Listen to 1330AMWEBY International Middle East Round Table Discussion with Seth Frantzman Opinion Editor of The Jerusalem Post

Listen to this 1330amWEBY International Middle East Road Table discussion with Seth Frantzman, opinion editor of The Jerusalem Post conducted by “Your Turn” host Mike Bates and Jerry Gordon, of the New English Review on August 16, 2017.

The interview was  enlightening on many issues – Iranian regional hegemony, independence for the Kurds, causes of the Temple Mount Crisis, questionable renewal of the PA Israel peace process which is “mostly dead, Taylor Force Act and the Palestinian ‘pay for slay’ program for  terrorists and more.  There was spirited debate over the Obama Administration treatment of Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu now the center of several inclusive police investigations that may come to naught as was the instance of previous ones. That would enable Netanyahu to achieve a hallmark in 2018 as the longest serving Israeli Prime Minister. The reality is there is no one as capable to transform the country, conduct strategic foreign relations. His policies have provided a platform for reform of the hybrid economy enabling the Jewish nation to punch way above its level in innovation as a “start up nation” attracting important foreign investment in high tech spurring economic and job growth and potentially offsetting the burden of national security.

An article based on the discussion will be published in the September 2017 edition of the New English Review.

Here were the questions posed for response by Frantzman during the interview:

  1. Who perpetrated the Temple Mount Crisis on July 14th? What happened in the attack and subsequent protests and terror attacks in Israel and Jordan?
  2. What were Israel’s response, US and Muslim reactions? What was the impact on relations with Jordan which appoints the Temple Mount administrators and what role does the Palestinian authority play?
  3. This past week two Israeli Arab brothers from Umm Al Fahm were indicted by the Haifa Regional Court following their arrest for allegedly contraband weapons and plans to join ISIS in Syria. Who were they? What extremist Islamist group did they belong to and who is radical Sheikh fomenting this threat inside Israel?
  4. There appears to be an impasse between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas in Gaza.  What is behind Abbas’ power grab in Gaza and who else is involved? 
  5. Given the recent cross border rocket attacks in southern Israel, will Israel’s construction of a deep perimeter barrier on the Gaza frontier provide enhanced security?
  6. What prompted the Trump White House to dispatch a team composed of Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and a new name, Dina Habib Powell, ostensibly to check on the pulse of the moribund Middle East peace process?  Who is Ms. Powell and what is her background and status in the National Security Council?
  7. What is the Israeli view of National Security Adviser Gen. McMaster and his impact on maintaining the US strategic alliance with Israel?
  8. Have Iran and its proxy Hezbollah emerged as the principal threat to both the region especially on Israel’s Northern Frontier?
  9. Why did Israel object to the conclusion of a US, Russian and Jordan ceasefire in Southwest Syria?
  10. How complicated are the Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish aspirations for autonomy given rejection by the Assad regime, Baghdad and Iran? Where does the US versus Israel stand on an independent Kurdistan?


Our Guest was Seth J. Frantzman, Opinion Editor of the Jerusalem Post.

                  Seth J. Frantzman

Seth J. Frantzman was born in Maine. He received his Ph.D from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2010 and is a research associate at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herziliya. Frantzman has conducted research and worked for the JDC, The Shalem Center, Aish Ha Torah, and the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies and as a Post-Doc at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A frequent contributor to the Digest of Middle East Studies, he also lectured in American Culture at Al-Quds University. His current interests include regional security, Kurdistan, refugees, the history of the Holy Land, the Bedouin and land laws. As a features writer and commentator on current affairs and politics he attempts to provide new views on old canards, hence his column’s name, Terra Incognita. He is currently The Jerusalem Post’s op-ed editor. He has covered the war on Islamic State in Iraq and reported from Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, West Africa and Eastern Europe.