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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
 
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…
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with Yaron Zelekha, an economist who was formerly the finance ministry's accountant general and is the founder of the New Economy party. Zelekha warns that Israel has no economic policy, and that Israel has no state budget and has not launched any reforms in the past decade. More worrying, he says, is the fact that the ci…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with ambassador Nadav Tamir, the executive director of J Street Israel. Tamir argues that J Street is very much in sync with the new administration, so if Israel wants to have a good relation with it, then good relations with J Street must be part of that. He also says that "In order for Israel to be the homeland of the …
 
Mohsen Milani, professor of politics at the University of South Florida and a leading scholar of Iranian politics, discusses why Iran is ready to talk with the US, and reenter the Iran nuclear deal, but only from a position of strength; why Iran is in a stronger regional position today than it was 30 years ago; what to expect in Iranian politics an…
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with the executive director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism Gilad Kariv. Running on the Israeli Labor Party's list for the March 23 elections, Kariv hopes to be the first non-Orthodox rabbi in the Knesset. Kariv criticizes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for caving in to ultra-Orthodox pressure…
 
Motaz Zahran, Egypt’s ambassador to the United States, discusses why US and international mediation is required to break the stalemate in Renaissance Dam talks; why the US-Egyptian relationship ‘transcends local politics’; Turkey’s ‘destructive role’ in Libya; the Egyptian economy’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic; Egypt’s role in Libya and…
 
Ben Caspit talks this week to former Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, a long-time expert on Israel-US relations. Oren speaks about the nomination of Robert Malley as the new American special envoy to Iran, noting that "his appointment to the very sensitive position is not likely to dispel Israeli concerns or ease Israeli anxieties." H…
 
Hebah Fisher, Co-Founder and CEO of Kerning Cultures Network, discusses trends in media consumption in the Middle East, the power of sound and storytelling, and why young people in the region are turning to podcasts instead of radio. Also: Andrew’s take on why the Biden Administration is well-placed to help the break the deadlock in the Nile Dam ta…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with former Israeli Consul General in New York Dani Dayan. The veteran leader of West Bank settlers describes former President Donald Trump as a "diplomatic miracle" for the state of Israel, saying that the diplomatic dividends in his term were beyond Israel’s wildest imagination. On the other hand, Ambassador Dayan admi…
 
Elizabeth Tsurkov, an Israeli-Russian scholar and a fellow at the Center for Global Policy who has followed the Syrian conflict from the ground since the beginning, talks with Amberin about how over the past decade a peaceful civilian uprising against the government of Bashar al-Assad degenerated into a seemingly endless series of conflicts within …
 
Ben Caspit talks this week to former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about President-elect Joe Biden’s impending term, and how future ties between Jerusalem and Washington will look. Shapiro notes that "Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have known each other for 40 years, and [there’s] a real friendship between them." He says that…
 
Al-Monitor Senior Correspondent Amberin Zaman discusses why US-Turkey relations are unlikely to get better; the Kurdish question in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria; why an Israel-Turkey rapprochement is not imminent; and her new role as the other host of ‘on the Middle East….also Andrew’s take on Hamas and Egypt’s vital role in regional peace efforts.…
 
Leila Hamadeh, Co-founder and CEO of Finyal Media, explains how Arab youth are seeking new media outlets and platforms for expression and connection, and to bridge the gap between traditional and modern culture.
 
Mick Mulroy -- former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, retired CIA officer and co-founder of the Lobo Institute—discusses why the US needs to stay engaged in the Middle East, including militarily, to prevent ISIS 2.0; the prospects for the US-Saudi partnership and the future of Yemen; and whether and how US partners could …
 
Elizabeth Hagedorn, Adam Lucente, and Jared Szuba discuss what the Biden Administration can expect, and what we might expect from the Biden Administration and the next Congress, in dealing with the Middle East, including policies toward Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, human rights, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and more.…
 
Ahead of a crucial Knesset vote on Tuesday, Ben Caspit speaks with Knesset member Eli Avidar of the opposition Yisrael Beitenu party. Over the past few months, Avidar has become one of the leaders of the demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with demonstrators calling for the premier to step down. Avidar notes that no other demo…
 
Al-Monitor columnist and media activist Daoud Kuttab breaks down the present and future of Palestinian politics, assesses the impact of Israel’s normalization agreements and the prospects for a renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace track, and explains why he is optimistic, and relieved, about a Joe Biden Administration…as well as Andrew Parasiliti’s co…
 
With Israel's Knesset advancing towards possible fourth elections, Ben Caspit talks this week with Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz. The leftwing politician does not rule out partnering with rightwing partners in order to achieve the supreme goal of toppling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We are in times of unprecedented economic, corona and poli…
 
Ms. Micky Aharonson, senior research fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, and a former senior director on Israel’s National security council, discusses why she is upbeat about US-Israel relations under a Biden Administration; Russian President Vladimir Putin’s role in the region; why Israel would prefer an Arab strategy to t…
 
Ben Caspit talks this week with Israeli-Arab journalist Lucy Aharish. The media celebrity warns that Israel’s democracy and freedom of speech are shaky and even endangered. She says that with only a small number of media outlets, social media has become more powerful and louder in Israel than anywhere else on the globe. On the other hand, she says,…
 
Dr. Karen Young, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses why the Biden Administration needs early and clear communication regarding US policy toward Saudi Arabia and Iran; prospects for healing the rift within the GCC; the potential and constraints of economic normalization between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain; the prospe…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with Orit Farkash Hacohen, Israel’s minister of tourism and strategic affairs. The Blue and White minister says an organized campaign on Arabic social media is now targeting the UAE, Bahrain and all other countries who have chosen the route of normalization with Israel. “In the ministry, we exposed this campaign for what…
 
Dr. Philip Gordon, Mary and David Boies Senior Fellow in US Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, former White House Coordinator for the Middle East, and author of Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East, discusses the lessons learned, and not learned, from US regime change efforts in the region; tr…
 
Ben Caspit speaks this week with Brig. Gen. (ret) Michael Herzog, former chief of staff to Israel's defense minister, who discusses what Israel might expect from a Biden Administration, noting that "President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris have special feelings towards Israel’" which will keep the relationship with Israel st…
 
Bijan Khajehpour, Managing Partner of Eurasian Nexus Partners and an Al-Monitor columnist, discusses the options for US-Iran diplomacy and the Iran nuclear deal under a Biden Administration; the candidates and issues shaping Iran’s presidential elections next year; the prospects for Iran’s economy; how Iran’s relations with Russia and China are lin…
 
Ben Caspit spoke with Israeli-American businessman and philanthropist Haim Saban, who is hailing Joe Biden’s victory. Saban thinks that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still afraid of the unpredictable nature of President Donald Trump, who "shoots from the hip," and could turn against Netanyahu in a heartbeat. On the Democrats, Saban says that…
 
HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Ambassador to the United States, discusses the depth and endurance of the US-Bahrain security relationship; how normalization offers hope for both economic prosperity and progress toward a two state solution; the challenge and threat from Iran, and why Bahrain supports ‘all multilateral frameworks’…
 
One day after former Vice President Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidential election, Ben Caspit talks with Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post. Katz says that Netanyahu now faces an uphill battle vis-à-vis the Democrats, who have not forgotten his animosity towards the Barack Obama administration. Katz notes he was shoc…
 
Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, former National Security Adviser and the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, discusses his new book, Battlegrounds: Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World; why the US should not return to the Iran deal, a ‘political disaster masquerading as a diplomatic triumph’; how…
 
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