Matti Friedman, who is one of the most thoughtful writers when it comes to all matters related to Israel, the broader Middle East, and also trends in the world of journalism. He writes regularly for The Free Press is a regular contributor to The Atlantic. His newest book is called “Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai.” Before that he published "Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel," and before that "Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War.” Matti’s army service included tours in Lebanon. His work as a reporter has taken him from Israel to Lebanon, Morocco, Moscow, the Caucasus, and Washington, DC. He is a former Associated Press correspondent and essayist for the New York Times opinion section. But it was his time covering Hama’s takeover of Gaza that led him to study with great detail how Hamas manipulates the media, NGOs and the international community, and how they are working from the same playbook right now, perhaps quite masterfully. Matti Friedman's published works that we discuss in this episode: “The Wisdom of Hamas” — The Free Press — https://www.thefp.com/p/matti-friedman-the-wisdom-of-hamas “What if the Real War in Israel Hasn’t Even Started?” — The Free Press — https://www.thefp.com/p/matti-friedman-israel-hezbollah-war "There Is No 'Israeli-Palestinian Conflict'" -- The New York Times -- https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/opinion/israeli-palestinian-conflict-matti-friedman.htm "An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth" -- Tablet Magazine -- https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/israel-insider-guide "What The Media Gets Wrong About Israel" -- The Atlantic -- https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/11/how-the-media-makes-the-israel-story/383262/ That is why we wanted to sit down with Matti Friedman, who is one of the most thoughtful writers when it comes to all matters related to Israel, the broader Middle East, and also trends in the world of journalism. He is a monthly writer for Tablet Magazine and a regular contributor to The Atlantic. His newest book is called “Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai.” Before that he published "Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel," and before that "Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War.” Matti’s army service included tours in Lebanon. His work as a reporter has taken him from Israel to Lebanon, Morocco, Moscow, the Caucasus, and Washington, DC. He is a former Associated Press correspondent and essayist for the New York Times opinion section. But it was his time covering Hama’s takeover of Gaza that led him to study with great detail how Hamas manipulates the media, NGOs and the international community, and how they are working from the same playbook right now, perhaps quite masterfully. Matti Friedman's published works that we discuss in this episode: "There Is No 'Israeli-Palestinian Conflict'" -- The New York Times -- https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/opinion/israeli-palestinian-conflict-matti-friedman.htm "An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth" -- Tablet Magazine -- https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/israel-insider-guide "What The Media Gets Wrong About Israel" -- The Atlantic -- https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/11/how-the-media-makes-the-israel-story/383262/

Transcribed - Published: 22 February 2024

Is a peaceful Palestinian State even possible? - with Haviv Rettig Gur

On Sunday, Israel’s cabinet unanimously issued a statement rejecting efforts by the international community to force immediate recognition of a Palestinian State, especially so soon after 10/07. This was following an extensive article in the Washington Post last week that revealed plans — according to background sources — for Washington, the EU, and Arab capitals to accelerate the path to recognition of a Palestinian state. Quoting from the Washington Post article: “The elephant in the planning room is Israel, and whether its government will acquiesce to much of what is being discussed: the withdrawal of many, if not all, settler communities on the West Bank; a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem; the reconstruction of Gaza; and security and governance arrangements for a combined West Bank and Gaza.” You can read the full Washington Post article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/02/14/gaza-peace-israel-palestinian-state/ According to the Israeli cabinet statement in response: “Israel utterly rejects international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. A settlement, if it is to be reached, will come about solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions. Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition in the wake of the October 7th massacre would be a massive and unprecedented reward to terrorism and would foil any future peace settlement.” What was even more noteworthy was Benny Gantz said “the pathway to regional stability and peace is not through one-sided actions like recognition of a Palestinian state.” The real question, embedded in these Israelis responses and others, is whether a peaceful Palestinian State is even possible? That’s what we discuss today with Haviv Rettig Gur of the Times of Israel, during our weekly check-in.

