Never say never: Brit ex-spy defends Assad

By Robin Shepherd, April 14, 2011

Hundreds gunned down in the streets. Jails packed to overflowing. A ruthless dictatorship brutalising its own people in order to cling on to power. As a description of recent events in Bashar Assad's Syria, you'd be hard pushed to paint a clearer picture.


Battle over? Few even know when it began

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 14, 2011

Establishing the time frame of the latest round of hostilities around the Gaza Strip appears simple. They began a week ago, on Thursday afternoon, when an advanced anti-tank missile slammed into a school bus at the Sa'ad Junction, 3km from the Gaza border.


Breathtaking, but will Goldstone silence the critics?

By Martin Bright, April 7, 2011

Richard Goldstone's partial recantation over his report into Operation Cast Lead in Gaza should be a defining moment in the relationship between the British political class and Israel.

The judge's withdrawal of his claim that the IDF targeted civilians removes one of the central arguments for describing those who ordered the attacks as war criminals.


Why peace is no longer a priority for young Israelis

By Nathan Jeffay, April 7, 2011

As youth across the Middle East campaign for democracy, among Israeli youth, its importance seems to be in demise.


In West Bank, web-savvy are biding time

By Toby Greene, April 7, 2011

Facebook's decision to remove a page calling for a Third Intifada has drawn attention to the impact of social media and the Arab Spring on Palestinians. Young Palestinians have certainly been inspired by regional events.


Brace for trouble. The EU peace initiative is about to kick off

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, April 7, 2011

This spring of 2011 does not appear to be the best moment for a new peace initiative. After all, peace talks have not been seriously conducted for two years now.


Netanyahu wise to end Bedouin land dispute

By Nathan Jeffay, March 31, 2011

His efforts to end the conflict with the Palestinians seem to have reached a dead end. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may earn himself a legacy for a peace deal after all.

His office is poised to bring to cabinet a proposal to ease the rising tensions between the state and its Bedouin community, which numbers almost 200,000.


Iron Dome: a rocket shield or rust bucket?

By Nathan Jeffay, March 31, 2011

On paper, southern Israel has never been safer. On Sunday, for the first time, the Israel Defence Forces deployed its cutting edge missile defence system which is meant to be able to block rockets fired by militants in Gaza.


Muslim Brotherhood poised to crush Egypt's liberal dream

By John R Bradley, March 31, 2011

When Egyptians voted earlier this month on a redrafted, post-revolutionary constitution, only 41 per cent of eligible voters bothered to make their way to the polling booths - an astonishingly low turnout for the first free and fair elections most Egyptians had ever had the chance to partake in.


Britain's policy on Israel a total mess

By Robin Shepherd, March 31, 2011

The bizarre, contradictory mess that is British foreign policy towards Israel was on display yet again last week with that great stage of fools, the United Nations Human Rights Council, providing the setting.

It rarely makes a difference what's on the charge sheet these days. If it's about slamming Israel, Britain's usually either turning a blind eye or heartily voting in favour.