Alon Pinkas, who served as foreign policy advisor to Ehud Barak, political advisor to Shimon Peres, Chief of Staff to four Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Consul General of Israel in New York City returns to Covert Contact for a quick dive on the drivers behind the deal and what it means for the region.
With experience that includes serving as foreign policy advisor to Ehud Barak, political advisor to Shimon Peres, Chief of Staff to four Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and service as Consul General of Israel in New York City Alon Pinkas deeply understands the complexities of both societies and how these dynamics manifest in the special relationship the two countries share.
Alon joins Covert Contact to look at the state of the relationship, look at where it could (and should) evolve, and to dive into some of the socio-political dynamics that shape the relationship and how it is viewed from both sides.
Author Howard Kaplan returns to Covert Contact to discuss Bullets of Palestine (the second novel in his Jerusalem Spy Series), chronic tensions in the Middle East, the prospect for reconciliation, Abu Nidal, and his approach to writing.
Longtime listeners will recognize Howard from episode 21 where we discussed the first novel in the series.
Howard Kaplan wrote his debut espionage novel, The Damascus Cover, nearly forty years ago. He joins me to discuss the book, the recently completed the film adaptation staring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Sir John Hurt, his own experience serving as a courier for Israeli intelligence in the Soviet Union (where he was eventually detained for a short time), and the psychology of human intelligence.
Spies make for dramatic characters in books and in film but real intelligence professionals have to pay a price for that drama. It is a life that can take a toll on even the most committed practitioners. Kaplan leverages his limited (but no less dramatic) brush with the profession to explore that tension in his work. We look at these aspects of the business, not only in his own work, but also through examples such as the classic le Carré character Alec Leamus and the life of the Israeli hero Eli Cohen.