Wednesdays 4pm; replay Fridays 1pm
For the news behind the news. For analysis and insight into important stories about Israel, tune in to The Israel Connexion, presented by David Schulberg every Wednesday afternoon from 4 to 5 pm at j-air.com.au on J-AIR radio.
In collaboration with experts from all walks of life, who specialise in various aspects of Israel’s political life, arts and culture you will hear in depth interviews delving into issues affecting Israel and on topics to do with Israelis and their involvements around the world. If you miss any of the programs on The Israel Connexion you can listen to all the podcasts of previous programs at Omny Studio.
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4 Jun 2021, 5pm The Israel Connexion Ran is Deputy Director of the Kohelet Policy Forum, a very influential organisation in Israel that strives to secure Israel’s future as the nation-state of the Jewish people, to strengthen representative democracy, and to broaden individual liberty and free-market principles in Israel. Ran’s fields of interest include constitutional law, international law, and public diplomacy. Ran is a former Mixed Martial Arts national champion of Israel, a prodigious author, and an international public speaker who has reached an audience of 100,000+.
24 Apr 2021, 4pm The Israel Connexion In part 3 of my interview with Raphael Cohen-Almagor we talk about his monthly newsletter about Israel, that focuses particularly on democracy, human rights, politics and society. We hear Raphael’s analysis of the outcome of Israel’s latest elections and then Raphael tells us about how he has been involved in instigating motions and campaigns on a multitude of issues throughout his academic career, the latest being his fight against Holocaust denial. I also allude to the news that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel announced that the UK opposes the International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes by Israel.
24 Apr 2021, 4pm The Israel Connexion In part 2 of my interview with Raphael Cohen-Almagor we talk about the difficulties he has encountered at the University of Hull establishing a forum at the university, where issues concerning Israel and its role in the Middle East can be discussed. Raphael via the Middle East Study Group at Hull University provides a platform for a range of speakers and subject-matter experts, the last in the series being Noam Chomsky on the topic ‘A Moment of Peril and Challenge’.
21 Apr 2021, 7pm The Israel Connexion In part 1 of my interview (in 3 parts) with Raphael Cohen-Almagor we discuss his being at the University of Hull in the UK, remember an Oxford union debate in which Raphael spoke against the motion: ‘This House Believes a Two-State Solution in the Middle East is Unattainable’ and then hear about a book he is working on, aiming to provide a detailed analysis of three decades of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), from the start of the Oslo process in 1993until now. His book will analyse the reasons for the failed peace process, the role of third-party mediation and facilitation, and the keys for successful negotiations. Raphael’s aim ostensibly is not to provide a comprehensive historical account of the peace forces from 1993 until present time. Rather he strives to understand why despite the abundant efforts of so many people, including very powerful people such as president of the United States, still the people of Israel and Palestine are so far from peace. (Music: Ishay Ribo – Lashuv Habaita)
17 Mar 2021, 9am The Israel Connexion Labor MP Josh Burns speaks about the recent moves by the ALP to give prominence to its support for the formation of a Palestinian state. He explains where he stands on the subject of Israel-Palestine and how he demonstrates his support for Israel. (0:45-24:38) Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He will discuss the forthcoming Israeli elections and what might be the outcome. (27:49-50:43)
10 Mar 2021, 11am The Israel Connexion Times of Israel senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur will discuss the outfall from the recent ruling by Israel’s High Court of Justice on non-Orthodox conversions. (0:29-18:43) David Collier is a pro-Israel activist, who has infiltrated the British Labour Party and pro-Palestinian groups to expose the virulent anti-semitism existing there. (18:43-50:14)
10 Mar 2021, 11am The Israel Connexion David Collier is a British pro-Israel activist, who has infiltrated the British Labour Party and pro-Palestinian groups to expose the virulent anti-semitism existing there.
3 Mar 2021, 6pm The Israel Connexion (Full interview) In Ami Ayalon’s memoir ‘Friendly Fire’ he delivers his basic message that according to him one of the main reasons Israel has failed to make peace with the Palestinians is that Israelis don’t acknowledge the essential humanity of the Palestinians and are too driven by fear.
2 Mar 2021, 4pm The Israel Connexion In Ami Ayalon’s memoir ‘Friendly Fire’ he delivers his basic message that according to him one of the main reasons Israel has failed to make peace with the Palestinians is that Israelis don’t acknowledge the essential humanity of the Palestinians and are too driven by fear.
