Yossi Alpher's Death Tango: Ariel Sharon, Yasser Arafat and Three Fateful Days in March
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"Anyone seeking to understand how Israelis and Palestinians traded the hopes of Oslo for something approaching hopelessness is well-advised to read this book. With penetrating analysis and elegant prose, Yossi Alpher has told the gripping story of three days nearly two decades ago that continue to haunt would-be peacemakers. Yossi’s faithful readers will not be disappointed with his latest effort."

Ambassador Frederic C. Hof, Bard College

"A riveting account of the crucial days in March 2002 when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was profoundly changed for the worse. The peace camp has never recovered from those wrenching days, and we live now without any hope of a just settlement. Alpher is a highly respected expert who has spent decades studying this conflict from both sides."

Bruce Riedel, Director of the Brookings Intelligence Project

"A critical assessment of a key period in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict never before presented in such detail. The best and most capable players at the executive and political levels proved unable to forge any resolution, final or partial, because both parties continued to maintain an insurmountable gulf between themselves. This is a MUST read for anyone daring to tackle the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and of Israel-Arab relations in general."

Efraim Halevy, former Head of the Mossad (1998-2002)

Yossi's New Book:

Oraib Khader and Avi Bar-On are youngish Palestinian and Israeli bachelors with security experience, readiness to do business with one another, a shared fondness for women and money, and total cynicism about the lack of peace between their two peoples.

Oraib and Avi can never become true friends: the cultural and political gaps are too wide. But as they confront a failed peace process and a bleak peace future, they readily become business partners: shady business that exploits a lot of naïve international peace aspirations.
As Oraib sums up on a visit to Sarpsborg, Norway, where the ultimately-failed Oslo peace talks were held, “There is a lesson here for those who still doggedly and hopelessly pursue a two-state solution in the Middle East. Get smart. Get out of the Israeli-Palestinian peace business. Step back and let the Jews and Arabs screw one another while making money.”

Sept 30 2022

Q.  With the dawn of a Jewish New Year, what really worries you at the strategic level? Alongside the obvious external threats of Iranian, Hezbollah and Hamas missiles and Iran’s military nuclear potential, are the internal threats to Israel’s overall wellbeing as big a preoccupation?

A. The internal threats are at least as big a preoccupation. Indeed, more and more of Israel’s security chiefs are paying attention and linking external and domestic threats. Here, for example, is the extraordinary warning issued publicly by Shin Bet (General Security Service) Head Ronen Bar barely three weeks ago concerning the threat from within:

We can state today that the absence of political stability and the growing divisiveness [in Israel] encourage the countries of the Axis of Evil, terrorist organizations and individual terrorists. Our relative historical advantage [of internal cohesiveness], which has served us for thousands of years, is dissipating. That insight should be of the greatest concern. The Shin Bet can sound the alarm--but not deal with the problem. That is in the hands of each and every one of us.

(By ‘Axis of Evil’, an unfortunate choice of terms, Bar presumably means Iran and its allies: Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the Houthis in Yemen.)

Bar’s warning is extraordinary because political and ideological divisions within Israeli society and the Israeli body politic are beyond his professional security responsibility and he knows it. By the same token, those divisions are not the responsibility of the Mossad and IDF intelligence, which deal with external enemies. Bar is suggesting that, precisely because these internal divisions are becoming acute and encouraging Israel’s self-declared enemies, someone had better take responsibility.

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