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A weekly podcast from BICOM, an independent British think tank producing research and analysis to increase understanding of Israel and the Middle East in the UK.
4 days ago
Episode 137 | Understanding the JCPOA and the nuclear issue from inside Iran
In this episode, Richard Pater speaks with Dr. Raz Zimmt, a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), about how the nuclear issue is debated from inside Iran. Dr Zimmt provides the arguments between the hardliners and the pragmatists, and explains how the nuclear issue could impact the upcoming Presidential elections in Iran. He also provides his assessment on how Israel should respond to both Iran and the Biden administration.
Feb 18, 2021
Episode 136 | Yamina's perspective on the upcoming elections
In this latest episode, director Richard Pater speaks to Yamina candidate Jeremy Saltan on his party's views on the upcoming Israeli elections, whether the party will join a Netanyahu-led government and what differentiate Yamina from New Hope. Jeremy also talks about why he thinks Bennett is the right leader of Israel now, during the pandemic. Jeremy is a Knesset Insider, campaigner and leading political analyst and author of https://knessetjeremy.com/.
Feb 5, 2021
Episode 135 | Israeli public opinion
Richard Pater speaks to Professor Tamar Hermann, a Senior Research Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute and the Academic Director of the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research. Richard and Tamar discuss the Israeli public response to the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and how the issue has affected the ultra-Orthodox community in particular. They also discuss the openness of Israel’s Arab community to further integrate into Israeli society, and the big issues facing voters in the March election.
Jan 29, 2021
A view of the elections from inside the Joint List
In this episode, Richard Pater speaks to MK Aida Touma-Suleiman from the Hadash faction within the Joint List. She describes what it means to be communist in 2021 and how the Joint List operates a shared agenda among competing ideologies. They discuss the party’s prospects of running without the United Arab List and why her party voted against the Abraham Accords in the Knesset.
Jan 22, 2021
Episode 133 | How the New Hope party views Israel’s election
Richard Pater speaks to Sharren Haskel, a member of Gideon Saar’s New Hope party. Sharren, a former Likud MK, discusses her introduction into politics and decision to leave the Likud for New Hope. Richard and Sharren also discuss whether Israel needs elections right now, what New Hope’s main messaging will be throughout the election campaign and how the party plans to court Likud votes. Sharren explains why Gideon Saar is the only candidate who can oust Netanyahu and bring much needed stability and reform to the country.
Jan 13, 2021
Episode 132 | Yesh Atid’s perspective on Israel’s election
Richard Pater speaks to Yair Zivan, the Foreign Affairs Advisor and International Media Spokesperson to Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid. Richard and Yair discuss the breakdown of the Israeli government and the factors the forced Israel into a fourth election in two years. They discuss whether the center left parties will unite with Yesh Atid ahead of the election and the party’s key messaging and priorities throughout the election campaign.
Jan 6, 2021
Episode 131 | The Likud perspective on Israel’s upcoming election
Richard Pater speaks with Eli Hazan, the Likud party’s foreign affairs director. Richard and Eli discuss the reasons why Israel is heading for another election and who is to blame. Eli explains why he believes Gideon Saar and Zeev Elkin made a mistake in leaving the Likud and outlines what we can expect to hear from the Likud campaign in the weeks ahead.
Dec 23, 2020
Episode 130 | Israel enters another election cycle
Richard Pater talks to Yaakov Katz the editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post. They discuss the break-up of the coalition and what messages we will hear during the campaign. Yaakov outlines the competition Prime Minister Netanyahu faces from other right-wing parties and the prospects of him able to form a governing coalition next time around.
Dec 10, 2020
Episode 129 | In conversation with Britain’s Ambassador to Israel
Richard Pater speaks to Britain’s Ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan. Richard and Ambassador Wigan discuss the role the UK has played and will continue to play in supporting the Abraham Accords including in economic, scientific and political areas. The two also discuss concerns over the JCPOA nuclear deal, Iran’s regional agenda and the UK’s role in the Middle East. Ambassador Wigan also addresses bilateral UK-Israel ties and what impact Brexit will have on the relationship.
Dec 2, 2020
Episode 128 | Will Saudi Arabia make peace with Israel?
In this episode, Research Associate Samuel Nurding speaks to Sir John Jenkins, a senior fellow at Policy Exchange and a board member for MENAF (Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum), on whether Saudi Arabia will normalise relations with Israel after 20 January 2021, how the US-Iran nuclear standoff will play out, and why the UK Government is still not confronting the challenge of Islamism.