23 Feb 2021, 5pm The Israel Connexion In the global superpower competition between the United States and China, Israel is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, Beijing is interested in increasing its cooperation with Israel, especially in the infrastructure and technology sectors; on the other, Israel is under increasing pressure from Washington to limit its engagement with China. I speak with Howard Shatz and Shira Efron who have been involved in the creation of two significant reports about the growing Israel-China relationship – The Evolving Israel-China Relationship and Chinese Investment in Israeli Technology and Infrastructure.
23 Feb 2021, 5pm The Israel Connexion In the global superpower competition between the United States and China, Israel is stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, Beijing is interested in increasing its cooperation with Israel, especially in the infrastructure and technology sectors; on the other, Israel is under increasing pressure from Washington to limit its engagement with China. I spoke with Howard Shatz and Shira Efron who have been involved in the creation of two significant reports about the growing Israel-China relationship – The Evolving Israel-China Relationship and Chinese Investment in Israeli Technology and Infrastructure. (Full interview)
16 Feb 2021, 7pm The Israel Connexion I spoke to Dror Moreh who achieved some recognition following the creation of his controversial film ‘The Gatekeepers’ back in 2012. This time he has directed ‘The Human Factor’ and Dror Moreh provides some fascinating insights in this behind-the-scenes story of how the United States came within reach of pulling off the impossible – securing peace between Israel and its neighbours. (1:31-26:31) The film ‘Til Kingdom Come’ examines how millions of American Evangelicals have established a connection with the State of Israel. The film exposes a stunning backstory of the Trump and Netanyahu administrations, where financial, political and messianic motivations intersect with the apocalyptic worldview that has been influencing American foreign policy toward Israel and the Middle-East. I spoke with the film’s director Maya Zinshtein and producer Abie Troen in what turned out to be a very illuminating discussion. (26:48-49:38)
10 Feb 2021, 7pm The Israel Connexion The front page of the Australian Jewish News (22/1/20) exposed a new chapter concerning the United Nations Relief Works Agency for (alleged) Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). UNRWA now produces its own educational materials for the Palestinians which is rife with problematic content that contradicts supposed UN values. I spoke with Marcus Sheff, the CEO of Impact-SE, which last month published a review of UNRWA-Produced Study Materials in the Palestinian Territories.
3 Feb 2021, 9pm The Israel Connexion On my first new program in 2021 I spoke with ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim about the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and some other issues. Peter wrote an article titled Why there is no credible alternative to IHRA definition of antisemitism and anti-Israel activist Peter Slezak responded How should antisemitism be defined? A reply to Peter Wertheim
23 Dec 2020, 6pm The Israel Connexion Blake Flayton, a student at George Washington University, Ilan Sinelnikov, president and founder of Students Supporting Israel and Daniel Elberg, public affairs co-ordinator for AUJS join me for a conversation about on-campus anti-semitism. Blake has written an article "The Hate That Can’t Be Contained" that was published last month in Tablet Magazine and this provides the basis for our discussion.
23 Dec 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion Blake Flayton, a student at George Washington University, Ilan Sinelnikov, president and founder of Students Supporting Israel and Daniel Elberg, public affairs co-ordinator for AUJS join me for a conversation about on-campus anti-semitism. Blake has written an article "The Hate That Can’t Be Contained" that was published last month in Tablet Magazine and this provides the basis for our discussion.
2 Dec 2020, 9am The Israel Connexion Australian Greens politician Adam Bandt MP wrote a letter to the Australian Jewish News a couple of weeks ago to whitewash the Greens anti-Israel policies. A year ago Bandt delivered a speech to the Australian parliament following his first trip to ‘Palestine’. I was particularly alarmed that what Bandt said about the water situation in the Palestine territories was replete with lies and misinformation. Consequently I invited a spokesperson for Israel’s Water Authority Uri Schor to be interviewed about Bandt’s remarks and he had no hesitation in exposing Adam Bandt’s misinformation. (0:34-28:44) Gili Meisler is the brother of Giora, the most talked about Israeli soldier of the Yom Kippur war, who disappeared “missing in action” and Gili has been searching for him and for himself ever since. In a special interview Gili, who is a protagonist for the Parents Circle Family Forum, allowed me to record his story and tell how it has had such a profound influence on him. (28:44-50:45)
25 Nov 2020, 12pm The Israel Connexion Born in NYC, Dr Naftali Moses holds a PhD in medical history from Bar-Ilan University in Israel where he has lived for nearly four decades. He is the author of Mourning Under Glass and Really Dead? He makes his home at desert’s edge in the village of Tekoa, an Israeli settlement located 20 km northeast of Hebron, along with his daughter and their oversized dog. Naftali has written a review of the highly acclaimed Apeirogon, a recent novel about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, that he says has a lot more to say about Jews and Israel than anybody has picked up on—none of it good.