Transcribed - Published: 19 February 2024

The spirit of a nation at war — with Wendy Singer

While there has been a lot of resentment inside Israel towards its political and security leadership, Israeli society has stepped up in ways sometimes impossible for me to describe. So, when I was in Israel, I asked Wendy Singer to join me for a conversation about what most Israelis are seeing and experiencing at the grassroots level, day-to-day, that we may not see. Wendy Singer is an advisor to several Israeli high-tech start-ups, including Re-Milk — https://www.remilk.com/ Wendy was the executive director of Start-Up Nation Central since its founding in 2013 — https://startupnationcentral.org/ Previously, she was the director of AIPAC’s Israel office for 16 years and served in AIPAC’s Washington office before immigrating to Israel in 1994. Earlier in her career, Wendy was a foreign policy advisor in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Transcribed - Published: 17 February 2024

Jerusalem - Rafah - Washington - with Nadav Eyal

Are we witnessing a dramatic change in the Biden administration’s approach to Israel’s defensive war against Hamas? Are these changes just rhetorical to mollify either US domestic political constituencies or Middle East regional actors (or both)? Or do they represent meaningful policy changes? Should Israeli leaders be concerned that the US-Israel relationship is entering a new phase? To help us understand what’s going on, our guest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. He is a columnist for Yediiot. Eyal is one of Israel’s leading journalists, and a winner of the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most prestigious journalism award. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We also have an update from Nadav on the heroic hostage rescue in Rafah.

Transcribed - Published: 13 February 2024

The cost of starting a (losing) war - with Dr. Einat Wilf

Today we look back at the history of Palestinian violence against the Jews in Israel (and in the pre-state Yishuv) -- from the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1917 through the myriad efforts to establish a Palestinian Arab State alongside a Jewish State in the 1930s and the 40s. In our discussion today, we follow this pattern all the way through the Second Intifada in the early 2000s, and now today. Each time a war or wave of terror is launched, and Israel perseveres, the Palestinian leadership tries to dictate the terms of what comes next, as though they were the victors in this defensive war, rather than the aggressors and the defeated. Why? And are we seeing that same mindset play out right now? Did Hamas actually think it would defeat Israel with this attack, and Israel would fold to its demands, or possibly even just disappear? To help us understand this important history, Dr. Einat Wilf joins us. Einat was born and raised in Israel. She was an Intelligence Officer in the IDF. She has worked for McKinsey. She was Foreign Policy Advisor to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and an advisor to Yossi Beilin, who was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Wilf was a member of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) in the early 2010s, where she served as Chair of the Education Committee and Member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. She has a BA from Harvard, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge. She was a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University and is a lecturer at Reichman University in Israel. Einat is the author of seven books that explore key issues in Israeli society. “We Should All Be Zionists“, published in 2022, brings together her essays from the past four years on Israel, Zionism and the path to peace; and she co-authored “The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace”, which was published in 2020. "THE WAR OF RETURN" -- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-war-of-return-adi-schwartz/1131959248?ean=9781250364845

Transcribed - Published: 8 February 2024

How to build a Palestinian state - with Haviv Rettig Gur

Haviv Rettig Gur of the TIMES OF ISRAEL returns for his weekly check-in from Israel. There has been a recent flurry of statements coming out of London, Washington, Brussels and the UN about the need to move on the recognition (or establishment) of a Palestinian state. Some have even argued for bypassing discussions about conceptualization, timelines, and milestones, and instead proceed straight to implementation. The EU’s Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, has said, “I don’t think we should talk about the Middle East peace process anymore. We should start talking specifically about the two-state-solution implementation process.” What are these voices actually advocating for? What previous obstacles to a Palestinian state have been removed by the October 7 massacre? What would it actually take to build a Palestinian state that is grounded in the post-10/07 brutal reality of Israelis? Essay discussed in this episode: "The Two-State Delusion" in TABLET, by Elliott Abrams. https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/two-state-delusion

Transcribed - Published: 5 February 2024

UNRWA & Hamas, the perfect affair - with Haviv Rettig Gur

The UN has one central agency responsible for handling all refugees globally, but Palestinian refugees have their own UN agency, UNRWA. Why? The number of Palestinian refugees has increased from 360,000 in 1948 to to 5.9 million today. And those Palestinian refugees or descendants of refugees that have citizenship in other countries maintain their refugee status, according to the UN. What’s going on here? The U.S. Government and a number of other governments just suspended funding for UNRWA based on learning that a number of its Gaza-based employees had been helping Hamas, including in the 10/07 massacre. On our weekly check-in with Haviv Rettig Gur, we discuss the history of UNRWA and the role it plays in the Gaza operating system. Items discussed in this episode: UNRWA — https://www.unrwa.org/ UN Watch report -- “UNRWA Hate Starts Here: How UNRWA Teachers Indoctrinate Palestinian Children and Promote Terrorism and Antisemitism” — https://unwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Hate-Starts-Here-2023-Report-UNRWA.pdf

Transcribed - Published: 29 January 2024

Can a Sunni-Israeli alliance win the war?

