Third Time’s a Charm?

February 24, 2020

On March 2, Israelis will head back to the polls for a third time in twelve months. This previously unimaginable situation has left many asking: How did we get here? The short answer is that, perhaps in an uncharacteristically surprising fashion for politicians, everyone kept their promises. Yohanan Plesner presents the key issues to look out for in Israel's unprecedented third election and what – if anything – will determine if a stable government will finally be formed.

Eden Alene chosen to sing for Israel at 2020 Eurovision

February 21, 2020

The public and the judges have decided: Eden Alene, a 19-year-old native of Jerusalem, will represent Israel at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Holland, May 12-16. Alene is the first Israeli of Ethiopian descent to be chosen for this honor. She wowed the audience and all-star panel of judges in the reality show “The Next Star to Eurovision.”

Palestinian Public Rejects Trump Plan, But Prefers Calm Practical Response

February 19, 2020

Three different Palestinian polls show that the West Bank and Gaza publics roundly reject the U.S. Administration’s peace plan, by margins of around 90 percent. But the latest poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) also shows that most Palestinians now also reject an armed confrontation or intifadah against Israel—opting instead for a focus on pragmatic improvements on the ground, or even on renewed peace talks.

At the Opening of the New Decade, Regional Challenges Test Israel’s Strength – Main Insights from the INSS 13th Annual International Conference

February 17, 2020

The INSS 13th Annual International Conference (January 28-30, 2020) hosted senior political and military figures, experts, and decision makers from Israeli and abroad. Discussions centered on four areas: the international power system; the regional environment; Israel's political and security challenges; and Israel’s internal arena – all with a view toward the coming decade. Particular attention was paid to “the deal of the century,” Iran after Soleimani, and Israel’s northern front. This article presents the main insights from the conference sessions.

Why the Good Food Institute just had to open an Israeli branch

February 14, 2020

The world’s central address for supporting research, development and commercialization of plant-based and cultivated meat protein alternatives is the Good Food Institute, founded in 2016. The nonprofit’s branches in the United States, Asia Pacific, India, Europe and Brazil seek to bring sorely needed solutions to the largest populations. So why has GFI has opened a branch office in little Israel?

The Middle East Peace Process: Analysis from a Former Negotiator (Testimony Submitted to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs)

February 12, 2020

Historically, the strategic foundation for U.S. involvement in the peace process has been twofold. First, the peace process was a way for the United States to manage seemingly contradictory partnerships with Israel and the Arab states, few of which recognized Israel and several of which had waged war repeatedly against the Jewish state. Second, the peace process was a means of ensuring Israel’s security, which successive presidents have ranked among our key national security interests in the Middle East. In recent years, however, both of these strategic foundations for U.S. involvement in the peace process have crumbled.

Israelis Believe Netanyahu’s Investigations Will have the Greatest Impact on the Vote

February 11, 2020

January's Israeli Voice Index found that 32% of Israelis believe Netanyahu's investigations will be the issue with the greatest impact on voters in the upcoming Knesset elections, followed by other considerations such as the cost of living and housing, security, religion and state and Jewish-Arab relations.

Prepare for the Femtech Revolution, Coming Straight from Israel

February 10, 2020

Technologies being developed for women include a fertility gauge, an advanced breast pump, a cannabis treatment for endometriosis and a gadget that can identify vitamin deficiencies or cancer in menstrual blood. Pitching their product ideas in the predominantly male venture capital arena is a big challenge for entrepreneurs in femtech – a fast-growing field of technology for women’s health and wellness.

The Widening Military–Political Gap in Israel

February 7, 2020

Over the last decade, the gap between the military and political elites in Israel has increased and eventually peaked in 2019, when a group of senior officers who had just retired from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) formed a new party – led by three former chiefs of staff – and called for the replacement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. This gap has developed because Israel’s previous govern­ments have represented a new kind of polarizing, right-wing politics beyond what is considered a shared national common sense.

Continuity vs. Overreach in the Trump Peace Plan (Part 1): Borders and Jerusalem

February 5, 2020

The newly released U.S. peace plan marks a very significant shift in favor of the current Israeli government’s view, especially when compared to three past U.S. initiatives: (1) the Clinton Parameters of December 2000, (2) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s “Annapolis Process” of 2007-2008, and (3) Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2013-2014 initiative. The message is clear: the Trump administration will no longer keep sweetening the deal with every Palestinian refusal, a criticism some have aimed at previous U.S. efforts. Yet the new plan raises worrisome questions of its own.

The U.S. Peace Plan: A Return to the Rabin Doctrine of Defensible Borders

The U.S. peace plan offers a return to the security-first approach of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and, specifically, the concept of defensible borders. On Jan. 29, 2020, Shimon Sheves, former Director-General of Prime Minister Rabin’s office, told Israel Army Radio, “The Trump plan is essentially the Rabin plan” and a “continuation of Rabin’s legacy.” Journalist Ben Caspit, writing in Maariv, called it “a modern incarnation of Rabin’s plan from 25 years ago.”

The technology that could save us from deep fake videos

February 3, 2020

It’s November 2020, just days before the US presidential election, and a video clip comes out showing one of the leading candidates saying something inflammatory and out of character. The public is outraged, and the race is won by the other contender. The only problem: the video wasn’t authentic. Israeli startup Cyabra’s technology detects expertly doctored videos as well as the bots powering fake social-media profiles.