Benjamin Netanyahu

Hundreds of settlements will be approved before West Bank freeze

September 4, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to approve hundreds of West Bank housing units ahead of a possible construction freeze, according to Israeli officials.

Mr Netanyahu is expected to support the building of new units, in addition to the 2,500 that are yet to be completed. The new buildings will be based in the West Bank, rather than East Jerusalem.

The US has been pressuring the Israeli government to halt all new settlement construction.


Netanyahu uses British tactics to fight crime wave

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has come out with a five-point plan for dealing with the rise in crime in Israel, based upon British and American experience.

Mr Netanyahu published his plan following a wave of crime in which 14 Israelis have been murdered in less than a month.

In a special radio interview, Mr Netanyahu termed the violence “inner terrorism” and said, “if missiles are fired at us, we respond fiercely immediately. In the same way I am not prepared to accept any kind of terrorism against Israeli citizens.”


Gilad Shalit hopes 'exaggerated'

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2009

Israeli leaders are playing down reports of a breakthrough in the talks over captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Meanwhile, the few details coming out from the talks in Cairo indicate that a breakthrough could be close.


Bibi missed big chance to make Israel’s case in UK

By Stephen Pollard, August 27, 2009

The story goes that when someone remarked of Herbert Morrison that he was his own worst enemy, Ernest Bevin responded, “Not while I’m alive he ain’t”.

I sometimes think that the reverse of that is true with Israel and the media. Those of us who battle to make Israel’s case over the cacophony of hostility which characterises coverage of the Middle East are sometimes — if I’m being honest, often — reduced to apoplexy at the self-defeating behaviour of the Israeli government.

Israel has many enemies in the media, but more often than not it is its own worst enemy.


Likud right wing frightens Bibi

By Anshel Pfeffer in Jerusalem, August 27, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning to discreetly demote his deputy, Moshe Yaalon, for two recent “right-wing” appearances.

Mr Yaalon, a former IDF Chief of Staff, was fired by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in early 2005 for opposing the disengagement from Gaza. He joined the Likud late last year and was seen as one of the main figures in the effort to rehabilitate the party’s image in the eyes of Israeli voters. He was appointed minister for strategic affairs and deputy premier.


Analysis: Settlements will be the key

By Daoud Kuttab, August 27, 2009

Palestinians understand clearly that any political resolution of their conflict with Israel will require compromises, possibly very difficult ones. But one area in which Palestinians do not see room for compromise is the issue of Jewish settlement activities in areas Palestinians hope will be their independent state.

If the Netanyahu-Mitchell framework for talks muddles this issue — for example by leaving the settlements to the final stage of the peace talks — it will be hard to see how there can be a functional peace process.


UK peace talks give new hope

By Stephen Pollard and Jenni Frazer, August 27, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s three-day visit to London ended on an optimistic note after four hours of talks with President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

A framework for resumed peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is expected to be announced “between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur”, according to Israeli sources. This will almost certainly be at the UN General Assembly session in New York. Before that, Israeli officials are expected to hold further talks with Mr Mitchell next week.


Netanyahu to receive Auschwitz plans

By Jessica Elgot, August 26, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be presented with the original architectural plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, to keep at Yad Vashem, during his trip to Germany.

Mr Netanyahu will attend a special ceremony in Berlin where the German newspaper Bild will present the plans to him, along with Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev and the director of the Yad Vashem archives, Haim Gertner.


Netanyahu and Mitchell: 'positive' outcome to talks

By Jenni Frazer, August 26, 2009

Israeli officials were upbeat and optimistic today that a framework for resumed peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would be announced "between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur," almost certainly at the UN General Assembly session in New York.

Speculation on a positive outcome to the ongoing talks between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the American special envoy in London, George Mitchell, rose as the four-hour discussions concluded.


Netanyahu meets Brown at Downing St

By Marcus Dysch, August 25, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his British counterpart Gordon Brown have held Downing Street talks on the future of the Middle East peace process.

The leaders discussed the future development of West Bank settlements and the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear programme.