Israel

A synthetic emergency? Israel divided over boycott ‘threat’

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 7, 2014

Is Israel facing a debilitating wave of economic boycotts or is the sudden rise in reports on financial organisations planning to divest and threats of impending catastrophe just a storm in a teacup that will blow over the moment the media finds something else to interest it? It depends very much who you ask.

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Aipac is losing its influence

By Michael Goldfarb, February 7, 2014

For 40 years, Aipac, the American Israel Political Action Committee, has been the definitive lobbying voice for Israel in US politics.

A body with 100,000 members, Aipac has used its financial muscle and political skills to become arguably the most influential non-governmental voice on foreign policy in the US.

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Eilat attack reveals reach of new Sinai jihadi group

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2014

A rocket fired from Sinai towards Eilat on Friday night was intercepted by an Iron Dome battery and destroyed in the air before it could cause any damage.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the jihadist organisation that has been sowing terror in Egypt, took responsibility. This was the second such attack on Eilat in less than two weeks.

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IDF soldier killed by friendly fire

By JC Reporter, February 6, 2014

An IDF officer was killed by friendly fire on Monday night on the northern Gaza border.

According to reports, Captain Tal Nahman, 21, was commanding forces nearby when he was mistaken for a terrorist by soldiers of Givati — an IDF infantry brigade.

The IDF said in a statement that the incident was being investigated.

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High Court push to speed up IDF draft law

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2014

The Israeli High Court order on Tuesday to prevent the government from funding Charedi yeshivahs for students whose IDF draft has been deferred has added extra urgency to the move to pass a new national service law in the Knesset.

The 8-1 ruling by the nine Supreme Court judges came following a petition by the Hiddush lobby group against the state for not drafting the students.

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Israel, Turkey inch closer

By JC Reporter, February 6, 2014

A delegation of Turkish officials visited Israel this week in what is being seen in both countries as the final stage before the former allies bury the hatchet and sign a compensation agreement on the killing of nine Turkish civilians on the Marmara ferry in 2010.

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Israeli pilots jailed over maps leak

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2014

Fourteen Israeli combat pilots have been disciplined for storing secret maps and operational documents on their smart-phones. Two received short military prison sentences and the rest received suspended sentences and fines.

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Israel steeled as Syria delays chemical weapons detox

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2014

The dismantlement of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal has stalled.

Two deadlines for the removal of the deadliest toxins have passed but only about four per cent of the chemicals have left the country.

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Together in football

February 6, 2014

The likes of Anelka may use football to sow division and hate. But it can also be a powerful force for good, as an initiative by the British Embassy in Israel shows. The aptly named Coexistence Through Football aims to bring Jewish and Arab children together on the pitch. Our ambassador, Matthew Gould, fizzes with ideas and has made a huge mark in his three years in Israel so far.

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Hain’s one-state plan not Labour policy

By Marcus Dysch, February 6, 2014

Former Middle East Minister Peter Hain has been criticised by Labour colleagues for promoting a “one-state solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In a keynote address at Swansea University, the veteran MP said that after two decades of support he had become “increasingly unsure” whether a two-state outcome could be reached.

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