Nov 27, 2020
Episode 127 | Biden and domestic Israeli politics
In the episode, Richard Pater speaks to Shalom Lipner, the nonresident senior fellow for Middle East Programs at the Atlantic Council, and a former veteran of the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, serving seven consecutive Israeli prime ministers over 25 years. They discuss the fallout of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Israel, what the implications of a democratic President are on domestic Israeli politics and what we should expect between Israel, the Palestinians and the US over the next four years.
Nov 20, 2020
Episode 126 | Exploring the Abraham Accords
In this episode Richard Pater speaks to Dr. Majid Al Sarrah and Dan Fefferman, both founding member of the UAE-Israel Business Council and Policy Forum. Dr. Majid is an Emirati legal adviser and expert in public policy. He is a former professor at the American University of Sharjah and a researcher in international law, economics and policy analysis. Dan Feferman is a Fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, and a former Israeli intelligence analyst. They discuss the opportunities created by the Abraham Accords, where this leaves the Palestinians and the significance of the F-35s deal.
Nov 10, 2020
Episode 125 | Trump’s last 70 days
In this episode, Ronie Gazit speaks to Israel Policy Forum’s Policy Director, Dr Michael Koplow. Ronie and Michael discuss what we may see from the Trump administration’s last two months in office, and what actions he make take regarding Iran and Israel. Michael also lays out how President Elect Joe Biden’s administration will differ from what we’ve seen from Trump in its approach to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Iran.
Nov 5, 2020
Episode 124 | What Israel and Iran should expect from a Biden administration?
In this episode, BICOM’s research associate Samuel Nurding speaks with Jonathan Paris, a geopolitical analyst and Senior Advisor at the Washington-based Chertoff Group, to discuss the US presidential election, how the make-up of the Senate and House of Representatives could impact US foreign policy, and what a Biden 1st term means for Israel, Iran and the region as opposed to a Trump 2nd term.
Oct 30, 2020
Episode 123 | Trump vs Biden in the Middle East
Five days out from the US Presidential election, Richard Pater speaks with Joel Braunold, the managing director of the S Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. How important is foreign policy in this election? Have the Abraham Accords swayed any American votes? Richard and Joel discuss this, what four more years of Trump mean for the Middle East compared to a Biden administration’s approach in the region, and more.
Oct 22, 2020
Episode 122 | Politics in the Knesset under Corona
In this episode Richard Pater speaks with Blue and White MK Michal Culter-Wunsh to discuss what political life is like in the Knesset under the cloud of coronavirus. Michal also speaks about her new proposed law to enshrine Israel's Declaration of Independence into a new social contract, what needs to be done to help ensure the return of Israeli soldiers and civilians from the Gaza Strip, and why the Abraham Accords are a paradigm shift for the entire region.
Oct 16, 2020
Episode 121 | How long will the government survive?
Richard Pater talks to Tal Shalev, the political correspondent for Walla News. They discuss the likelihood of passing a budget and the prospect of new elections, how loyal is Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc and could Naftali Bennett really form a government with the centre-left?
Oct 1, 2020
Episode 120 | The Four Camps in 2020 with Israel’s Former Deputy National Security Adviser
Sam Nurding speaks to Col (res) Dr Eran Lerman, the Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security and former deputy director for foreign policy and international affairs at the National Security Council in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. Dr Lerman shares his analysis of the competing regional powers and their alliances through ideological camps. Sam and Dr Lerman discuss the progress of the Iranian nuclear project, amid the expiration of the arms embargo and the European role in combatting the threat of a nuclear Iran. Dr Lerman also highlights the growing threat Turkey poses for Israel and the region and the importance of Israel’s normalisation with the UAE and Bahrain.
Sep 23, 2020
Episode 119 | The EU's role in the Israeli-Arab conflict
In this episode, Research Associate Samuel Nurding speaks with Anders Persson, senior lecturer at Linnaeus University and author of the new book, 'EU Diplomacy and the Israeli-Arab Conflict, 1967-2019'. The two discuss the EU's role in the conflict over the last 50 years, the impact of the Israel-UAE and Israeli-Bahrain peace deals on EU policy and how the EU has contributed to the development of Israel.
Sep 16, 2020
Episode 118 | A Historic Day in Washington
Following the formal ceremony marking the normalisation of relations between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain at the White House, Richard Pater speaks to Ilan Goldenberg, the Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security and former Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations at the US Department of State. Richard and Ilan discuss the how normalisation will impact the Palestinians and whether other Arab states will follow. They also discuss the importance of Jordan, the dangers F-35 sales to the UAE, what a Biden presidency means for the Middle East and more.
Sep 10, 2020
Episode 117 | Beyond Normalisation: Regional Cooperation
Richard Pater speaks to Dr Yossi Draznin, Director General of Israel’s Ministry for Regional Cooperation, about normalisation between Israel and the UAE. Dr Draznin was a member of the Israeli delegation on the direct flight from Israel to Abu Dhabi in early September and shares his experience from the visit. Richard and Dr Draznin also discuss government projects and private sector collaboration between Israel and the UAE, implications for regional cooperation with neighbouring countries and more.
Sep 3, 2020
Episode 116 | The Israel-UAE Business Council
Richard Pater speaks to Fleur Hassan-Nahoum who serves as the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and is one of the founders of the Israel-UAE business council. They discuss the recent visit of the Israeli delegation to Abu Dhabi, the aim of the Israel-UAE business council, the relationship Jerusalem can have with the Gulf through East Jerusalem’s Arab community, various development, high-tech and education projects in East Jerusalem, the coronavirus crisis and more.
Aug 14, 2020
Special Edition | The significance of Israeli ties with the UAE
Following the historic announcement between Israel and the UAE, Richard Pater speaks to Koby Huberman, the co-founder of the Israeli Peace Initiative. The initiative is aimed at connecting Israel with the key Arab states to create a new regional paradigm. They discuss the development of Israeli-Emeriti relations in recent years, the importance of the agreement for both countries, how the full normalisation of relations may progress in the future.
Aug 13, 2020
Special Edition | Israel and the UAE: how did we get here?
Ronie Gazit speaks to Dr David Pollock of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy about the historic agreement between Israel and the UAE. Ronie and David discuss what factors led the two countries to agree to the full normalization of relations, whether other moderate Arab states will follow suit, what it means for the Palestinians and more.
Aug 11, 2020
Episode 115 | The budget crisis in Israel: where next?
In this episode, Richard Pater speaks to veteran political commentator Nahum Barnea, at Yedioth Ahronoth, on the budget crisis in Israel and why Netanyahu is demanding a one-year budget despite historically preferring two-year budgets. Barnea also shares his time as a journalist during the Sharon, Barak and Olmert era and why Bibi has a different approach to the media than his predecessors.
Aug 6, 2020
Episode 114 | The Beirut Blast
Richard Pater speaks to Lt. Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi, CEO and founder of Alma, about the explosion that devastated Beirut, why Hezbollah has responsibility to bear, the fallout going forward, Iran’s ongoing entrenchment in Syria and more.
Jul 31, 2020
Episode 113 | What is Hezbollah doing?
Richard Pater speaks to Brig Gen (res.) Nitzan Nuriel, an associate at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at Interdisciplinary Center, Herzilya and a former director of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office. They discuss the latest escalation on Israel’s northern border, why Hezbollah attempted to infiltrate Israel, Iran’s regional agenda and more.
Jul 23, 2020
Episode 112 | Labour, Europe and Israel: Where next?
In this new episode, Richard Pater and Dr Toby Greene, who is the Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow at Queen Mary University of London's School of Politics and International Relations and about to take up a new teaching position at Bar Ilan University in September 2020, speak about the debate surrounding the Peter Beinart essay, whether the EU has any future in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, and what Kier Starmer’s leadership means for the UK Labour Party's relations with Israel over the next few years.
Jul 17, 2020
Episode 111 | The economic cost of the coronavirus
In this podcast, Richard Pater and Prof. Avi Weiss, President of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, discuss how the Israeli economy is coping with the coronavirus. They also compare the 2011 social protests and the new protests emerging now in Israel, and look ahead to the key issues in the upcoming budget vote in August.
Jul 9, 2020
Episode 110 | Natanz and the impending nuclear crisis
In this episode Richard Pater speaks with Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) expert Sima Shine about Iran. Sima gives her view on the significance of the recent explosion at the Natanz enrichment plant and on whether the US will be able to convince allies to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. Sima Shine is currently the head of Iran programme at the INSS and previously served as Head of the Research & Evaluation Division of the Mossad.
Jul 2, 2020
Episode 109 | The Palestinian reaction to annexation
In this episode, BICOM’s Ronie Gazit speaks to Ghaith al-Omari, a senior fellow in The Washington Institute and former advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during the 1999–2001 permanent-status talks, on the possible Palestinian reactions to proposed Israelis move of applying its law in areas of the West Bank. Ghaith also talks about his latest research paper on Palestinian accession after Mahmoud Abbas.