Al Jazeera is constantly blasting a steady stream of stories and images to the Arab world about 'tens of thousands of Palestinians dead,' according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health. Condemnations against Israel are issued all over the place, with charges of Israeli genocide leveled on U.S. college campuses to the International Court of Justice. And, yet, those Sunni Arab countries that have already integrated with Israel have not reversed course, and those countries not yet integrated (i.e. Saudi Arabia), seem to be pushing ahead. The Sunni Gulf seems to have ambitions that necessitate continued and deeper cooperation with Israel. The question, though, is what do we make of the Saudi requirement for some kind of Palestinian state, however defined? What would it take for Israel to meet that requirement (or check the box) for the Saudis? And how far will the Sunni Gulf go in working with Israel to pacify Gaza? Our guest today is NADAV EYAL, who returns to the podcast. He is a columnist for Yediiot. Eyal is one of Israel’s leading journalists, and a winner of the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most prestigious journalism award. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Essay discussed in this episode: “Israel is still winning the political war. From the West to Saudi Arabia, its days of isolation are over," by Dr. Edward Luttwak in UnHerd. https://unherd.com/2024/01/israel-is-still-winning-the-political-war/

Transcribed - Published: 26 January 2024

Israel’s escalating internal debates — with Haviv Rettig Gur

In today’s weekly check-in with Haviv Rettig Gur from the Times of Israel, we discuss intensifying debates within Israel over the leadership of the government, how to reconcile seemingly irreconcilable war aims as Israel transitions to a new phase in the war, is there an actual disagreement on concrete policy objectives between different members of the War Council, and what to make of the growing protest movement. If you are in London on Monday, January 22, Haviv and Dan will be in conversation at 7:30 pm at JW3. Details here: https://www.jw3.org.uk/genius-israel#

Transcribed - Published: 22 January 2024

The End of a Jewish Golden Age — with John Podhoretz

Will we look back at the past few decades in America as the Jewish ‘golden age’? And is this ‘golden age’ now over? Did October 7th mark the end? Or should the signs have been obvious years ago? John Podhoretz recently wrote a long essay for Commentary Magazine describing how we got here. He writes: “Several seemingly unconnected arguments and controversies in the United States that had been carefully cultivated over the past couple of decades sprang into full flower on October 8 and thereafter. The weapons were ideas that had flowed for a quarter century from university graduate programs to activist groups to K–12 education and then began to reach millions through online mailing lists, listservs, and social-media entertainment services.” I wanted to have a conversation with John about how we got here, whether we are truly alone, and are they – actually – coming after us? John Podhoretz is a return guest to this podcast. He is a writer and public intellectual. He is editor-in-chief of Commentary Magazine and host of Commentary’s critically acclaimed daily podcast, he’s a columnist for the New York Post, and author of several books (including one of my favorites, “Hell of a Ride”, about his time in the first Bush Administration). Here is the essay we discuss in the episode: “There’s Coming After Us” — https://www.commentary.org/articles/john-podhoretz/antisemites-coming-after-jews/

Transcribed - Published: 20 January 2024

On Sexual violence and… Silence - with Shari Mendes

Having recently passed the 100 day-mark of Hamas’s massacre against Israel, two events in recent weeks occurred that should have occurred some time ago. The New York Times published a major investigative piece on the details and the scale of Hamas’s use of sexual assault in its warfare against Israeli women. And, in recent days, Pramila Patte -- the U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict -- has finally agreed to come to Israel to lead an investigation of what Hamas did on October 7. In this episode, we are joined by Shari Mendes (who was quoted in the New York Times investigation and also spoke at the U.N. on Hamas and sexual violence). Shari is an immigrant to Israel who has raised four children in Israel. She is an architect, the founder of an innovative non-profit in Israel to help cancer patients, and an IDF army reservist who serves in the unit responsible for preparing the bodies of female IDF soldiers through all the steps in advance of burial. Shari has seen firsthand what the world seems to want to ignore. In our conversation, she shares some of her observations, as well as her broader take on Israeli society as we pass the 100-day mark.

