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Yakobson was born in Moscow in 1959, and immigrated to Israel with his family at age 13. He attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, receiving a BA in History and Political Science in 1985, and an MA in 1989. He later pursued a PhD in the 1990s, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Cologne. He was appointed Assistant Professor of History at the University of Haifa in 1995, and taught there until 1997. He was appointed as a senior lecturer in history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2000. In 2011 Yakobson was appointed Associate professor of Ancient history at the Hebrew University.
Yakobson is a former Meretz activist and Peace Now member with a regular op-ed column in the newspaper Haaretz. He is a supporter of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He co-wrote Israel and the Family of Nations: The Jewish Nation State and Human Rights with former Israeli minister Amnon Rubinstein, which seeks to assert Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
He is an Advisory Editor at "Fathom: For a deeper understanding of Israel and the region".
- Yakobson, Alexander (1999). Elections and electioneering in Rome a study in the political system of the Late Republic. Steiner. p. 251. ISBN 3-515-07481-3.
- Yakobson, Alexander; Amnon Rubinstein (2008-09-08). Israel and the Family of Nations: The Jewish Nation-State and Human Rights (1 ed.). Routledge. p. 246. ISBN 0-415-46441-2.
- Yakobson, Alexander (2007-06-09). "Europe is not necessarily against us". Haaretz. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- Yakobson, Alexander (2007-07-05). "Boycotter, boycott thyself". Bitterlemons. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- Yakobson, Alexander (2007-07-24). "Detrimental semantics". Haaretz. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- Yakobson, Alexander (2008-04-10). "The secret of the Israeli mosaic". Haaretz. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- Yakobson, Alexander (2008-06-11). "An obsolete monopoly". Haaretz. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- Yakobson, Alexander (2008-08-06). "Someone is above the law". Haaretz. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- Yakobson, Alexander (2008-09-17). "Dancing at Ben-Gurion airport". Haaretz. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- What does Israel's Arab minority really think?, Alexander Yakobson, Fathom: For a deeper understanding of Israel and the region, 26 April 2013
- Alexander Yakobson's CV at the Hebrew University
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