Jun 25, 2020
Episode 108 | Keeping the UN's arms embargo on Iran
In this podcast, BICOM’s research associate Samuel Nurding sits down with military and strategic affairs analyst Yaakov Lappin to discuss the latest alleged Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria, the importance of continuing the UN arms embargo on Iran, Israel’s security policy under new Defence Minister Benny Gantz and the role of the IDF in combating the coronavirus in Israel.
Jun 18, 2020
Episode 107 | Assessing Israel’s government one month in
Richard Pater speaks to Tal Shalev, the political correspondent for Walla News, about the Israeli government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, tensions within the new unity coalition, whether annexation will actually happen, and much more.
Jun 11, 2020
Episode 106 | Lessons learned from East Jerusalem
In this episode Richard Pater speaks to Ben Avrahami, a senior advisor to the former Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat on East Jerusalem affairs and a Senior Associate at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. Ben discusses his research civil society in East Jerusalem, the Israeli government’s plan to further integrate the population of East Jerusalem into the State of Israel, and what we can learn from Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem 53 years ago.
Jun 4, 2020
Episode 105 | The law and annexation
Richard Pater speaks to Pnina Sharvit Baruch, a senior research associate at INSS and retired IDF colonel, about legal questions regarding Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. Richard and Pnina discuss the legal status of the West Bank and international and domestic implications of annexing the West Bank
May 28, 2020
Episode 104 | The price of annexation
Richard Pater speaks to Middle East analyst and journalist, Neri Zilber. Richard and Neri discuss the Palestinian Authority’s decision to suspend security cooperation with Israel, how the strategic outlook has shifted with the prospect of annexation and what will be the ramification on the ground.
May 21, 2020
Episode 103 | Abbas's threats
In this episode, BICOM Director Richard Pater talks to Middle East expert Professor Eyal Zisser about a wide range of regional issues including the instability inside Lebanon and Iran’s influence in Syria. They also discuss annexation, the latest comments from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the prospects of maintaining the vision of a two state solution.
May 14, 2020
Episode 102 | Six hours in Israel
In this week’s episode, BICOM’s Ronie Gazit speaks with David Makovsky, director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations at The Washigton Institute for Near East Policy, about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s brief visit to Israel. Ronie and David discuss why Pompeo traveled to Israel in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, whether Netanyahu will proceed with West Bank annexation, and US concerns over Chinese investment in Israel.
May 7, 2020
Episode 101 | Bibi is given the "go head" by Supreme Court
In this BICOM podcast Director Richard Pater speaks with Dr. Amir Fuchs, Head of the Defending Democratic Values Programme at the Israel Democracy Institute, about the two-day Supreme Court hearing and the verdict, and they look ahead to the Netanyahu corruption trial that is due to start on 24 May.
May 1, 2020
Episode 100 | Over to you, Supreme Court
To mark our 100th episode, Richard Pater interviews Yesh Atid MK, Idan Roll, and Likud Foreign Affairs Spokesman, Eli Hazan. Richard, Idan and Eli discuss the formation of the new coalition government, the Supreme Court decision concerning its legality, how the Israeli government has responded to the coronavirus outbreak, and the prospect of Israeli annexation after July 1st.
Apr 23, 2020
Episode 99 | Unpacking the Netanyahu-Gantz agreement
In this wide-ranging podcast, Richard Pater and The Jerusalem Post’s Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz assess the government’s grade on how it is handling the coronavirus so far, unpack the coalition agreement signed earlier this week between Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu, and discuss the latest security concerns for the IDF, including Iran’s military satellite launch and the escalating tension on the northern border.
Apr 17, 2020
Episode 98 | The IDF's role in fighting COVID-19
Richard Pater talks to International Spokesperson of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus about the IDF's growing role in combating COVID-19 in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the likelihood of renewed violence on the Gaza border and whether COVID-19 is changing Iran's entrenchment strategy in Syria.
Apr 3, 2020
Episode 97 | Gantz gave up, Bibi won, what happens next?
James Sorene talks to journalist and Netanyahu biographer Anshel Pfeffer about Benny Gantz’s dramatic decision to join a Netanyahu led Government, the future of the Israeli right and the ultra-Orthodox communities response to coronavirus.
Mar 24, 2020
Episode 96 | Coronavirus and Constitutional Crisis
Richard Pater talks to former Israeli Justice Minister Dan Meridor about Israel’s constitutional crisis, coalition talks, the postponement of Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal trial and Israel's response to the coronavirus.
