Israel Policy Pod

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

Deadline Approaching
Jul 19 • 21 min
With the deadline for final party registration fast approaching in Israel, hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz check in with developments from Labor, Meretz, and the Arab parties.
Don’t Know Much About Antiquity
Jul 10 • 30 min
From tunnels under Silwan to arguments on Twitter, ancient history is in the news in Israel. Host Evan Gottesman speaks with Yonathan Mizrahi, founder and executive director of Emek Shaveh, an Israeli NGO working to stop the politicization of archaeology…
Bahrain Blues / Barak Is Back
Jun 28 • 46 min
In this week’s episode host Eli Kowaz talks to ALLMEP Executive Director Joel Braunold about the Trump administration’s workshop in Bahrain, and discusses Israeli elections with Policy Director Michael Koplow.
Of Leftists and Liberman
Jun 21 • 43 min
What’s new in Israeli politics this week? Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz discuss changes on the left, with upcoming Meretz and Labor primaries to the restoration of the Joint List, as well as Avigdor Liberman’s growing momentum.
Israeli Party Primaries and Partial Annexation
Jun 13 • 30 min
Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz discuss Labor and Meretz primaries, Arab party politicking, and an apparently endorsement of partial unilateral West Bank annexation from American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Synagogue and State
Jun 6 • 38 min
Host Eli Kowaz talks synagogue and state with Uri Keidar, the executive director of Israel Hofsheet, an organization dedicated to advancing cultural and religious pluralism in Israel.
Israeli Election Insights with Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin
Jun 5 • 34 min
Today’s episode of Israel Policy Pod features highlights from our latest Israeli elections briefing, featuring Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin, a policy analyst and public opinion expert who has advised five Knesset campaigns, as well as electoral and civil society…
Israeli Elections 2019, Take Two
May 29 • 21 min
Policy Director Michael Koplow speaks with host Evan Gottesman about Israel’s second election of 2019. Plus, a dispatch from Communications Director Eli Kowaz in Tel Aviv.
West Bank Annexation: Regional Ramifications
May 28 • 68 min
Host Evan Gottesman speaks with Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Brookings Institution about how West Bank annexation would play out
What’s the Deal With the Ultimate Deal?
May 24 • 40 min
Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz get to the heart of the incoming Trump administration “ultimate deal” plan; plus, an original Eurovision song mashup from Eli.
Immunity, Coalition, Netanyahu, Eurovision
May 17 • 21 min
Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz discuss Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s troubled pursuit of immunity from prosecution.
Israel: Lost in Gaza?
May 9 • 34 min
Evan Gottesman speaks to Israel Policy Forum’s Israel Fellow Nimrod Novik, a former senior foreign policy adviser to Shimon Peres, about Israel’s strategy in Gaza and why Palestinians and Israelis keep returning to brief (but costly) exchanges over the…
Death and [Palestinian] Taxes
May 3 • 25 min
The Palestinian Authority is rejecting tax transfers from Israel. Why?
Netanyahu and Annexation: Where Do Israelis Really Stand?
Apr 24 • 32 min
Israel Policy Pod host Evan Gottesman speaks with Israeli pollster Camil Fuchs (Channel 13) to get a clearer sense of where the Israeli public truly stands regarding Benjamin Netanyahu and West Bank annexation.
Knesset Elections: The Week After
Apr 16 • 22 min
One week after Israelis voted for their next government, hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz break down election results and discuss the road ahead, with special focus on issues like West Bank annexation and tensions between the ultra-Orthodox parties and…
Election Day Is Here
Apr 8 • 28 min
Eli Kowaz hosts Walla News Political Correspondant Tal Shalev to preview Israeli election day.
Israel, Illiberal: Is the Jewish State in Democratic Decline?
Apr 5 • 44 min
Is Israel becoming increasingly illiberal? On the eve of Israeli elections, host Evan Gottesman puts the question to Tamara Cofman Wittes and Yael Mizrahi-Arnaud, authors of the new Brookings Institution study “Is Israel in Democratic Decline?” (
Coalition Calculations
Apr 2 • 30 min
Host Eli Kowaz is joined by Policy Director Michael Koplow to discuss different scenarios for Israeli election outcomes as the Knesset campaign enters its final week.
From Gaza to the Golan
Mar 27 • 24 min
Executive Director David A. Halperin and Policy Director Michael Koplow talk conflict in Gaza and American recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan — and how these issues square with Israeli voters in the lead-up to April 9’s Knesset election.
3 Weeks To Go
Mar 21 • 25 min
After a rough political week for Benny Gantz, Walla’s Tal Shalev joins host Eli Kowaz to talk about where things stand three weeks before Israelis head to the polls.
Bibi’s American Campaign
Mar 15 • 34 min
Hosts Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman discuss the American angle to Netanyahu’s pursuit of reelection.
Netanyahu Indictment Announcement: Will it Swing Israel’s Election?
Mar 4 • 35 min
Hosts Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman assess whether the Israeli attorney general’s announcement of his intention to indict Benjamin Netanyahu in three corruption cases can swing the April Knesset election.
