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Israel Policy Pod


A weekly podcast going beyond the headlines, bringing you the latest details and analysis from Israel and the region.

A weekly podcast going beyond the headlines, bringing you the latest details and analysis from Israel and the region.


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A weekly podcast going beyond the headlines, bringing you the latest details and analysis from Israel and the region.






A Labor of Love: A Discussion with Stav Shaffir

Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz speak with former Member of Knesset and Green Movement leader Stav Shaffir about the collapse of the Labor Party and how the Israeli left can rebuild. Support the show (


Americans, Israelis, Palestinians, and the World Ahead

Host Evan Gottesman speaks with Ilan Goldenberg, Israel Policy Forum policy advisor and senior fellow and director at the Center for a New American Security Middle East Security Program, about the new world being shaped by coronavirus, and where Israelis and Palestinians fit into a conversation dominated by fear of pandemics and a global public health crisis. Support the show (


Blue and White Blues

Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz discuss shake-ups and breakups on the Israeli center-left, as Kachol Lavan and Labor-Gesher-Meretz fragment over the question of an emergency unity government. Support the show (


Coronavirus Comes to Gaza

Dr. Shira Efron joins hosts Evan Gottesman and Margaux Nijkerk to discuss the spread of the novel coronavirus to the Gaza Strip and why the Palestinian coastal enclave could be especially hard hit by the public health crisis. Dr. Efron co-authored the RAND Corporation study "The Public Health Impacts of Gaza's Water Crisis." To read the study, click here. Support the show (


One State: The Logical Conclusion of Annexation

Israel Policy Forum's new study, "In Search of a Viable Option," evaluates seven potential outcomes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this episode, hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz explore two of those approaches, one Jewish state, and the Trump plan, with Dr. Shaul Arieli, a retired colonel in the IDF and an expert on the geography of the West Bank and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Map link: Support the show (



From tracking cell phones to curbing the activities of the Knesset, recent actions undertaken by Israel's caretaker government have critics alleging that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and allies like Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein are using the coronavirus as a pretext to consolidate authoritarian rule. Israeli officials counter that extreme circumstances are a legitimate basis for extreme measures. To better understand the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of these policies, host Evan...


Three Elections, Zero Winners

After three Knesset elections, Israel's politicians are still locked in a stalemate. Add in coronavirus, and you have a recipe for real uncertainty. Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz discuss the different directions Israel could take after President Reuven Rivlin gave Benny Gantz the mandate to form a government over the weekend, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calculates his next move. Support the show (


Emergency Coronalition

With the Coronavirus crisis dominating the headlines, Netanyahu calls for an emergency unity government under his leadership while his court date looms and Labor-Meretz-Gesher's Orly Levy emerges as a potential ally. Support the show (


A Flashback From the 1980s: The Jordanian Option

Israel Policy Forum's new study, "In Search of a Viable Option," evaluates seven potential outcomes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this episode, hosts Evan Gottesman (who co-authored the study) and Margaux Nijkerk zoom in on one of those approaches, the Jordanian option, with Israel Fellow Nimrod Novik, who participated in secret talks between Israel and Jordan in the 1980s. What does the Jordanian option entail? How did a mainstream Israeli policy come to be seen as an existential...


Searching for a Viable Option

If not two states, then what? Host Margaux Nijkerk breaks down this question with former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro, Dr. Shira Efron, and Evan Gottesman as they discuss a new report authored by Evan and Dr. Efron evaluating seven possible outcomes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We appreciate your listenership and support of Israel Policy Pod, and value your thoughts and feedback on our programs. Please take a few minutes to complete our brief survey so that we can...


The Election to End All Elections?

Is a Netanyahu right-wing majority within reach? Does Benny Gantz have a realistic path to form a coalition? Less than a week before Israelis head to the polls for a third consecutive time, host Eli Kowaz is joined by Independent Journalist Neri Zilber to break down the state-of-play in Israeli politics. Neri is an adjunct fellow of The Washington Institute and policy director at BICOM. Support the show (


Mapping the Trump Plan

Host Eli Kowaz speaks with Tel Aviv-based analyst Dan Rothem about the new borders set out in the Trump administration's Peace to Prosperity proposal and their ramifications for Israel's secure, Jewish, and democratic future. Support the show (


The Real Deal? Understanding Trump's Israeli-Palestinian Plan

Amid Israel’s continuing political deadlock, the Trump administration has now unveiled its long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian plan. Upending decades of bipartisan policy, the proposal gives American endorsement to Israeli annexation of broad swaths of the West Bank and limits Palestinian territorial contiguity. What does the plan mean for Israel’s security and Jewish and democratic character? And how will this new American policy impact the future viability of a two-state solution? Listen in...


Wheeling and [Ultimate] Dealing

Over the past week, the Trump administration's perennially delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan has gone from the realm of fantasy to being just around the corner. Is this a serious proposal or a transparent political ploy to trap Benjamin Netanyahu's rival, Benny Gantz? What do the rumored elements of the plan mean for the future of the two-state solution? Hosts Evan Gottesman, Eli Kowaz, and Margaux Nijkerk discuss. Support the show (


Deadline Drama

In this week's episode Evan Gottesman, Eli Kowaz, and Margaux Nijkerk discuss the deadline drama as Wednesday marked the final day for parties to register for March’s election. Support the show (


Inside the Joint List: A Talk with MK Aida Touma-Sliman

Hosts Evan Gottesman and Margaux Nijkerk talk to Aida Touma-Sliman, a member of Knesset for the Joint List. Tune in for a discussion on MK Touma-Sliman's advocacy for women's rights and Arab citizens of Israel, West Bank annexation and threats to a two-state solution, Israel's unprecedented third election, and how a leftist member of Knesset can find common ground with right-wing politicians. Support the show (


After Soleimani: War With Iran?

Israel Policy Forum hosted a briefing on the death of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and its impact on American and Israeli security, with Ilan Goldenberg in conversation with Michael Koplow. Support the show (


Israel in 2020: Five Things to Watch

Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz discuss five issues that will shape Israeli politics, U.S.-Israel relations, and the future viability of a two-state solution in 2020. Support the show (


Follow The Leader

Eli Kowaz and Margaux Nijkerk discuss Benjamin Netanyahu's convincing primary win over challenger Gideon Sa'ar. Support the show (


Sa'ar Wars

On this episode of Israel Policy Pod, hosts Evan Gottesman, Eli Kowaz, and Margaux Nijkerk talk about the Likud primary and how it could shape projections for the March Knesset election results. Support the show (