Why Netanyahu was wrong over Mandela

By Jonathan Freedland, December 24, 2013

There is an idle habit I picked up in childhood which I have never quite shaken off. I suspect there are other JC readers who share it too. When confronted with any kind of list of the world’s nations, my eye runs an instinctive, involuntary check to see if Israel is among them. Flags flying outside a hotel or along a boulevard: I look for the blue and white.


Snowden files: UK intelligence spied on Olmert, Barak

By Charlotte Oliver, December 20, 2013

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and former defence minister Ehud Barak were spied on by British and US intelligence agencies, according to information leaked by Edward Snowden.

Documents released by the whistleblower reveal that the Israeli politicians were two in a list of over 1,000 prominent officials who were kept under surveillance from 2008 to 2009.


Israel visit is dream come true for Michael Gove

By Marcus Dysch, December 20, 2013

Education Secretary Michael Gove said he had fulfilled a long-held ambition after visiting Israel for the first time.

During the trip, which took place last week, he signed a deal with Israeli counterparts to strengthen education links, a move he said was evidence of the increasingly strong bilateral relationship.


Israel to levy new second home tax

By Nathan Jeffay, December 20, 2013

The cost of maintaining a second home in Israel will rocket on January 1, when a new regulation will double council tax on properties that lie empty for most of the year.

Last week, the Knesset approved the increase in taxes for so-called “phantom apartments”, following years of complaints by municipalities in tourist areas such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.


Israel fears sanctions tsunami

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Israeli diplomats are concerned that a large wave of sanctions could hit the country if the current round of talks with the Palestinians fails.

A recent spate of boycott actions in Europe and the US will have a limited effect but Israelis fear that they could be just the beginning.


Israel storm of the century

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Weather historians are still arguing whether this was the worst snowstorm to hit Israel in 21, 60, 93 or 140 years, but its results are hard to argue with.

From Thursday afternoon, 48 hours of rain, hail and snow — which in Jerusalem piled up as high as 70cm — paralysed transport around the country.


PA says two killings within 24-hours is threat to peace

By Daniel Easterman, December 19, 2013

The Palestinian Authority has accused Israel of causing damage to the ongoing peace negotiations after Israeli security forces killed two suspected terrorists in the West Bank.

A spokesperson for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said: "This dangerous Israeli escalation is aiming to thwart the attempt by the Americans and international community to advance the peace process."


American academics vote to boycott Israel

By Daniel Easterman, December 18, 2013

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin has hit back at the American Studies Association (ASA) for its decision to boycott Israel.

The Minister described the association as a "radical leftist" group but raised concerns that their boycott could spread to similar organisations.


Let’s rev up that pulpit power

By Shmuley Boteach, December 17, 2013

When Jonathan Arkush, vice-president of the Board of Deputies, challenged me to a public debate, I immediately accepted (we thought it would happen at this year’s Limmud, then logistics got in the way but I look forward to airing this critical dialogue soon).


Sniper who shot Israeli soldier turned himself in to Lebanese authorities

By Rosa Doherty, December 16, 2013

The sniper who shot dead an Israeli solider on Sunday night has turned himself in to the Lebanese authorities.

IDF and Lebanese army officials are due to meet today alongside UN representatives to discuss the attack.

The Israeli military said the incident happened on the border between the countries, near the crossing at Rosh Hanikra.