Mar 16, 2020
Episode 95 | Can Gantz form a minority government?
James Sorene interviews Dr. Assaf Shapira from the Israel Democracy Institute to discuss defections, minority Governments and a new law to ban an indicted MK from forming a Government.
Mar 11, 2020
Episode 94 | David Ben Gurion: A State at Any Cost
James Sorene interviews Tom Segev, author of the monumental new biography of David Ben-Gurion, A State At Any Cost.
Mar 6, 2020
Episode 93 | No one won, again
James Sorene interviews pollster and political analyst Dahlia Scheindlin and Richard Pater interviews Tal Shalev from Walla News in a two-part evaluation of Israel’s third election.
Feb 28, 2020
Episode 92 | Ballots and rockets
Richard Pater talks to Eli Hazan, the Likud’s Foreign Affairs Director to discuss the latest polls, the Trump plan and rockets from Gaza. Richard also spoke to Blue and White MK Izhar Shay to talk about the party’s campaign and its plan for after the election.
Feb 25, 2020
Episode 91 | Election endgame
Richard Pater talks to Likud pollster Rafi Smith about how Israeli parties are shaping up as they enter the final week of the campaign.
Feb 20, 2020
Episode 90 | We need to talk about the Israeli economy
Richard Pater talks to Professor Avi Weiss about the big issue being ignored in the Israeli election campaign – Israel’s increasing budget deficit and the required cuts to public spending.
Feb 10, 2020
Episode 89 | Red Sea Spies
In an exclusive interview for the BICOM Podcast, Raffi Berg, author of Red Sea Spies, tells the remarkable story of the Mossad-run diving resort in Sudan that evacuated thousands of Ethiopian Jews from Sudanese refugee camps and brought them to Israel.
Feb 5, 2020
Episode 88 | Will a third election break the deadlock?
James Sorene talks to polling expert Dahlia Scheindlin for a deep dive on Israel’s 2nd of March election: has anything changed since the last election?
Jan 29, 2020
Episode 87 | Was the US plan a victory for Netanyahu?
James Sorene talks to journalist Anshel Pfeffer to assess whether the US plan will provide a boost for Netanyahu’s election campaign or opens an unintended can of worms.
Jan 27, 2020
Episode 86 | The US plan is coming
James Sorene talks to Neri Zilber and Richard Pater about this week’s unveiling of the US plan for Israel and the Palestinians, it’s impact on the Israel elections and how Palestinian leaders will react.
Jan 20, 2020
Episode 85 | The Israeli Ambassador explains why bilateral trade is booming
Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, gives an exclusive interview to the BICOM podcast about Britain-Israel trade, Iran, Royal visits and the RAF to mark the publication of BICOM’s new study, Britain and Israel: The new strategic partnership.
Jan 9, 2020
Episode 84 | Has Iran really stood down?
James Sorene interviews Dr Sanam Vakil, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, to discuss Suleimani’s legacy, Iran’s retaliation and how the Iranian regime will steer through 2020.
Jan 7, 2020
Episode 83 | Soleimani is dead, what happens now?
Richard Pater spoke to BICOM Senior Fellow, Brigadier-General Michael Herzog, to assess the impact of Soleimani’s assassination on Iranian military capability, what Iran might do in response and whether Israel could be part of the Iranian retaliation.
Dec 19, 2019
Episode 82 | The Middle East in 2020
James Sorene talks to Richard Pater and Neri Zilber about BICOM’s new report that tries to predict the major events, political change and military conflict in the Middle East in 2020.
Dec 11, 2019
Episode 81 | Israel’s election addiction
As Israel heads for an unprecedented third election in less than 12 months, Ronie Gazit speaks to journalist and Bibi biographer Anshel Pfeffer about how this happened and whether a third election will actually break the political deadlock.
Dec 4, 2019
Episode 80 | What do the British public think about Israel?
BICOM's James Sorene and Ronie Gazit discuss the results of the 2019 poll of UK public attitudes to Israel and the Middle East carried out for BICOM by Populus. James also speaks with Rick Nye, Principal & Strategy Director at Populus about the major trends in the survey over the last 5-10 years.
Nov 25, 2019
Episode 79 | Netanyahu indicted, what happens now?
Richard Pater explores the legal and political consequences of Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment by the Attorney General with Tal Schneider from Globes, and Dr Amir Fuchs from the Israel Democracy Institute.
