Israel news

Blair not a total Mid East failure

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 28, 2015

Tony Blair's announcement on Wednesday that after eight years he was stepping down as special envoy of the international Quartet to the Israel-Palestine diplomatic process was rather underwhelming.

His role - never well-defined - can hardly be described as a success story.

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Visiting a tomb? Take the lift down to level three

By Shira Rubin, May 28, 2015

Jews from the diaspora have been snapping up prime Israeli real estate for years. Now, however, they are starting to buy underground - in a network of catacombs carved out of the rocky soil below Jerusalem's largest cemetery.

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Bibi does first reshuffle

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 28, 2015

Ten days after swearing in his fourth government, Benjamin Netanyahu was already carrying out his first reshuffle on Monday.

The Likud's most popular young politician, Gilad Erdan, who had pinned his hopes on becoming foreign minister and was unsatisfied with the portfolio he was offered, had realised how difficult life was going to be as a backbencher in a coalition with a majority of one, and

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Hizbollah pummelled in Syria

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 28, 2015

Hizbollah is on the back foot and, in an attempt to cover up its failure to prop up the failing Assad regime in Syria, it has embarked on a PR offensive to boost its political fortunes back home in Lebanon.

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Concern over Bibi media laws

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 21, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to retain the communications portfolio for himself in his new government is causing concern in the Israeli media.

The prime minister also prompted anxiety when it emerged that the coalition agreements contained a clause regarding media legislation.

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Israeli government exposed as diplomatic pressure rises

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 21, 2015

The new Netanyahu government does not yet have a foreign minister but it is already facing a series of profound diplomatic challenges.

Last week, the P5+1 talks between Iran and the world powers continued under a low profile - a reminder that the one issue that has done more than any other to cloud the relationship between Jerusalem and Washington is still there.

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Bus segregation move dissolves into farce

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 21, 2015

A directive to separate Israelis and Palestinians travelling on buses to the West Bank was implemented on Tuesday and then suspended the next morning following a public outcry.

The directive, ordered by Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, was the result of pressure from settler groups to prevent Palestinian day-workers returning home on buses used by Israelis.

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Another Lebanon war is inevitable - and Israel is preparing

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 19, 2015

On the face of it, a third major war between Israel and Hizbollah seems implausible right now.

Israel is not eager for another summer like the last one. For 50 days, people across the country were sent scurrying to bomb shelters as Hamas launched missiles from Gaza.

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Dig starts for Tel Aviv Tube

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 14, 2015

The preliminary engineering works on Tel Aviv's new underground rail system began on Sunday.

The first stage of the Red Line is to have seven stations in southern and central Tel Aviv and neighbouring Ramat Gan, and is scheduled to start operating in 2021.

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Israel rethink on Armenia genocide?

May 14, 2015

Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein has called on the Israeli government to formally recognise the Armenian genocide.

"It is no secret that Israel has taken an ambivalent position about the genocide," Mr Edelstein said, calling Israel's reaction "too hesitant and too restrained… Israel must re-evaluate the criteria for its position, since none of us can change the history".

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