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Yossi Alpher

Yossi Alpher is a former Mossad official and former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of Periphery: Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming February 2015).

Research areas:  Middle East and North Africa , Asia , Emerging powers


Arab Christians, IDF service and the Israeli ultra-nationalist right
IDF Soldiers During Operation Protective Edge by Israel Defence Force with CC licence from flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/idfonline/14840410803/in/photolist-oBoZ6M-oCfgJY-oxBuTf-c7GMQq-bjijbz-ogcbEh-hT7dVt-nynXjr-7R8nxa-okMbCo-oCfg6y-6JrRC2-9qSchM-nvbKvA-c28AHJ-ok8ZHF-o61Q2d-oCgXDP-oC4r5A-okMazG-ocpTWX-otCkfK-ocpTTF-orSEd3-ocpKhy-oxpHLP-gdnEZJ-onvrLz-oxFGWz-ogbMhs-oxtArJ-ozrnFK-dun4uS-ok9sca-ok8F47-6kqkBX-ozreUJ-o9L58f-gUrzy6-nv7hXz-bBSKHS-8X8L71-999Mxh-pwaNN3-pxVLWZ-pgGXs9-pgGU8y-pycKa4-pwaoBY-5SZfKY Yossi Alpher 30 January 2015
A campaign by small numbers of Arab Christians in Israel to encourage volunteer service in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), backed by leading figures on the Israeli political right, is being played out against a broad backdrop of Middle East dynamics. more  
The Obama administration and the Middle East: the final two years
The death of Osama Bin Laden by US Embassy with CC licence from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/us_embassy_newzealand/5681578695/in/photolist-9E4zpn-9E4zi2-9E4zjT-9X3eyh-9E4zrn-9E4znn-9DUdXW-9DRjqk-9E7tSq-9DRm7K-9DRkLa-9E4zAM-9DRjmD-9E7tQu-9E7tZ3-9E4zyz-9GsEEn-9DRjaF-9DRkFK-9DUdq1-9DUdgo-9VTvAo-9DRjc8-9DRkS6-9DRPzu-9DRkET-9DRjDt-9DUcZj-9DUd7E-9DRjEP-9DRk3i-9DUdSU-9DUdzG-9DRkK2-9DRkwV-9DUcwm-9DUcaq-9DUdnC-9DRkdK-9DUciQ-9DUcd5-9DUdCo-9DUd6N-9DUctL-9DRm6X-9DUdBq-9DRjY4-9DUcMd-9DRk1K-9DRkbM Yossi Alpher 8 December 2014
In dealing with the Middle East, in its final two years the Obama administration will focus on two primary challenges: firstly, prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon while avoiding the need for military aggression to achieve that aim and, secondly, "prevent another 9/11", meaning invoke the minimal military interventio... more  
The U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State: many questions, few answers
 F-18F Super Hornet takes off from USS Enterprise by UK Ministry of Defence with CC license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 14 October 2014
The U.S. commitment to "ultimately destroy" the Islamic State implies an extended military commitment in a highly complex Middle East environment. By looking at the strategic issues that emerge from this dynamic, we can hope better to understand impending developments. more  
Israel and the BRICS