Nov 20, 2019
Episode 78 | The US says settlements aren’t illegal, what happens now?
James Sorene speaks to Brig. Gen Michael Herzog and David Makovsky to analyse the US announcement that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not illegal and to assess what impact it will have on future talks to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. James also talked to Michael Herzog about what we can learn from last week’s conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad. David Makovsky's podcast Decision Points, in which David is joined by guests to analyse crucial moments in the US-Israel relationship, can be found here.
Nov 14, 2019
Episode 77 | What will Palestinian Islamic Jihad do next?
Richard Pater speaks to Dr Kobi Michael from the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) about the conflict this week between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Richard also interviewed Lilach Even Tzur, from Kibbutz Nirim, about living close to the Israel-Gaza border.
Nov 7, 2019
Episode 76 | China's expanding role in the Middle East
James Sorene talks to Sam Nurding who wrote BICOM’s new paper “UK-China relations and the Changing Middle East” and to Dr Andreas Krieg from King’s College London about China’s objectives in the Middle East and how it is expanding trade, investment and arms sales across the region. Read UK-China relations and the Changing Middle East here.
Nov 1, 2019
Episode 75 | Upheaval in Lebanon and Iraq, deadlock in Israeli coalition talks
James Sorene speaks to Richard Spencer, Middle East correspondent for The Times about protests in Lebanon and Iraq and Ronie Gazit speaks to former Israeli deputy defence minister Ephraim Sneh about coalition talks in Israel and the security challenge posed by Iranian precision-guided missile technology.
Oct 24, 2019
Episode 74 | Can ISIS return?
James Sorene speaks with Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post journalist and author of After ISIS: America, Iran and the Struggle for the Middle East, about the potential resurgence of ISIS following the Turkish invasion of north-east Syria.
Oct 18, 2019
Episode 73 | Turkish invasion forces rethink in Israel
James Sorene speaks to former Israeli Deputy National Security Advisor Dr Eran Lerman about the Israeli perspective on the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria and what key issues the national security establishment might need to rethink.
Oct 10, 2019
Episode 72 | Why is Turkey invading Syria?
James Sorene speaks to Hannah Lucinda Smith, Turkey correspondent for The Times and author of Erdogan Rising: The Battle for the Soul of Turkey, about why President Erdogan really ordered the operation in Syria, what it means for the battle against ISIS and what happens next.
Oct 3, 2019
Episode 71 | Israel’s campaign between the wars
James Sorene speaks to Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog about Israel’s ongoing battle against Iran in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq and Ronie Gazit speaks to Phillip Smyth from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy about Shia militias in Iraq and Iran’s wider militia strategy in the middle east.
Sep 25, 2019
Episode 70 | Gantz plays it calm as Bibi feels the heat
James Sorene talks to Tal Shalev from Walla news about coalition talks, Netanyahu’s pre-trial hearing and the contrasting style of Bibi Netanyahu and Benny Gantz.
Sep 19, 2019
Episode 69 | Is it really bye bye Bibi?
James Sorene talks to Lahav Harkov, Senior Contributing Editor of the Jerusalem Post and Raf Sanchez, Israel correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and Richard Pater speaks with Daphna Liel and Shalom Lipner to examine the Israeli election results and analyse what happens next during weeks of coalition talks.
Sep 10, 2019
Episode 68 | The election endgame
For the first time ever, the BICOM podcast was recorded on a moving train as James Sorene talked to polling expert Dahlia Scheindlin and journalist and Bibi biographer Anshel Pfeffer on the 21:15 from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston. They discussed the final phase of the Israeli election campaign and how voter turnout and Avigdor Lieberman’s quest to bring Bibi down will decide who wins on 17 September.
Sep 5, 2019
Episode 67 | Israel's battle with Iran
In this week’s podcast, Richard Pater talks to Jerusalem Post's editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz, author of Shadow Strike: Inside Israel's Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power, about recent events along the Israeli-Lebanese border. They also discuss the latest events in the Israeli election campaign.
Aug 30, 2019
Episode 66 | What will Hezbollah do next?
In this week’s podcast, BICOM’s Senior Research Fellow, Neri Zilber, talks to Lebanon and Syria expert Professor Eyal Zisser about reported Israeli strikes against Hezbollah targets in Syria and Lebanon and how Hezbollah is likely to respond.
Aug 7, 2019
Episode 65 | Israeli polls point to stalemate
James Sorene talks to Richard Pater and Calev Ben Dor about the latest news from Israel's elections with a focus on the potential impact of the new right wing and left wing party mergers.
