Israeli government

Fortunes of Bennett and Lapid will define the political game in 2014

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

The year 2013 was the year of the “brothers” in Israeli politics.


Will 2014 be a year of peace?

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

At a particularly bleak moment during his umpteenth visit to the region this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted: “We’re not talking at this point about any shifts [in the schedule],” and reiterated his belief that Israel and the Palestinians can still reach a peace agreement by April, at the end of the nine-month time-frame he set for the talks.


Israel’s economy is on top, but relative poverty is dismal

By Alex Brummer, December 20, 2013

Diaspora Jews are rightly proud of Israel’s stellar economy and its renowned science and technology.

The Jewish state was one of the few advanced economies — out of the 34 countries under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — to survive the “Great Panic” and subsequent recession virtually unscathed.


Confusion as Bedouin plan slides off the agenda

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Thursday night to cancel the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Negev Bedouin Settlements left its opponents jubilant — but with no clue about what the replacement could be.


UK-Israel bridge built on innovation

By Charlotte Oliver, December 16, 2013

In 2011, UK and Israeli political and business leaders set up the “Tech Hub” at the British Embassy in Israel.


Diskin attack on Netanyahu a sign of leadership ambition

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 12, 2013

Former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin emerged last week as a possible future rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he sternly criticised the government’s policy on Iran and the talks with the Palestinians.


Disappointment over Israeli failure on Mandela funeral

By Daniel Easterman, December 10, 2013

In what South African Jewish leaders increasingly see as a farce, Israel will not send any major leader to Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

It emerged that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be attending due to the cost of the journey, and President Shimon Peres has bowed out over concerns about his health.


Bedouin plan critics have a point

By Martin Bright, December 6, 2013

Last week’s “day of rage” against Israeli government plans to move tens of thousands of Bedouin Arabs in the Negev desert to purpose-built settlements was predictable enough.

Even more predictable was the letter to the Guardian from musicians, artists, fashion designers, activists and, naturally, Jemima Khan opposing the so-called Prawer-Begin plan.


Battle over Knesset bill to create one chief rabbi of Israel

By Daniel Easterman, December 3, 2013

Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, David Lau, has angrily rejected a proposed Knesset bill that would combine the separate Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbi positions into a single role.

Rabbi Lau argued that Israel should not break from tradition and that it was still necessary to maintain “two rabbis of an equal standing, like in the times of the Tannaim Abtalion and Shmaya”.


Israel’s leaders divided over Iranian nuclear deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 28, 2013

The interim agreement signed in Geneva in the early hours of Sunday morning was met with a mixture of derision and alarm by most of Israel’s political leadership. However, former intelligence chiefs and President Shimon Peres gave the deal a much more nuanced reception.