Deal or No Deal
Feb 27 • 27 min
Executive Director David A. Halperin and Policy Director discuss the impact of the Trump administration’s long-rumored “Ultimate Deal” on Israeli elections. The big question in the room is: deal or no deal?
It’s My Party: The Israel Policy Pod Political Party Primer
Feb 22 • 61 min
Host Evan Gottesman and Policy Director Michael Koplow give an overview of the various Israeli political parties running in the 2019 Knesset elections.
A Podcast About a Podcast
Feb 20 • 31 min
Israel Policy Forum Executive Director David A. Halperin and Policy Director Michael Koplow join the podcast to talk about another podcast’s take on Israel and what they think it missed.
Deadline Week
Feb 18 • 30 min
Eli Kowaz hosts Tal Shalev of Walla News to discuss Israeli elections and the crucial week ahead approaching the party list registration deadline on Thursday.
Gantz Fever
Jan 31 • 35 min
Hosts Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman take a look at Benny Gantz’s debut speech and what it says about the state of Israeli politics.
It’s Breakup Season
Jan 6 • 25 min
Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman discuss the recent breakups in Israeli politics as we approach April elections.
Israeli Elections
Dec 28, 2018 • 26 min
On the last podcast of the year (for real this time) Eli hosts Walla News Political Correspondent Tal Shalev to talk about the recently-announced April 9th elections.
BaShana HaBa’a: Predictions for 2019
Dec 21, 2018 • 40 min
Will Trump reveal his “ultimate deal?” Will Netanyahu break Ben-Gurion’s record as Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister? In our last episode of the year, Eli hosts Policy Director Michael Koplow to discuss predictions for 2019.
One-State Reality
Dec 13, 2018 • 32 min
Hosts Evan Gottesman and Eli Kowaz talk about the rise of West Bank terror in recent weeks and months and what it tells us about a future one-state reality.
Last Week in Israel
Nov 27, 2018 • 46 min
A summary of the last week’s Israeli political news
The Blue and White After the Blue Wave
Nov 7, 2018 • 25 min
As the dust settles from the 2018 U.S. congressional midterm elections, Israel Policy Forum Policy Director Michael Koplow joins host Evan Gottesman to break down the future of American policy on Israel and the changing approaches the Democratic and…
Welcoming the Stranger
Nov 2, 2018 • 18 min
Host Evan Gottesman speaks with HIAS Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy Naomi Steinberg.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Oct 24, 2018 • 23 min
A discussion on the closure of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.
Preventing Palestine
Sep 20, 2018 • 54 min
The Camp David Accords, Israel-Egypt Treaty, and Oslo Accords produced some of the most widely celebrated moments in Arab-Israeli diplomacy. But what if these arrangements complicated things for future generations of Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans?…
Is American Aid to the Palestinians Over?
Aug 30, 2018 • 40 min
Is American aid for the Palestinians over?
Druze Blues
Aug 15, 2018 • 14 min
Hosts Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman discuss the nation-state law with IDF Brig. Gen. (res.) Amal Asad. Special thanks to Shanie Reichman for English-language voice-over.
The Ins and Outs of Gaza
Aug 2, 2018 • 30 min
Israel Policy Pod host Evan Gottesman speaks with Tania Hary, executive director of Gisha, an Israeli NGO working to improve Palestinian freedom of movement in and out of Gaza.
Birthright and the Nation-State Law
Jul 20, 2018 • 34 min
Eli and Evan discuss the nation-state law passed by the Knesset and Birthright walkouts by American Jews with Israeli journalist Allison Kaplan Sommer.
Is There a Plan B?
Jul 13, 2018 • 26 min
Hosts Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman are joined by Israel Policy Forum’s Israel Fellow Nimrod Novik to discuss the Trump administration peace plan and debate whether the administration has a Plan B.
The Situation On The Ground
Jun 29, 2018 • 32 min
Israel Policy Forum Executive Director David A. Halperin returns from the organization’s leadership delegation to Israel and the West Bank and shares his impressions abut conditions on the ground and the launch of the 50 Steps Before The Deal initiative.
Settlements, Diaspora, and Demography
Jun 14, 2018 • 52 min
Oxford University’s Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, author of “City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement,” joins the podcast to share her expertise on the state of the settlement enterprise in the occupied territories, the American role…
Securing Southern Syria
Jun 6, 2018 • 42 min
Eli and Evan are joined by Elizabeth Tsurkov, a research fellow at Israel’s Forum for Regional Thinking, to talk about developments with Israel, Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime in southern Syria.
Jerusalem Syndrome
May 30, 2018 • 45 min
Lior Schillat of the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research joins Eli and Evan to talk about the new development plan for East Jerusalem, recently approved by the Israeli cabinet.
Rules of Engagement
May 22, 2018 • 23 min
Pnina Sharvit Baruch joins Eli and Evan to talk about the IDF’s conduct responding to the Gaza demonstrations.
The Art Of Leaving The Deal
May 11, 2018 • 24 min
A discussion on the U.S. exit from the Iran deal.
Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis
Apr 18, 2018 • 45 min
An overview of the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip
State with No Army, Army with No State
Apr 3, 2018 • 46 min
Neri Zilber joins Eli and Evan to break down misconceptions about the Palestinian Authority Security Force (PASF). Read Neri Zilber and Ghaith Al-Omari’s full report “State with No Army, Army with No State:” LINK:
On Israeli Leadership
Mar 26, 2018 • 49 min
This week’s episode features Israel Policy Forum’s 2018 Joseph Forum - a distinguished panel on Israel leadership held this past week at the Harmonie Club in New York City featuring Dr. Anita Shapira, Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich, and Rabbi Daniel Gord…
A New Strategy for an Era of Change
Mar 15, 2018 • 34 min
Former Israeli National Security Adviser Chuck Freilich joins Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman Israel’s security strategy or lack thereof.
The End of the Netanyahu Years?
Feb 16, 2018 • 24 min
Israel Policy Forum’s Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman talk about Benjamin Netanyahu’s future after the Israel Police’s indictment recommendation with Ben Caspit, a senior journalist for Ma’ariv and Al-Monitor and author of the new book The Netanyahu Years.
Arab Acquaintances
Dec 18, 2017 • 60 min
Eli Kowaz and Noa Shusterman talk with Hussein Ibish, Senior Resident Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, about Israel’s emerging relationships with the Arab world and the impact of Trump’s Jerusalem announcement.
The Soviet-Israeli War
Dec 8, 2017 • 30 min
Dr. Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez of the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute join Israel Policy Forum’s Eli Kowaz and Evan Gottesman to discuss their new book, “The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973: The U.S.S.R.’s Military Intervention In The…
“A National Home”: Balfour’s Centenary
Nov 17, 2017 • 31 min
IPF’s Noa Shusterman and Adam Basciano speak with Michael Davies, a British high-school history teacher, about the Balfour Declaration’s role in modern British society and the challenge of tackling this controversial issue in the classroom.
Behind the Smiles: Is Reconciliation for Real?
Nov 9, 2017 • 25 min
IPF’s Noa Shusterman and Adam Basciano talk with Ghaith al-Omari, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute and the former executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine, about the nature of the Palestinian reconciliation process and how …
The Moderate Majority
Oct 27, 2017 • 20 min
Eli and Noa host Polly Bronstein, CEO and founder of Darkenu, a grassroots movement aiming to mobilize Israel’s “moderate majority.”
Humanity First: Israeli-Syrian Cooperation to Aid Refugees
Oct 4, 2017 • 25 min
Matzav Podcast hosts Shadi Martini, Director of Humanitarian Relief and Regional Relations to the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, to discuss the crisis in Syria and how it effects local views on Israel.
Game of Thrones: The Struggle over Abbas’ Succession
Sep 28, 2017 • 24 min
Matzav Podcast hosts Grant Rumley to discuss the contenders in the race to become the next PA President and what it means for Israel.
Neighborhood Watch: Israel’s Regional Threats
Sep 20, 2017 • 28 min
How can Israel best limit Iran’s influence in Syria? How would Trump backing out of the JCPOA effect Israel? Eli and Noa host Professor Chuck Freilich, the former deputy national security advisor of Israel to discuss Israel’s regional security.
The Last Palestinian
Sep 13, 2017 • 28 min
Eli and Noa host Grant Rumley and Amir Tibon to discuss their book The Last Palestinian: The Rise and Reign of Mahmoud Abbas.
The Sound of Silence: Netanyahu and the Condemnation that Wasn’t
Aug 25, 2017 • 40 min
Former Consul General of Israel in New York, Alon Pinkas, joins Eli Kowaz and Noa Shusterman to talk about Netanyahu’s inaction in the face of blatant anti-Semitism, and its influence on Israel-diaspora relations.
Back in the Middle East: Are Greenblatt and Kushner Bringing Good News?
Aug 18, 2017 • 30 min
Jason Greenblatt, Jared Kushner, Dina Powell head to Israel later this month as part of Trump’s search of reaching the ‘ultimate deal’. Former US diplomat Scott Lasensky joins IPF’s Eli Kowaz and Noa Shusterman to discuss the upcoming visit and US e…
Israel and Jordan: It’s Complicated
Aug 4, 2017 • 28 min
IPF Israel Fellow and former advisor to Shimon Peres Nimrod Novik joins Eli Kowaz and Noa Shusterman to talk about the diplomatic crisis between Israel and Jordan.
Incitement: A Palestinian Perspective
Jul 27, 2017 • 22 min
As Palestinians riot amidst the Temple Mount crisis, Israeli government ministers point the blame at Palestinian incitement. Samer Makhlouf, CEO of Zimam (a progressive Palestinian grassroots movement), joined us in our New York studio to discuss th…
A United Jerusalem?
Jul 21, 2017 • 23 min
Lior Schillat, Director General of The Jerusalem Institute of Policy Research, joins IPF’s Eli Kowaz and Noa Shusterman in New York to discuss the proposed amendment to the Jerusalem bill and the latest unrest on the Temple Mount.