Israel news

Analysis: Olmert wreaks revenge in memoir

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 21, 2010

The current political status of the two Ehuds hardly seems comparable. Defence Minister Ehud Barak was in Washington this week, conferring with senior figures in the Obama administration and then attending more high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, on the other hand, spent most of his week hunkered down with his lawyers, preparing for another series of damning testimonies by a former secretary on his double-billing speaking fees in the ongoing corruption case against him.


Analysis: What the Big Society may mean for Israel

By Martin Bright, September 21, 2010

I have been observing the "Big Society" at close quarters this summer, establishing a small charity helping the long-term unemployed find work in the creative industries. I also spent a week visiting artists and writers in Jerusalem, where I was struck by the gulf in liberal intellectual opinion between Israel and Britain.

But the most memorable conversation I had recently was with a prominent member of the UK Jewish establishment who told me of his serious concerns about the future.


Israel may swap spy for settlement freeze

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

Israel is believed to be considering a peace deal under which construction in the West Bank would remain halted in return for the freeing of a Jewish American jailed by the US for spying in 1987.

A freeze on settlement building is due to expire on September 24 and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned that he will leave the recently revived Middle East talks if it is not extended.


UK ambassador: collaborate, don't boycott Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, September 20, 2010

The new British ambassador to Israel has called for groups that boycott Israel to “promote co-operation” instead.

Speaking at a reception marking academic links between Britain and Israel, Matthew Gould said: “When people call for an economic boycott, we push commercial collaboration and when people call for a cultural boycott, we push cultural collaboration.”


Gould to Shalits: Gilad is not forgotten

By Jennifer Lipman, September 17, 2010

The new British ambassador to Israel and his wife Celia have visited the parents of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit at their protest tent in Jerusalem.

Matthew Gould said that David Cameron had asked him to go and see Noam and Aviva Shalit as soon as he arrived in Israel.


Neil Sedaka's special Israel song

By Jennifer Lipman, September 16, 2010

Neil Sedaka has promised he will serenade his Israeli fans in Hebrew when he performs in Tel Aviv next month.

The American Jewish singer-songwriter told The Jerusalem Post that he had already recorded some of hits in Hebrew.

The 71–year-old said: “I’m going to attempt to sing two songs in Hebrew – Oh, Carole and You Mean Everything To Me.”


Hamas marks peace talks with terror film

By Jennifer Lipman, September 16, 2010

Hamas has made a film showing the imagined destruction of Israel.

The terrorist organisation chose the launch of the second stage of the revived peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians to release the video.

"Apocalypse Tomorrow", created by Hamas operatives, has had more than 45,000 views. It depicts Israeli sites such as the Supreme Court falling to missile attacks and the streets of Tel Aviv laid to waste.

A Palestinian says: “Inshallah, the Jihad will take back the homeland", while students tell a teacher they want to join the fight for “liberation”.


Israel's air space 'not safe enough'

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 16, 2010

A special State Comptroller report has slammed the safety standards at Israel's airports.

The report, by Comptroller Michah Lindenstrauss, blamed the finance and transport ministries and the Israel Airports Authority for underfunding the country's air control infrastructure. It also accused them of allowing Israel's air control system to become understaffed and use antiquated equipment.

The Comptroller found that many of the recommendations included in a wide-ranging security report prepared for the Transport Ministry three years ago had not yet been carried out.


Analysis: Peace talks? More like high-risk pregnancy

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 16, 2010

Do not buy into the hype being created by the Americans about the first round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Wednesday that the sides have begun discussing the "core issues", but even if that is technically true, talking about the issues is a long way from any agreement.


Rockets hit southern Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, September 15, 2010

A Palestinian is believed to have been killed in an IDF airstrike undertaken in retaliation for terrorists in Gaza stepping up attacks on Israel.

As Benajmin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas met for peace talks in Jerusalem, at least nine mortar shells and two rockets were sent into southern Israel, the highest daily total in six months.

One Kassam rocket exploded near the city of Ashkelon in an industrial area.