Aug 1, 2019
Episode 64 | Why did Israel bomb Iraq?
James Sorene talks to Michael Herzog about reported Israeli strikes against Shia militias and why Iran is sending long range missiles to Iraq. They also discussed Herzog’s new paper analysing Israel’s conflict with Iran in Syria: ‘Iran across the border, Israel’s pushback in Syria.”
Jul 25, 2019
Episode 63 | What does Boris think about the Middle East?
In this week’s episode Elliot Keck interviews BICOM CEO James Sorene to examine Boris Johnson’s record dealing with Middle East issues as well as what he has said about Britain-Israel relations
Jul 19, 2019
Episode 62 | Bibi beats Ben-Gurion
In a special BICOM podcast to mark Benjamin Netanyahu becoming Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister, Richard Pater speaks with two Israeli journalists who have studied Bibi intensively: Tal Shalev, the chief political correspondent for Walla! News and Anshel Pfeffer, correspondent for Haaretz, The Times, The Economist and author of ‘Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu’.
Jul 11, 2019
Episode 61 | How to deter Iran
James Sorene speaks to Brig.- Gen. Michael Herzog about the limited US response to Iran in the Gulf and how Israel’s battle against Iran in Syria offers a case study in creative limited combat. James also spoke to Anshel Pfeffer about the lessons for Israel from Donald Trumps behaviour towards former UK Ambassador to Washington Sir Kim Darroch.
Jul 5, 2019
Episode 60 | Israel’s election race heats up and Iran breaks the nuclear deal
In this two part special, James Sorene speaks to Richard Pater and Calev Ben-Dor about the latest polling and Ehud Barak’s new party. James also interviewed former Foreign Office Minister Alastair Burt MP and Dr Toby Greene at the RUSI-BICOM conference about Iran breaking the terms of the JCPOA nuclear deal.
Jun 24, 2019
Episode 59 | Mañana in Manama
On the eve of the US led ‘peace to prosperity’ conference in Manama, Bahrain, James Sorene interviewed Koby Huberman from Israel’s regional peace initiative and Ronie Gazit spoke to former US Middle East negotiator David Makovsky
Jun 20, 2019
Episode 58 | Lieberman the kingmaker?
In this week's episode James Sorene talks to journalist and Bibi biographer Anshel Pfeffer about the vital role of Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman in the next election campaign and why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be fighting on two fronts as he seeks an election victory on 17 September.
Jun 13, 2019
Episode 57 | The Iran edition
To mark the release of BICOM’s new paper Britain’s Iran dilemma, James Sorene speaks to the paper’s author, BICOM senior research associate Dr Toby Greene. He also discusses UK-Iran relations with Ali Ansari, Professor of Modern History at St. Andrews University, the view from inside Iran with Dr Sanam Vakil, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House, and the detail of the Iran nuclear deal with Dr Emily B. Landau from Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). Read BICOM's paper: http://www.bicom.org.uk/analysis/bicom-briefing-britains-iran-dilemma/
Jun 7, 2019
Episode 56 | What will happen if the PA goes bust?
James Sorene speaks to BICOM’s senior research fellow Brig.-Gen (Ret.) Michael Herzog about the US peace plan and the impact of the Palestinian Authority’s risky game to threaten bankruptcy
May 30, 2019
Episode 55 | We can’t quite believe it, but there’s going to be another Israeli election...
James Sorene talks to Richard Pater and Calev Ben-Dor to try and understand why the 21st Knesset voted for another election and whether Benjamin Netanyahu has been weakened by his failure to form a Government. In the second half of the episode, Richard Pater interviews Royal Marine veteran Andrew Garland who helped organise the Britain-Israel Veterans Games that took place in Israel this week.
May 24, 2019
Episode 54 | Bibi’s immunity mission
James Sorene and Calev Ben-Dor talk to Yohanan Plesner, from the Israel Democracy Institute, about Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to secure immunity from prosecution and restrict the powers of the Israeli Supreme Court. James and Calev also discuss the Palestinian boycott of the US peace plan and the ‘economic workshop’ in Bahrain on 25 June.
May 16, 2019
Episode 53 | Exclusive interview with David Quarrey, UK Ambassador to Israel
BICOM CEO James Sorene presents a special two part episode from Israel. In an exclusive interview James spoke to UK Ambassador David Quarrey during his final days in Israel. James also interviewed IDF spokesman Lt-Col Jonathan Conricus to assess the hostilities last week between Israel and Gaza.
