Gaza

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.

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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".

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TalkSPORT Shimon Peres slip up

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

Listeners to a late-night radio phone-in got a shock when a man introduced as a Zionist Federation spokesman announced he could not discuss Shimon Peres's comments on British antisemitism because he was eating a toasted sandwich.

The imposter, pretending to be former ZF public affairs director Gavin Gross, failed to answer any questions about Mr Peres's remarks, saying he was too busy eating.

TalkSPORT presenter Adrian Goldberg, not realising he had been hoaxed, said the man's comments were "absolutely, utterly disgraceful" during Sunday's show.

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Outrage over church Israeli 'war crimes' show

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 30, 2010

Manchester's Jewish communal leaders have raised serious concerns with the Church of England's senior churchman in the city this week after its principal cathedral hosted an exhibition which its organisers claim is evidence of Israeli war crimes.

Manchester Cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Manchester, is hosting the Loss of Innocence exhibition, 50 drawings by Palestinian children which include gruesome depictions of Israel's 2009 Gaza operation.

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Amnesty calls for further Gaza probe

By Simon Rocker, July 29, 2010

Amnesty International has called for further action to ensure that the perpetrators of alleged war crimes in last year's Gaza conflict are brought to book.

In February, the United Nations set a five-month deadline for Israel and the Palestinians to mount "credible" investigations into the conflict which expired on Monday.

In an official statement, Amnesty said this week: "A year and a half after the conflict in Gaza and southern Israel ended, the victims have yet to obtain justice, truth or full reparations; the perpetrators on both sides have yet to be held to account."

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Methodist set up Friends of Israel group

By Robyn Rosen, July 29, 2010

A Methodist preacher has set up a Methodist Friends of Israel group as a response to her church's call to boycott Israel.

Earlier this month the Methodist conference passed a report calling for a boycott of goods from "illegal" West Bank settlements, and for political lobbying to end Israel's occupation and the "siege of Gaza".

The decision was widely criticised and the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council said the church should "hang its head in shame".

Pam Smith, a preacher in Monmouth, South Wales, created a website and Facebook group to gain support for Israel.

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Arab MKs blast 'apartheid' Jewish state

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2010

Israeli Arab Knesset members have launched a blistering attack on the Jewish state and its Parliament, declaring Israel "racist, fascist and worse than apartheid South Africa".

Speaking to supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at the House of Commons on Wednesday, MK Haneen Zoubi said: "Israel is much worse than the apartheid regime in South Africa. There were no ethnic cleansing policies there, but there are those policies in Israel."

Demand for entrance to the event was so great that supporters filled two committee rooms.

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