18 Nov 2020, 10am The Israel Connexion Itamar Marcus is a researcher and the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, which studies Palestinian society by monitoring and analyzing the Palestinian Authority through its media and schoolbooks.
16 Nov 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) is an Israel-based nongovernmental organization and media watchdog group. Founded in 1996 by Itamar Marcus, Palestinian Media Watch documents cases of incitement in Palestinian media. It describes itself as "an Israeli research institute that studies Palestinian society from a broad range of perspectives by monitoring and analyzing the Palestinian Authority through its media and schoolbooks."[
11 Nov 2020, 12pm The Israel Connexion Mort Klein is the president of the Zionist Organisation of America. Listen to his take on the US elections and how American Jewry’s support for Israel is under threat. (0:49-24:36) Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (24:36 -28:01) IZZY is a new streaming service platform that looks to become ‘The Netflix of Israel’. I speak with their co-founders Josh Hoffman and Nat Dinnar about what IZZY has to offer. (28:01-51:19)
4 Nov 2020, 10pm The Israel Connexion The whole world is focussed on what will happen in the US elections this week. Some results should be coming through early Wednesday afternoon in Australia. There will be three guests on my show this week to tell us what they make of the US elections and the possible consequences. Jonathan S.Tobin is a prominent American journalist, who is editor in chief of JNS.org, the Jewish News Syndicate. (1:26-15:07) Gil Hoffman is the chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post. (17:42-34:06) Josh Feldman wrote an article titled ‘Trump is a Danger to American Jewry’ in the Australian Jewish News, which has published four responses (37:38-50:41).
28 Oct 2020, 10am The Israel Connexion I discover that Zahrir Rinat has been the environment affairs reporter for Haaretz for over three decades. I came across an article ‘Paradise lost’: How Israel turned the West Bank into a sewage dump for its settlements, that has been latched on to by APAN on FaceBook. This article claims that untreated wastewater from Israeli settlements has destroyed the soil of Palestinian villages, causing often ancient olive trees to die and livelihoods to be lost. Zahrir Rinat gives us his sober interpretation of the situation. (0:33-36:37) A tribute to the life of Yitzhak Rabin. (36:37-50:58)
21 Oct 2020, 10am The Israel Connexion Dr. Mordechai Nisan has written an article ‘The Conundrum of Israeli-Arab Citizenship’ published in the Middle East Quarterly. We will discuss how Israeli Arabs express themselves politically in Israel and how normalisation with Bahrain and the UAE is influencing their attitudes. Dr. Mordechai Nisan was born in Montreal in 1947. He earned a doctorate in Political Science from McGill University and, after moving to Israel, taught Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1976-2010. Toward the end of the program I refer to the speech by Melissa Parke, who delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lecture on Saturday on the topic ‘The Conscious Pariah’ (How Distortions of Fact, Contortions of Logic and Assassinations of Character are used against Critics of Israel, while it poses as the Plucky Democracy and the Eternal Victim) and the address by Malaysia opposition politician and academic Dr Chandra Muzaffar for Pax Christi Victoria on the subject ‘Palestine: A Turning Point?’
14 Oct 2020, 12pm The Israel Connexion Program dedicated to grassroots Israel Advocacy. Excerpt of previous interview with ZFA president Jeremy Leibler. (1:45-7:20) Young UIA hosted an online event with Eden Eini, Community and Programs Manager, who discussed the Israeli developed platform Act.IL, which has been designed to help us all combat the rise in anti-Semitism online; I play some highlights therefrom. (9:58-24:45) I will also replay an interview I did with Michael Starr, the global manager of Online Activism in the Act.IL community for Israel. Act.IL is the first grassroots online movement of Israel supporters and online activists worldwide for mobile devices and the web to support Israel online. You can watch an introduction to the Act-IL app here. (28:55-51:20)
8 Oct 2020, 10am The Israel Connexion Dr Tzvi Fleischer wrote a piece that was published over 15 years ago on the subject ‘Israel in the Australian Media’. I revisited this subject with Tzvi Fleischer, who is the editor of AIJAC’s Australia-Israel Review, and we discussed how the media landscape has changed over the last 15 years. This is the full interview I recorded with Dr Tzvi Fleischer.