Israel's Economic and Political Outlook Benjamin Netanyahu by World Economic Forum with CC license from Flickrhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/12101882633/in/photolist-jrpj5R-jsFy5E-jsCoJv-jsEmF7-jsFwH1-jsFvPY-jsEgp5-jsFyKh-jsDLn6-jsEirw-jsFDCJ-jrnPFv-jrrghA-jrr8GT-jrpPEJ-jrrDi7-jrpBaV-jrt7B5-jrpCxp-nRZA98-o7K8U5-o6yAXE-aBA6JJ-bF76ms-p9GXqx-oSde1j-bu5hTE-k4aHAm-mWdccp-opHAHj-jsDSQg-jsDDAv-jsFzd1-jsEnss-jsEfHq-jsEcSq-jsDQ5r-jsCiSB-jsDNNP-jsDTC8-jsDCEx-jsFHLd-jsDBUV-oStDWG-iQt5R8-nzgbnp-nU6FM2-o9RE6M-o9RE8k-o9RE8R Yossi Alpher 16 September 2014
Israel's growing economic and security links with BRICS members Russia, India and China reflect Jerusalem's desire to diversify its strategic international ties. more  
The Israeli public and the Gaza war: supporting the armed effort, doubting the strategic outcome
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mockstar/234166577/in/photolist-mGayM-4TZDrF-61Uej4-azrHjM-ck7RpG-6HsNyK-9p1epc-9p1feV-9p4jnA-9p1eGp-9p1e7n-9p1dNH-9eNpHB-9eRwCE-azuoch-NQTAm-6J3YXh-NRpxZ-NQSqU-NRnBv-fc5VH-NRp4P-azux6s-azuoaG-azrHxc-azrHiK-ei3AA8-9chSab-61UfoD-61UeRz-61Yrgy-61Ue22-61YqpC-ck7NmU-cjzoYu-g3bFX8-3WVxBK-kiPm9T-mofsAu-8j3RgR-opHAHj-g37uh3-g3az9G-oeoMkQ-g3b24e-nhQTW8-azrHkH-azrHqg-azuofS-nEwqjf Yossi Alpher 26 August 2014
The current war’s outcome is liable to disappoint most Israelis, insofar as it reflects the absence of a viable Israeli strategy for dealing not only with Hamas in Gaza but also with the Palestinian issue in general. more  
Why Kerry failed
John Kerry by cliff1066tm with CC license from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/2978963268/in/photolist-5xeXZE-4TV6bv-m2Pe4u-kES8u3-dPixfM-5xeYnY-mKRQU-qGFwB-4RXYPa-e5g8xQ-8tTH85-4RXZ96-nhvgqM-mWAy8-89mjM7-89i5st-dPpaU3-9eiGoe-9eiFhc-9en6tE-4RXYVK-5xeXKE-n9oRw-aaehBZ-5xeXko-katnku-kaqZ1z-katmwW-katmNN-karxPD-katnjY-katmMW-dPipTM-8tQCmn-5xazxR-99Xwb2-7bpoMU-8D4YFF-8tQCoz-ebJ1f2-9a1DkQ-9a1DgL-9a1Duj-5xeXAd-8tQCen-ebHZR4-5xeXro-6jeGmZ-6jiSDJ-6jakSh Yossi Alpher 26 May 2014
The nine-month attempt by U.S. secretary of state Kerry to bring about a two-state solution to  the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has failed. The reasons can be traced to an insistence on adopting  the Oslo final-status format that had already failed twice in the course of 20 years as the foundation  for ending the con... more  
The Ukraine/Crimea crisis: ramifications for the Middle East
Syrians hold pictures of Assad and Putin by Freedom House with cc license from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/syriafreedom/6959636781/in/photolist-bAZXxB-fPXVM5-eS69hi-gjgX1t-fPirfd-fJZLQq-fVJ7Q5-fVJ3rd-fVHYx2-eSfbmj-bAU3eF-mHr7mr-3JsRA-bxE8X6-kzZ3zR-byExHM-bhWBbB-fNzhcx-dPb4eb-fJV4nx-bo91uf-bKpHfg-eSBiMR-fJQN2v-fQhuMj-fQhuKG-fQhuLQ/ Yossi Alpher 4 April 2014
The events of recent months in and around Ukraine, culminating in Russia's annexation of Crimea, have far-reaching potential ramifications for the Middle East. This expert analysis describes the Middle East regional fallout from the annexation, bearing in mind that we are addressing an international dynamic that is still unfolding. more  
Israel’s growing relationship with China: a problematic buffer against European sanctions?
