Ultimately, it was the Arab Spring that set Shalit free

By John R Bradley, October 19, 2011

Last summer's economic protests in Israel, inspired by February's mass anti-Mubarak demonstrations in Tahrir Square, marked the Arab Spring's first direct impact on Israeli domestic politics. Last week's Egypt-brokered deal to bring home Gilad Shalit is the latest.


Proof that Israel and Hamas can talk

By Yossi Mekelberg, October 19, 2011

The surprising agreement reached last week between the Israeli government and Hamas raises questions and concerns among Israelis and Palestinians alike.

It begs the question as to why negotiations were so protracted and did not reach a successful conclusion earlier. Was the price paid too high?


Israel's champion, but poor friend

By Martin Bright, October 19, 2011

With the resignation of Defence Secretary Liam Fox, Israel has lost its most powerful champion in government. Michael Gove may be the most vocal and eloquent Zionist in the Cabinet, but as Education Secretary he has no diplomatic or strategic role.

Dr Fox has been personally humiliated by the Adam Werritty affair.


One dilemma down, ten to go

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 19, 2011

Only two weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed to be at a political low.

His cabinet had refused to support the much vaunted Trachtenberg Report, which he had hoped would reverse the tide of the social protest that dominated the news agenda throughout the summer.


A solidarity that powers Israel

By Uri Dromi, October 19, 2011

The news that, after almost six years in the hands of his Hamas kidnappers, Sgt Gilad Shalit would return home as a free man sparked a spontaneous celebration in Israel.

However, as always in our country, joy was quickly mixed with gloom.


Our hearts are joyful, our minds more fearful

By David Landau, October 19, 2011

Begrudgingly, but sincerely, I used to praise Benjamin Netanyahu in my heart every time I passed the tent encampment outside his official residence in Jerusalem.


Turkey taking on Iran? Not out of question

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, October 11, 2011

When Iran was called Persia and Turkey the Ottoman Empire, war was a regular past time for their rulers. Since the Safavid rulers embraced Shi'a Islam in the 16th century, the two countries fought intermittently until 1847, when the second Treaty of Erzurum put an end to their territorial disputes.


Eye on the small print

By Simon Rocker, October 11, 2011

Even if gay marriages are introduced in the UK, there is little likelihood that traditional religious groups will be compelled to consecrate them in opposition to their deeply held beliefs.


It's a fool's errand

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, October 6, 2011

Next Sunday in Brussels, the Middle East Quartet will undertake another fool's errand - to cajole Israelis and Palestinians into a negotiating framework with a timetable destined to achieve a durable and lasting peace by the end of 2012.


Blair not flavour of Palestine's week

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 6, 2011

The Palestinian Authority is furious with former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, the Mideast envoy of the international Quartet, for applying diplomatic pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas not to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN.