Israel news

Israel plans its response to ‘Free Gaza’ ship

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 21, 2008

The Israeli government will try to portray the Free Gaza movement's attempt to run a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip as both non-humanitarian and a project designed to question Israel's right to exist.

Israeli officials have kept a low profile over their response to the plan to sail two ships to Gaza loaded with hearing-aids and some 40 activists, including former UK premier Tony Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth.

They prefer not to draw too much media attention to what they are calling "a stunt".


Livni wins unexpected support

August 21, 2008

The front-runner in the Kadima primaries, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, received some unexpected support from her leadership rivals this week, following a fierce attack on her suitability from Labour Leader, Defence Minister Ehud Barak, writes Anshel Pfeffer.

Mr Barak said last week he was unconvinced that in defence issues "the Foreign Minister with her background is prepared to give the solutions".


Is an Israeli academic kidding over Hitler?

By Miriam Shaviv, August 14, 2008

A senior academic at an Israeli university is claiming to have a family connection to Adolf Hitler.

Michael Mach, of Tel Aviv University's Department of Philosophy, told the JC that his grandmother, Erna, married Hans Hitler after divorcing his grandfather.

Hans Hitler, he claimed, was Hitler's nephew - the illegitimate child of the German leader's half-brother, Alois Jr. 

Last week Dr Mach, who is a German-born convert to Orthodox Judaism, told The Guardian that he met Hans Hitler only once, aged 12, when his grandparents came to tea.


Israeli and Palestinian trade unions in new deal

By Dana Gloger, August 14, 2008

The revival of an agreement between the Israeli national trade union and its Palestinian counterpart which collapsed more than a decade ago has been welcomed by UK-based Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI).

The deal, between the Histadrut and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), was originally negotiated in 1993, but collapsed shortly after. This week it was reinstated under the auspices of the International Trade Unions' Confederation (ITUC).


Olmert’s peace plan dismissed

By Simon Griver, August 14, 2008

A peace plan offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that would see 93 per cent of the West Bank handed to the Palestinians was this week dismissed by both President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli media.


Livni gathers MKs’ backing

By Simon Griver, August 14, 2008

With just over a month to go to the Kadima primaries, Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, has maintained the momentum of her leadership bid while facing an increasing challenge from a rival candidate, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz.


‘Give me my husband or I’ll tie myself to railings’

By Dana Gloger, August 7, 2008

A British woman has threatened to chain herself to the railings of Israel's Supreme Court unless her husband is given a court hearing.

Marianne Azizi's Israeli husband Ilan, whom she married in May, has been unable to leave Israel for the past two years due to an unresolved dispute with his ex-wife over child maintenance payments.


Israel ‘ill-prepared’ for Hamas-Fatah clash

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2008

The Israeli government is planning to review its policy and procedures regarding intervention in the ongoing bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip.

About 190 Fatah members escaped to Israel over the last weekend following a crackdown by Hamas, with 87 allowed to continue to Jericho after being questioned by the IDF. Fourteen were detained for further questions and 23 remained in hospital in Israel. About 70 returned to Gaza.



Kadima rivals battle for party’s support

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2008

The front-runners in the Kadima leadership primary began a mad scramble this week to garner as many endorsements as possible from their fellow parliamentarians.

As this is the party's first primary, the make-up of its membership is still unclear, therefore the support of other MKs is seen as crucial.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, currently leading in the polls, has gathered official endorsements from five Knesset members so far - including one minister - to Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz's one.


Now the race to succeed Olmert

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 31, 2008

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz are neck-to-neck in the race to succeed Ehud Olmert as leader of Kadima and Prime Minister of Israel after his dramatic announcement that he would not be running in the Kadima primaries next month.

In a televised address on Wednesday night, Mr Olmert attacked his detractors and insisted once again that he was innocent of the corruption claims being investigated by the police.