Transcribed - Published: 18 January 2024

Haviv Rettig Gur (Part 2) - 100 Days into Israel's 'Forever War'

This past weekend, Israelis marked 100 days since the Hamas massacre -- and 100 days that 136 hostages, of all ages, still remain captive in unimaginable conditions. We resume our weekly conversation with Haviv Rettig Gur of THE TIMES OF ISRAEL to discuss where the war goes from here. Does it end? Can it end? How? And what has Israel learned about how to proceed? This conversation is divided into two parts. PART I focuses on what we are learning about Israel’s vulnerability now and going forward. PART II focuses on what we are learning about the divide inside the Arab world in its reaction to these past 100 days, but also the reality that Israel may be in a 'forever war.'

Transcribed - Published: 15 January 2024

Haviv Rettig Gur (Part 1) - 100 Days into Israel's 'Forever War'

This past weekend, Israelis marked 100 days since the Hamas massacre -- and 100 days that 136 hostages, of all ages, still remain captive in unimaginable conditions. We resume our weekly conversation with Haviv Rettig Gur of THE TIMES OF ISRAEL to discuss where the war goes from here. Does it end? Can it end? How? And what has Israel learned about how to proceed? This conversation is divided into two parts. PART I focuses on what we are learning about Israel’s vulnerability now and going forward. PART II focuses on what we are learning about the divide inside the Arab world in its reaction to these past 100 days, but also the reality that Israel may be in a 'forever war.'

Transcribed - Published: 15 January 2024

The Houthis and The Hague - with Nadav Eyal

In recent days, two big stories have gotten a lot bigger. The U.S. and U.K. have launched air and missile strikes against Houthi targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on Thursday and today, marking a significant response after the U.S. Government warned that this Iran-backed (and Iran armed, trained, and financed) militant/terrorist group would be held responsible for its attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. But how did the Houthis -- rather than Hezbollah -- find themselves as the primary Iran-backed proxy responding to the Hamas-Israel war? And what does U.S. and U.K. action against them tell us about this war? Is it widening? At the same time, Israel finds itself at the International Court of Justice, having to defend itself againt the charge of committing genocide against the Palestinians, because of Israel's response to Hamas's attempted genocide. Our guest is NADAV EYAL, who joins us from Europe, having just been at the Hague, where he was covering the court proceedings. He is a columnist at Yediiot. Eyal is one of Israel’s leading journalists, and a winner of the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most prestigious journalism award. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Transcribed - Published: 13 January 2024

Growing tensions between Hamas Leaders — with Dr. Matt Levitt

What do Israelis know about the political tensions within Hamas’s leadership? About their decision-makers, their motives, their processes, and Hamas’s internal disagreements and rivalries? Matt Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Ehud Yaari of Israel’s Channel 12 news set out to try to answer these questions. Are tensions heating up between Hamas’s internal and and external leaders? Dr. Matthew Levitt. Matt is the director of the Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He served as deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. During his tenure at Treasury, he played a central role in efforts to protect the U.S. financial system from abuse and to deny terrorists, weapons proliferators, and other rogue actors the ability to finance threats to U.S. national security. He later served as a counterterrorism advisor to the special envoy for Middle East regional security. Previously, Matt was a counterterrorism intelligence analyst at the FBI, where he provided tactical and strategic analytical support for counterterrorism operations, focusing on fundraising and logistical support networks for Middle Eastern terrorist groups. He is the author of several books and monographs, including Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale University Press, 2006), and Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God (Georgetown University Press, 2013). He is the host of the podcast series, Breaking Hezbollah's Golden Rule. Washington Institute for Near East Policy paper discussed in this episode: https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/growing-internal-tensions-between-hamas-leaders

Transcribed - Published: 9 January 2024

Gaza’s “Operating System” - with Nadav Eyal

Gaza runs like no sovereign entity. On the one hand, Hamas rules Gaza like any government does — it has a health system, an education system, a security, force, and a finance system. Hamas works with international agencies based in Gaza (like the U.N.). But Hamas does not see itself as responsible for the people it governs. How does this all work at a practical level? What is Gaza's unique operating system? That is the focus of today’s conversation, along with the latest analysis of the death of Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri. Our guest is NADAV EYAL who is a columnist Yediiot. Eyal is one of Israel’s leading journalists, and a winner of the Sokolov Prize, Israel’s most prestigious journalism award. Eyal has been covering Middle-Eastern and international politics for the last two decades for Israeli radio, print and television news. He received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Transcribed - Published: 4 January 2024

Haviv Rettig Gur on Palestinian radicalism - was 10/7 just another turn of the dial?

In recent days, we have been shocked to read the details in the New York Times investigative piece titled: “Hamas weaponized sexual violence on October 7.”For those of us following events on and after October 7 who have bothered to read the reporting coming out of Israel, or talk to Israelis involved (victims, victims’ families, first responders, Israeli journalists), we were not shocked. We will return to this topic in a future episode. But today I wanted to focus on something else: should we actually be shocked? I’ve been struck since October 7 that the barbarism has been covered as though it’s a rapid and steep descent of Hamas (and other segments of Palestinian society that were complicit) into a radically dark place. As though things have suddenly and dramatically turned in an unimaginable direction. Was October 7 an unimaginable turn, or just another turn of the dial of radicalization? This is what I wanted to better understand during my weekly check-in with Haviv Rettig Gur of the Times Israel. Pieces discussed in this episode: NYT - “‘Screams Without Words’: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7” — https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/28/world/middleeast/oct-7-attacks-hamas-israel-sexual-violence.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare WSJ - Netanyahu: “Our Three Prerequisites for Peace” — https://www.wsj.com/articles/benjamin-netanyahu-our-three-prerequisites-for-peace-gaza-israel-bff895bd PLO Charter: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-original-palestine-national-charter-1964 Times of Israel: https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-troops-find-kid-sized-explosive-belts-in-gaza-building-used-to-shelter-civilians/amp/

Transcribed - Published: 31 December 2023

From Hamas to Hezbollah to the Houtis & beyond — with Bret Stephens

Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for The New York Times, returns for a conversation analyzing how the October 7 War is expanding beyond just the Hamas-Israel. Bret came to The New York Times after a long career with The Wall Street Journal, where he was most recently deputy editorial page editor and, for 11 years, a foreign affairs columnist. Before that, he was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post. And prior to working in Israel, he was based in Brussels for The Wall Street Journal. Today, Bret is also the editor-in-chief of Sapir Journal. You can find the Sapir Journal here: https://sapirjournal.org/

Transcribed - Published: 28 December 2023

A Shift in the War - with Haviv Rettig Gur

The Hamas-Israel War, nearing its three month mark, is now the longest war in Israel’s history since Israel’s War of Independence (1948/49). The first phase of this war, which took place over the three weeks following October 7, was largely conducted from the air. The second phase, the ground invasion, began almost two months ago (on October 27), in which the IDF took over most of Northern Gaza and a few pockets in southern Gaza. During the past week it has been reported that the IDF is preparing for a third phase in the war, expected to last many months, if not longer. What will this new phase look like? What are the many considerations shaping this new phase? How are Israeli society and Israeli politics reacting to this emerging shift? These are some of the issues we discuss in our weekly check-in with Haviv Rettig Gur of the Times of Israel.

Transcribed - Published: 24 December 2023

An insider’s account of the Harvard Antisemitism Committee — with Rabbi David Wolpe

Understanding where and how antisemitism has come to exist at an institution like Harvard is the focus of today’s conversation. We will hear the perspective of Rabbi David Wolpe — visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School — who tried to advise Harvard’s leadership on how to address it; after October 7, he joined Harvard’s Antisemitism Advisory Group. Rabbi Wolpe is also the inaugural rabbinic fellow at the Anti-Defamation League, and he was the long-time rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. He is the author of eight books, including the national bestseller “Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times”. His book “David: The Divided Heart” was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards.

Transcribed - Published: 22 December 2023

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