7 Oct 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion Dr Tzvi Fleischer wrote a piece that was published over 15 years ago on the subject ‘Israel in the Australian Media’. This week I revisit the subject with Tzvi Fleischer, who is the editor of AIJAC’s Australia-Israel Review, and we look at how the media landscape has changed over the last 15 years.
30 Sep 2020, 9am The Israel Connexion The Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Ambassador Izzat Abdulhadi was a special guest, providing a rare opportunity to hear the views of the official Palestinian representative to Australia. (1:31-22:14) Udi Dekel is the managing director of The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Israel and one of the principal architects of the INSS Plan: A Strategic Framework for the Israeli-Palestinian Arena. Three weeks before on ‘The Israel Connexion’ Uri Dekel examined the current situation in Gaza; in this program episode we hear about the comprehensive INSS plan to deal with Judaea and Samaria. (22:15-50:19)
23 Sep 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion Rabbi Dov Lipman was elected to the 19th Knesset in January 2013, making him the first American born MK in nearly 30 years. He rose to national and international prominence for his role in combatting religious extremism in Bet Shemesh. Since 2015, former MK Lipman has been a columnist for the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel, a political commentator for ILTV and i24 News, and has focused on Israel advocacy both in Israel and abroad. Earlier this year he was appointed as Senior Manager – Community Outreach at Honest Reporting. As a backgrounder this week I am playing a speech Dov Lipman gave in Melbourne 3 years ago as special guest of the ZFA at their annual conference on Jewish education.
16 Sep 2020, 1pm The Israel Connexion Amb. Alan Baker is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center and the head of the Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada. Western intellectual discourse regarding anything connected to Israel has been taken hostage by pseudo-intellectual, radical extremists who use distorted information, flawed facts, “progressive” language, and accepted buzzwords. Alan Baker has written an article ‘How to Dismantle the Distorted Western Discourse on Israel’, which I discussed with him.
9 Sep 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion Dan Diker is director of the Political Warfare Project at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). A former director general of the World Jewish Congress, he is also a Research Fellow, International Institute for Counter Terrorism at IDC, Herzliya. I spoke with Dan about a number of issues – an appalling example of pro-Palestinian propaganda that was published last weekend in the Fairfax/Nine Media press titled ‘In the Jordan Valley, international deals don’t change Israeli policy’, the prospects for a new Middle East following the Israel-UAE normalisation agreement and the insidious anti-semitic character of the Black Lives Matter movement about which Dan has written this significant article.
2 Sep 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion Dr Yoel Guzansky, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) specializing in Gulf politics and security talks about the Israel-UAE deal that has been brokered by the US. (2:28-30:46) Ezri Tubi, founder of Boomerang Fighting for Israel. (30:51-50:12)
25 Aug 2020, 5pm The Israel Connexion Interviews recorded last year with two Israeli writers Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, the author of The Liar and leading crime writer Dror Mishani, whose latest book is Three. Musical interlude ‘Halak Halak’ by Palestinian electronic duo Zenobia, which has emerged from the vibrant Palestinian electronic music scene.
19 Aug 2020, 8am The Israel Connexion Professor Gil Troy is the author of the most comprehensive Zionist collection ever published, The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow, which sheds light on the surprisingly diverse and shared visions for realizing Israel as a democratic Jewish state. In conjunction with the repeat of this interview I have included some short audio clips that exemplify the convergence today between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism.
12 Aug 2020, 9am The Israel Connexion To begin with an interview I recorded late last year with outgoing Israeli ambassador to Australia Mark Sofer. (1:28-27:25) To accompany that interview I will play highlights from an interview that the newly nominated Israeli ambassador to Australia Danny Danon, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, did on the BBC HardTalk program last month. (27:41-51:21)
5 Aug 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion What transpired at the online event ‘The Palestinian Struggle in the Era of Annexation’ that was hosted by Free Palestine Melbourne a fortnight ago has been examined. (1:13-14:18) The discussion from the last episode of the program ‘Palestine Remembered’ that is broadcast weekly on 3CR has been dissected. (18:00-27:49) Avi Melamed, an Israeli author, educator, and independent Middle East strategic intelligence analyst, has provided an on-the-ground assessment of where the Palestinians are today. (27:49-51:16)
29 Jul 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion This week’s episode has replays of interviews with Alex Ryvchin and Dave Sharma. On my 100th episode I interviewed Alex Ryvchin, co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) about his book ‘The Anti-Israel Agenda’ (1:45-20:46). A couple of weeks before that I had interviewed Dave Sharma upon his return to Australia after his stint as Australia’s ambassador to Israel. (25:17-50:11) You can also hear a song titled ‘Love is Distancing,’ a musical rendition of Netanyahu’s address to the nation that was made at the height of the current Covid-19 crisis.