Israeli pavillion Expo 2010, adapted, by whitecat sg under CC license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode on Flickr Yossi Alpher 7 February 2014
Israel’s rapidly developing economic links with China appear in part to reflect an Israeli drive to diversify economically in anticipation of growing European sanctions over the Palestinian issue. The Israeli political right evidently prefers economic stress to significant withdrawal from the West Bank. more  
How Middle East regional dynamics affect the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Nile River Delta, Sinai Peninsula by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 11 December 2013
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is currently influenced by regional dynamics – specifically the Iran nuclear controversy and the Arab revolutions – in ways that militate both against and in favour of a successful outcome. more  
The Russian-U.S. solution for Syria's chemical weapons: ramifications for Israel
Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by US Mission Geneva with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 26 September 2013
Against a backdrop of considerable uncertainty and regional instability, the Russian-U.S. initiative to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal poses a host of ramifications for Israel. Possible positive outcomes include the removal by non-military means of Syria's non-conventional threat and new momentum for the international commu... more  
Revolutionary events in Egypt: ramifications for Israel
thierry Ehrmann : l'homme fort du géant Arabe: le général Al-Sissi _9842 by Abode of Chaos with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 12 August 2013
The July 3rd military takeover in Egypt bespeaks an improvement in the Egyptian–Israeli security relationship. The Egyptian armed forces’ tougher attitude toward Hamas in Gaza and Salafists in Sinai is broadly welcome from Israel’s standpoint. Israel is able to communicate with the Egyptian army in a way it could not with the recently... more  
Return of the Arab Peace Initiative
Breaking the Impasse Plenary Session by World Economic Forum with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 1 July 2013
U.S. secretary of state John Kerry is seeking to revive the Arab Peace Initiative (API) as a regional framework for renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. This reopens areas of dissonance and controversy over the API that have been largely dormant during the past decade. more  
Israel: alternative regional options in a changing Middle East
President Peres, President Obama, and PM Netanyahu at Ben-Gurion Airport by The Israel Project with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 24 June 2013
Today Israel confronts broad regional security challenges reminiscent of those it faced in the early decades of its existence. Then it responded to the threat posed by the hostile Arab states that surrounded it by developing the "periphery doctrine". It formed strategic ties with Iran, Turkey and other non-Arab, non-Muslim or... more  
Is Israel in danger of losing its U.S. support base?
Israel and US flags by AslanMedia with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 3 June 2013
U.S. Jewish support for Israel, like U.S. public support in general, remains steady even as a number of U.S. Jewish commentators speculate on its decline. While there are significant changes in the way certain U.S. Jewish groups view Israel, the really significant factor that could reduce U.S. support in the medium term is the rapid ex... more  
Israel’s new government and the Obama visit
DSC_0838 by Talk Radio News Service with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 11 April 2013
Israel’s elections took place on January 20th 2013. Shortly thereafter newly re-elected U.S. president Barack Obama apparently sought by announcing his March 20th Middle East visit to affect the subsequent composition of Israel’s new governing coalition. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu parried in ways that partially accommoda... more  
As Syria descends into chaos: challenges to Israel
Al Quneitra by edbrambley with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 13 March 2013
Syria’s evolving collapse, and with it perhaps the collapse of Lebanon as well, is liable to confront Israel with significant military and political challenges. Military challenges range from Salafi border terrorism to attacks using strategic weaponry, whether in the hands of non-state actors or in a Samson-like scenario executed by a... more  
The pro-settler right wing's road to apartheid
Hebron (Breaking the Silence tour)-0322.jpg by pic-chic with cc license from Flickr Yossi Alpher 18 January 2013
A growing and increasingly influential faction of right-wing Israelis is openly advocating ideas for annexing all or most of the West Bank and relegating West Bank Palestinians to a status approaching apartheid. Members of this faction are likely to increase their influence in Israel’s approaching Knesset elections. more  
Regional implications of the conflict in Syria: a view from Israel
Golan heights by mockstar Yossi Alpher 20 April 2012
Syria is geo-strategically, historically and politically the most central of Middle East countries, hence the over-riding importance of the conflict there. The competing regional interests makes any discussion of the regional implications of that conflict necessarily highly speculative. more  
The Palestinian UN initiative: where Europe can make a difference
Yossi Alpher 22 August 2011
Neither Netanyahu nor Abbas is able or willing to make the far-reaching ideological and political concessions necessary to sustain serious new peace talks. Yet this stark reality does not necessarily render Abbas' threat to appeal to the UN a bad thing. The Palestinian UN gambit reflects a readiness on Abbas' part to make a huge conces... more  
Israel's troubled relationship with Turkey and Iran: the “periphery” dimension
publication Yossi Alpher 20 December 2010
Yossi Alpher believes that Israel's approach to Turkey and Iran must be understood against the backdrop of its 1950s “periphery doctrine” of forming alliances with non-Arab and non-Muslim regional actors and its constant search for a Middle Eastern identity. more  
Middle East: new directions for peacemaking
publication Yossi Alpher 7 March 2010
Yossi Alpher recommends the US and the international community should opt for alternatives to stalled Israeli-Palestinian final status talks: Israel-Syria negotiations, a reassessment of strategies for Gaza, and more dynamic support for Palestinian statebuilding. more  


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