Israel news

Shin Bet: new ‘radical’ security steps needed

By Yaakov Katz, October 3, 2008

Facing a growing number of attacks in East Jerusalem, the Shin Bet security agency is recommending radical legislative changes which would allow the state to impose sanctions on the families of attackers.

In addition, security officials have claimed that the current route of the Jerusalem section of the security barrier is one of the causes of the terror escalation among residents of East Jerusalem, since it cuts them off from the capital and reinforces their connection with Palestinians in the West Bank.


Israel urges branding guru to shed its ‘war-torn’ image

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

One of Britain's top image-makers is to lead a campaign to recreate Israel's international profile.

Fiona Gilmore, head of the Acanchi group, was in Israel last week meeting all levels of society, from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to environmental activists in the Negev.

Ms Livni had appointed Acanchi as part of a campaign she has led for three years to re-brand the country and lose its image as a spartan and war-torn.


Prosor’s UK tenure ‘may end early’

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

There are suggestions in Israel that the London ambassador, Ron Prosor, might return home after only a year of service here if Shaul Mofaz is appointed Israel's next Foreign Minister.

There is widespread belief in Jerusalem that Mr Prosor would be Mr Mofaz's leading candidate to become director-general of the ministry, a post he previously held between 2004 and 2006.

Mr Mofaz, currently Transport Minister, came a close second two weeks ago to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in the Kadima primaries.


Jerusalem attacker ‘scorned’ by girlfriend

By Yaakov Katz, September 26, 2008

Defence Minister Ehud Barak has urged the Justice Ministry to expedite the legal process necessary to approve the demolition of the home of an East Jerusalem man who rammed a car into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem this week.

Kasem Mugrabi, 19, from the Jabel Mukaber neighbourhood, slammed his black BMW into a group of soldiers late on Monday night in Zahal Square, just north of the Old City walls. He wounded 17 people before being shot dead by the soldiers' commander, Lt Elad Amar.


Arab MKs hint at Livni support

By Ben Lynfield, September 26, 2008

Arab Knesset members are watching Tzipi Livni's efforts to form a coalition with interest, with one veteran MK envisioning Arabs possibly giving her a blocking majority in parliament.

Taleb al-Sana, of the four-member United Arab List-Ta'al grouping, said that in terms of both domestic and foreign policy, a government headed by Ms Livni appeared preferable f or Arab citizens to one headed by right-wing Likud party leader Binyamin Netanyahu, the likely winner if Ms Livni failed to form a government and early elections were held.


Labour, Shas set to back Livni as PM

By Yaakov Katz, September 26, 2008

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni came a step closer to becoming Israel's prime minister this week as both Labour and Shas expressed readiness to support the newly elected Kadima chair.

Ms Livni, who defeated her opponent Shaul Mofaz by 1.1 per cent in last week's vote, was deemed by President Shimon Peres this week as the Knesset member with the greatest chance of establishing a new government following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's resignation on Sunday.


Peres: Iran’s a world threat

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 26, 2008

Israel's president, Shimon Peres, warns today that it must not be left to Israel alone to solve the Iranian issue. "The Iranian threat is not only towards Israel, but the whole world," the president says in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with the Jewish Chronicle to mark Rosh Hashanah.


McCartney gives Tel Aviv a treat

September 26, 2008

Last night saw Sir Paul McCartney play his first gig in Israel to around 40,000 cheering fans.

He ignored pleas to boycott Israel and cancel the concert - dubbed Friendship First - in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park.

His show took place 43 years after his former band, The Beatles, were banned from playing in the country for fear they could "corrupt the nation's youth".


After 60 years, Israel’s man in LA flies the flag

By Tom Tugend, September 26, 2008

For the first time since an Israeli mission was established in Los Angeles in 1948, the blue-and-white flag will fly in front of the Jewish state's consulate general.

Israel's colours will be hoisted alongside the Stars and Stripes and the California state flag in a special ceremony on September 28, capping almost a year of bureaucratic negotiations by consul-general Yaakov Dayan.


Israel seeks to change its image

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2008

A top British re-branding guru, Fiona Gilmore, is currently on a fact-finding visit to Israel. Ms Gilmore's company, Acanchi, has been hired by the Israeli government to lead the campaign to recreate the country's international image.

The contract with Acanchi was announced last month. It is part of the campaign that Foreign MinisterTzipi Livni has been leading for the last three years to create a new international image of Israel, as far away as possible from its current Spartan, grim and war-torn one.