Israeli government

Could Herzog haul Labour back to top?

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

Israel's Labour Party has rarely seen such a demonstration of unity in recent years.

For an hour on Sunday evening, those sitting on the party's central committee hid their reservations over the agreement party leader Yitzhak Herzog had reached with former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

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Split may decimate Shas

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

Shas is facing its biggest crisis since the Sephardi-Charedi party first ran for Knesset 30 years ago.

Scarcely a year after its founder and spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, passed away, an irrevocable rift at the top of the party has meant that in the next elections there will be two parties claiming the mantle of the late rabbi.

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West inches towards confrontation over lack of progress on two states

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2014

There is concern in the Israeli government that the US, the UK, France and Germany are planning fresh diplomatic initiatives and punitive measures in response to continued settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Among the plans being mulled is a joint European proposal for the United Nations to set a clear deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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Israel passes controversial law on illegal migrants

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2014

In its last session before dissolving itself this week, the Knesset passed a new version of the "infiltrators law", which has twice been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The new law, which will allow for the Holot detention centre to remain open, was pushed through the Knesset at the last moment with a 47-23 majority, even though some Labour members claimed later they voted "for" by

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Epic rift sends Israel to polls

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 4, 2014

Israel was set on the path to early elections this week after relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of the two centrist parties in his coalition, Yesh Atid and Hatnuah, collapsed amid a storm of recrimination.

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MPs call for economic sanctions on ‘apartheid’ Israel

By Marcus Dysch, December 1, 2014

Backbench MPs have called for a series of economic sanctions to be imposed on Israel in response to its policies towards the Palestinians.

During a debate in Parliament they said a major shift in British foreign policy was also needed to bring about a two-state solution to end the conflict.

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Diaspora rattled as Israel's 'Jewish-state' crisis grows

November 27, 2014

Israel's planned "Jewish-state law" has pushed its governing coalition to the edge of collapse and prompted unprecedented criticism from President Reuven Rivlin, the US administration and major Jewish organisations around the world.

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Does Israel need the nation state law? No

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2014

There has been a lot of wailing and hand-wringing over the "nation-state" bill which the Knesset may or may not be voting on next week.

At the heart of the furore is the claim that if the bill becomes law, it will transform Israeli Arabs into "second-class citizens".

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Does Israel need the nation state law? Yes

By Gerald Steinberg, November 27, 2014

Like many other aspects of Israeli politics, public debate on the proposed law - which has different forms - to re-emphasise the Jewish dimension of the country's democratic framework is often highly distorted, and stripped of both complexity and context.

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Clash over anti-terror measures

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2014

Israel's political and security establishments are at loggerheads over the best way to confront the recent wave of terror attacks.

As ministers and right-wing politicians have called for more severe measures, the security chiefs have warned that "collective punishment" will not deter further attacks and only serve to further alienate the Palestinian population.

So far, the demands of some po

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