Gaza

Israel to Hague: Come to see Gaza

By Marcus Dysch, August 19, 2010

William Hague will visit Israel within the next month on his first official visit to the region as Foreign Secretary - and has been invited by Israel's own Foreign Minister to visit Gaza.

The exact date of Mr Hague's trip is dependent on the completion of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which are currently being planned.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has suggested that Mr Hague also travels to Gaza as part of a group of European foreign ministers.

That raises the prospect of Hamas asking to meet the ministers during their visit.

More..

Australian candidates battle for Jewish vote

By Dan Goldberg, August 19, 2010

A London-born, Oxford-educated Catholic who once trained to be a priest, or a Welsh-born, unmarried woman who is a self-confessed atheist?

That's the choice facing Australians - among them 110,000 Jews - this weekend in a federal election that polls predict will be a photo finish.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose bloodless coup toppled Labor leader Kevin Rudd two months ago, is pitted against Tony Abbott, the Liberal Party leader once nicknamed the "mad monk" after a slew of brutish remarks.

More..

Greek-Israel ties bolstered

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 19, 2010

The diplomatic relationship between Israel and Turkey continued to deteriorate this week in the wake of the Gaza flotilla raid, as the ambassador to Ankara was publicly snubbed. At the same time, Israel bolstered its ties with Turkey's rival neighbour, Greece, with a prime ministerial visit.

Israel's ambassador was not invited to a Ramadan "Iftar" supper hosted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Iftar meal was attended by all the ambassadors in Ankara but Israeli representative, Gabi Levy, was pointedly left out.

More..

Sacks 'dismayed' by Cameron's Gaza comments

August 12, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has attacked David Cameron's description of Gaza as a "prison camp".

Lord Sacks said many in the Jewish community felt "dismay" about the Prime Minister's remarks and urged him to show more "balance" when discussing the conflict in the Middle East.

He made the comments when he addressed the congregation in St John's Wood Synagogue last Shabbat.

More..

Bid to ban Gaza kids tour from schools

By Leon Symons, August 12, 2010

Community leaders are battling to stop an exhibition of paintings by children from Gaza being shown in schools in the North of England.

Campaigners say they have no objection to the paintings, but have reacted with anger at a series of talks given to accompany them.

Property developer Rod Cox, 62, masterminded the exhibition after visiting Gaza where children gave him paintings depicting their view of life there. Some show scenes of devastation.

More..

Analysis: Israel ponders an eerie calm

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 12, 2010

It has become almost a cliché to say this but the last year and a half has been one of the calmest periods on Israel's borders, and in the statistics of casualty numbers quite possibly the calmest in its history.

Since the Gaza operation ended in January 2009, missiles from the Strip into Israel have lessened to a trickle, barely even a nuisance as almost all of them fall in uninhabited areas, quite often within Palestinian territory.

More..

Australian Jews show support for Israel

By Dan Goldberg, August 12, 2010

More than 1,000 people rallied for Israel this week in one of the biggest shows of solidarity with the Jewish state ever held in Western Australia.

The majority of those attending the launch of Friends of Israel Western Australia in Perth last Sunday were non-Jews, including dozens of local, state and federal politicians.

Chief among them was Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, who recently locked horns with Jewish community leaders over Israel's alleged forging of four Australian passports and the Gaza flotilla.

More..

Peer bids to block Israelis from EU

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

Crossbench peer Lord Hylton has called on the European Union to bar Israelis from entering Europe without a visa.

He tabled a motion asking for a House of Lords debate shortly before the summer recess, advocating a ban on Israeli goods being sold duty-free.

The motion calls for the Lords "to resolve that the EU should use its powers to prevent access to the EU without a visa by Israeli citizens and to remove duty-free access for Israeli goods if Israeli breaches of international law continue".

More..

MP Fabian Hamilton: hard to defend Israel

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2010

The Labour MP for Leeds North East, Fabian Hamilton, says it is becoming more and more difficult to defend Israel in the House of Commons.

The long-serving Jewish MP represents Alwoodley, Moortown and Roundhay, home to the majority of Leeds' 8,000 Jews.

He said: "Labour Friends of Israel is still quite strong, as are the Conservatives. But there is a stronger pro-Palestinian lobby too. Some of Israel's mistakes have really strengthened them.

More..

Press TV rapped for flotilla show

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

Iranian-backed Press TV has been censured by Ofcom, the broadcasting standards body, for its coverage of the Gaza flotilla incident.

A show presented by Tony Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, breached guidelines on impartiality by including comments relating to Israel "committing a massacre of innocent civilians" and "a barbarous attack".

More..