May 9, 2019
Episode 52 | Will Israel invade Gaza?
In this week’s episode, James Sorene speaks to BICOM’s Senior Visiting Fellow Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Michael Herzog about the Trump administration’s Iran strategy, whether Israel will launch a ground operation in Gaza and what will be in the US’s plan to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks.
May 2, 2019
Episode 51 | The PA is running out of money – what happens next?
In this week’s episode, BICOM CEO James Sorene is joined by Ha’aretz Security Analyst, Amos Harel to discuss the stand-off between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over their refusal to accept tax revenues. They also assess the situation in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.
Apr 18, 2019
Episode 50 | How did Bibi win, how divided is Israeli society and will there be a US peace plan?
In a special extended episode to mark our 50th episode, BICOM CEO James Sorene talks to Natan Sachs from the Brookings Institution, polling expert Dahlia Scheindlin and Times of Israel political analyst Haviv Rettig Gur to discuss what the voters did, whether Bibi will be granted immunity and if a US peace plan will ever be published.
Apr 11, 2019
Episode 49 | Bibi won, what does it mean and what happens next?
In this week’s episode James Sorene talks to Nadav Eyal, Chief International Correspondent for Reshet News and Professor Avi Diskin from the Hebrew University to assess the impact of Israel’s election results.
Apr 4, 2019
Episode 48 | A pollster's take on the Israeli election
In this week’s episode Richard Pater and Calev Ben-Dor are joined by political consultant and pollster Simon Davies from Number 10 Strategies to analyse the latest polling coming out of Israel ahead of next week's elections. In addition, Calev and Richard discuss reports on the political negotiations between Hamas and Israel.
Mar 29, 2019
Episode 47 | What Next in Gaza?
James Sorene, Calev Ben Dor and Richard Pater assess this week’s missile strikes from Gaza, the Israeli response, the likely riots tomorrow on the Gaza border and Bibi’s dilemma that he has no good options in response.
Mar 21, 2019
Episode 46 | Gantz’s golden opportunity
BICOM CEO James Sorene talks to Lahav Harkov, the Senior Contributing Editor at the Jerusalem Post, about Benny Gantz's Tuesday night TV interviews and the surging support for small right wing parties.
Mar 15, 2019
Episode 45 | Has the Blue and White ‘bubble’ Burst?
James Sorene, Richard Pater and Calev Ben-Dor discuss the latest election news in Israel, including the Prime Minister’s row with Gal Gadot about the nation state law, why the Blue and White Party is declining in the polls and why Naftali Bennett said Benny Gantz is Hamas’s ‘wet dream’.
Mar 7, 2019
Episode 44 | Bibi’s criminal process
Richard Pater and Calev Ben-Dor interview Dr Guy Lurie from the Israel Democracy Institute, discussing what happens now after the Israeli Attorney General decided to indict Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Mar 1, 2019
Episode 43 | Will a UK ban hurt Hezbollah?
In this week’s episode, James Sorene is joined by Hanin Ghaddar, Visiting Fellow at the Washington Institute, to assess the impact of the UK’s new ban on Hezbollah and how it will hurt Hezbollah’s precarious financial situation. Hanin also sets out her ideas for what more can be done to counter Hezbollah activity in the Middle East.
Feb 21, 2019
Episode 42 | Israeli elections special – What are the Israeli public thinking? An interview with polling expert Dahlia Scheindlin
This week, in the first of our Israeli election specials, BICOM CEO James Sorene interviews polling guru and star of the Tel Aviv Review podcast Dahlia Scheindlin to discuss what the Israeli public are thinking ahead of the elections and how we can interpret the latest opinion polls.
Feb 14, 2019
Episode 41 | The emerging threat of Hezbollah’s precision missiles
James Sorene talks with colleagues Calev Ben-Dor and Toby Greene on BICOM’s new paper, “Hezbollah's precision missile project”. They discuss how the project is increasing the threat to Israel’s infrastructure and population centres and the wider implications for Middle East security if the technology is shared with Houthi and Shia militias in Yemen, Iraq and Syria.
Feb 7, 2019
Episode 40 | Who won the Likud Primary and what did Gantz really say about Gaza withdrawal?
James Sorene talks to Gil Hoffman, the Jerusalem Post’s chief political correspondent, about who really won the Likud primaries and what kind of party is likely to emerge after April's elections. Gil also analysed the fallout from Benny Gantz’s first newspaper interview in which he said Israel should “learn the lessons from the disengagement from Gaza and implement them in other arenas.”