Analysis

Analysis: An agreement on a settlement freeze is imminent

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 30, 2009

Visits by four high-ranking American officials to Israel this week seem to have pushed Binyamin Netanyahu’s government to the brink of an agreement on freezing settlement building.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates, National Security Adviser Jim Jones, special envoy George Mitchell and Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross all repeated the requisite statements on America’s commitment to Israel’s security and tried hard to infuse a friendly atmosphere into the talks. They even began to sound tough about imposing time limits on talks with Iran.

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Analysis: Jeremy Newmark

By Jeremy Newmark, July 30, 2009

The revelation that Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JFJFP) is reviewing its policy on boycotts of Israel is no surprise. Until now, JFJFP has flaunted its non-policy on boycotts; it supported occasional campaigns against Israeli-linked companies, while indulgently appearing on the “anti” side of public debates on an academic boycott. As with almost every issue of substance, such as a commitment to a two-state solution, JFJFP preferred to fudge on a boycott.

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Analysis: Rebuffing this man has become ‘brave’, but it’s an obvious stand

By Gary Sinyor, July 23, 2009

Richard Moore, who runs the Melbourne Film Festival, is my new hero.When faced with blackmail by Ken Loach, who threatened to pull Looking For Eric from Melbourne if Richard didn’t boycott Israel, Richard point-blank refused.

We may have won the test at Lords, but when it comes to balls, the Australians have led the way where Britain, embarrassingly, failed.

Mr Loach’s tactics worked only too well at the recent Edinburgh Film Festival, though he refused to go on the Today programme to discuss his position face-to-face.

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Bibi’s trap for Kadima

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 23, 2009

The next week could be a pivotal one in Israeli politics. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is determined to pass a new law in the Knesset, before the parliamentary summer recess begins, that will make it easier for parties to split and regroup.

The main target is Kadima.

Mr Netanyahu has never kept secret his ambition to bring about a dissolution of the party, which broke away from the Likud in 2005. He sees Kadima as illegitimate, a coincidental gathering of opportunists and, worst of all, a political threat.

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Analysis: Ics the real culprit Netanyahu?

By Shmuel Rosner, July 23, 2009

Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu has learned that he does not have the support of US Jews, the pro-Israel lobby, or Congress. Not when it comes to settlements.

So Mr Netanyahu looked for an opportunity to change the subject. During an insignificant meeting between his new US ambassador and an American official usually not involved with Israel issues, the Americans raised the subject of Jewish building in East Jerusalem.

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Analysis: Force law on the Charedim

By Naomi Ragen, July 23, 2009

A woman is caught on tape detaching the feeding tube from her starving three-year-old in Hadassah Hospital, after years of bringing the child in with unexplained medical conditions and bodily injuries. She is arrested by authorities for child endangerment and jailed. In response, her community backs her up, burns property and assaults police and social workers.

This story makes no sense until you add that the woman is Charedi, a member of Neturei Karta sect in Jerusalem’s Meah Shearim.

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Analysis: Real motive is that they hate the state

By Miriam Shaviv, July 23, 2009

In Jerusalem, Charedi riots are as much part of the summer as chamsin and ice cream.

Past pretexts have included adverts with pictures of immodestly dressed women displayed at bus stops; a Gay Pride march; and the demand to close the Bar-Ilan road on Shabbat.

This year, there were two triggers. First, the opening of a municipal-owned car park on Shabbat, then, last week, the tragic case of a strictly Orthodox mother who has been accused of starving one of her children almost to death.

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Analysis: A complex problem - we must stay focused

By Mark Gardner, July 23, 2009

The CST’s latest report shows that the most recent Israel-Hamas conflict continued the pattern whereby Middle East events trigger outbreaks of antisemitism against British Jews. Furthermore, the phenomenon appears to be worsening each time it occurs.

The CST defines an antisemitic incident as an act that includes antisemitic motivation, language or targeting. Perpetrators may deliberately find Jews to attack; or it may be circumstantial, such as in a road rage case.

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Analysis: Battle is being lost in public

By Robin Shepherd, July 16, 2009

It is starting to happen. For years we have heard words of consolation that bien pensant hostility to the Jewish state might remain safely contained in a world of its own.

Let the Guardian ply its wares. Let the NGOs ply theirs. Like a mad dog in a cage, growling menacingly but ultimately unable to do more than snap at its own tail, the anti-Israeli constituency could startle us, but it could never escape into the world of high politics.

But now it is time to wake up to the new realities.

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This arms restriction might work in Israel's interest

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 16, 2009

The latest restriction on arms export licences is certainly not the most strategically damaging of arms embargos imposed by the UK government on Israel.

That prize probably goes to the refusal to sell Israel the Chieftain tank in 1969.

In the 1980s, refusal to sell chemical warfare defensive gear was certainly more insulting, and the problem with the supply of parts for the Martin Baker ejection seat seven years ago was potentially life-threatening for Phantom combat jet pilots.

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