22 Jul 2020, 9am The Israel Connexion This week I have replayed interviews with Ambassador Alan Baker and Ben-Dror Yemini that were recorded in 2016. Alan Baker is the director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs (JCPA) and the head of the Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada. (1:23-23:53) Ben-Dror Yemini is the author of "Industry of Lies: Media, Academia, and the Israeli-Arab Conflict", which exposes the deliberate fakery of the anti-Israel propaganda industry. In my interview excerpt with Ben-Dror Yemini we discuss the BDS movement. (28:31-50:16)
14 Jul 2020, 11pm The Israel Connexion One may have thought that Peace Now (שלום עכשיו) had lost their mojo following the Oslo accords but that is not the case. I spoke at length with one of their representatives Eran Nissan, as I examined their credo which vociferously opposes annexation and echoes the two-state solution catchcry. Go to ‘The Israel Connexion’ Youtube channel to get the full video version of this interview.
7 Jul 2020, 10pm The Israel Connexion This week #TheIsraelConnexion returned to the Zoomsphere with a three way discussion between Doug Altabef, chairman of the board of directors of Im Tirzu whose motto is ‘Building the Zionist Dream’, Sam Tatarka, former Zionism Victoria president and chairman of Beth Weizmann community centre and myself. We examine the ABC World Today interview the CEO of the New Israel Fund did recently and the ZOOM event with Martin Indyk that it hosted the previous day. I believe there is much in these two events that is wrong and warrants criticism. I invited Liam Getreu, the executive director of the New Israel Fund in Australia to participate in this special program to defend the NIF’s position and offer some accountability, but he never responded
30 Jun 2020, 6pm The Israel Connexion A fiery debate took place four years ago on the question of whether a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is still viable with Johnny Baker, former Jewish community leader who passed away in 2017, presenting the case for the affirmative and Dr Martin Sherman, founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, the case for the negative.
30 Jun 2020, 4pm The Israel Connexion A debate on the question of whether a two-state solution is still viable to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict. The participants were Martin Sherman, founder and CEO of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies and Johnny Baker, who was a driving force behind Ameinu in Australia before he sadly passed away in early 2017.
23 Jun 2020, 3pm The Israel Connexion An abbreviated version of the second part of an extensive interview I did with Dr Nimrod Novik, a board member of מפקדים למען ביטחון ישראל which translates as ‘Commanders for Israel’s Security’, an organisation that strongly opposes any unilateral moves to annexation by Israel of any parts of Judea and Samaria. (0:30-24:22) Brig. Gen. (res.) Amir Avivi states categorically that the time for Israel to apply sovereignty is now. He is the director of Habithonistim, a movement of Israeli security forces personnel advocating for Israel’s future security needs in a way that they believe will enable Israel’s existence and prosperity for generations to come. (24:41-49:15)
17 Jun 2020, 8pm The Israel Connexion Following an article titled ‘A blow to Israel’s democracy, Palestinian rights and peace’ that appeared in the Australian Jewish News a couple of weeks ago I contacted the authors thereof, the youth leaders of Netzer, Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim Dror – Lior Manuel Kalisse, Lily Tamir-Regev and Matthew Levy respectively to discuss their opposition to annexation by Israel of any territory in Judea and Samaria.
17 Jun 2020, 11am The Israel Connexion I spoke with Dr Nimrod Novik, a board member of מפקדים למען ביטחון ישראל which translates as ‘Commanders for Israel’s Security’, an organisation that strongly opposes any unilateral moves to annexation by Israel of any parts of Judea and Samaria. This is the first part of an extensive interview I did with Nimrod Novik. Following an article titled ‘A blow to Israel’s democracy, Palestinian rights and peace’ that appeared in the Australian Jewish News a couple of weeks ago I contacted the authors thereof, the youth leaders of Netzer, Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim Dror – Lior Manuel Kalisse, Lily Tamir-Regev and Matthew Levy respectively to discuss their opposition to annexation by Israel of any territory in Judea and Samaria.