New job for woman who championed Israel’s Arabs

By Sandy Rashty, October 10, 2013

The director of an organisation that raises awareness about issues affecting Arab citizens of Israel, has stepped down after more than three years at the helm.

Alice Wood has left UK Task Force to take up a consultant position at a public affairs company.

“I’m sad to go, but I’m really ambitious and want to try new things. I decided that I needed a new challenge,” she said.


Tensions at top over ambitious Beersheva-EIlat Railway project

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2013

Last Sunday in Jerusalem, a ministerial committee authorised the construction of a 260km-long, fast railway line from Beersheva to Eilat.

The line will be the first high-speed track in Israel and is designed to cut the travel time from Tel Aviv to Eilat to two hours, as well as provide a cargo route that could become an alternative to the Suez Canal.


Hundreds of thousands attend Shas spiritual leader’s funeral

By Charlotte Oliver, October 8, 2013

More than 800,000 people attended Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s funeral yesterday afternoon, making it the largest funeral in Israel’s history.

People from all over the country gathered in and around the Sanhedria cemetery, Jerusalem, to mourn the passing of Shas’s spiritual leader and head of the Sephardi community, who died on Monday afternoon aged 93.


Alistair Burt exits Foreign Office

By Charlotte Oliver, October 7, 2013

Alistair Burt has confirmed he is leaving his position as Foreign Office minister in today’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Burt posted on Twitter: “Standing down today. The last three and a half years have been a pleasure working on an extraordinary portfolio with talented people. Thank you all!”


World's top Sephardi rabbi dies

By Charlotte Oliver, October 7, 2013

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has died aged 93, following a three-week long bout of illness.

Rabbi Yosef’s family and close colleagues, including several Shas leaders, had been called to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital this morning after doctors warned that he was about to die.


Israel plans to run for UN Security Council

By Charlotte Oliver, October 4, 2013

Israel plans to run for a rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2019-2020, its UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said yesterday.

Mr Prosor told Reuters that Israel would face Germany and Belgium for one of two seats given to the “Western European and Others Group”. It will be the first time the country has put itself forward.


How can alleged ‘sex abuser’ have Right of Return?

By Nathan Jeffay, October 4, 2013

He fled England where he is due to be tried for child sex offences. He entered Israel on a fake passport. Now, Todros Grynhaus is appealing to the Israeli courts to claim that he has been unfairly treated.

Grynhaus is claiming that the State of Israel was wrong to refuse him citizenship under the Law of Return, which gives automatic citizenship to Jews and people of Jewish descent.


‘Iran has a few months to prove credibility’

By Simon Rocker, October 4, 2013

Iran has just a few months to prove that its new diplomatic offensive is not a smokescreen to mask moves towards nuclear bomb capability, according to one of the United States’ most experienced Middle Eastern diplomats.


J Street eyes the political big time with Biden, Livni and Indyk

By Dan Friedman, October 3, 2013

Ever since its founding a mere five years ago, America’s main progressive Israel advocacy group, J Street, has aimed to join the big time.

With Vice President Joe Biden giving the keynote address at this year’s annual convention in Washington DC, the organisation may just have made it.


With a smile, Rouhani has forced an Israeli strike off the table

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2013

The past two weeks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York have been a carefully choreographed dance between three performers.

In the first act, the American and Iranian presidents both set out the very basic parameters of a potential agreement on Iran’s nuclear pr+ogramme and warily made their first contact.