Israeli government

Olmert and Treasury in clash over pension plan

By Yaakov Katz, December 4, 2008

With two months left until the general election, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Finance Minister Roni Bar-On exchanged barbs this week over their different approaches to a pension safety net.

In a rare step, four of the top Finance Ministry officials wrote to the Prime Minister to accuse his office of acting illegally to sidestep the Treasury’s authority.


Netanyahu presents his ‘dream team’

By Yaakov Katz, November 26, 2008

Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu, who spent the past week compiling his "dream team" for the Knesset, has succeeded in enlisting a contingent of celebrities.

They include Tal Brody, the basketball hero who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to its historic 1977 Euroleague victory, former general Moshe Ya'alon, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, grandson of the legendary Betar leader who he is named for, as well as former politicians Dan Meridor and Benny Begin, son of former prime minister Menahem Begin.


Livni fears UK-led push to boycott settlement goods

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2008

The Israeli and British governments have clashed over imports from West Bank settlements, with Jerusalem concerned this may be the first salvo in a British-led international campaign.

The issue has been personally pursued by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who, according to an internal document "has proposed a round-table involving UK government officials, NGOs, and retailers" to discuss it.


Israel set for early elections

October 27, 2008

Kadima party chair Tzipi Livni is to take the country into general election ‘without delay' after failing to form a coalition government.

She had been tasked with putting together a coalition following her success in Kadima party primaries and following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's pledge to resign following corruption allegations.


IDF launches inquiry into draft-dodge organisation

By Yaakov Katz, September 16, 2008

In an effort to combat the growing phenomenon of draft dodging among Israeli youth, the Israeli attorney general has, in a rare move, decided to launch an investigation against a left-wing group that offers teenagers assistance in receiving exemptions from serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.


Israel plans its response to ‘Free Gaza’ ship

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 22, 2008

The Israeli government will try to portray the Free Gaza movement's attempt to run a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip as both non-humanitarian and a project designed to question Israel's right to exist.

Israeli officials have kept a low profile over their response to the plan to sail two ships to Gaza loaded with hearing-aids and some 40 activists, including former UK premier Tony Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth.

They prefer not to draw too much media attention to what they are calling "a stunt".


Livni wins unexpected support

August 22, 2008

The front-runner in the Kadima primaries, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, received some unexpected support from her leadership rivals this week, following a fierce attack on her suitability from Labour Leader, Defence Minister Ehud Barak, writes Anshel Pfeffer.

Mr Barak said last week he was unconvinced that in defence issues "the Foreign Minister with her background is prepared to give the solutions".


Livni gathers MKs’ backing

By Simon Griver, August 15, 2008

With just over a month to go to the Kadima primaries, Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, has maintained the momentum of her leadership bid while facing an increasing challenge from a rival candidate, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz.


Peace debate in London

August 8, 2008

The prospect of a lasting peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to be debated in London this September before an audience of 2,000 people, the day before Israel chooses a successor to Ehud Olmert as Prime Minister.

Speakers include Palestinian negotiator and legislator Dr Hanan Ashwari, Dr Mustafa Barghouti of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Yael Dayan, daughter of Moshe Dayan and Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv.


Israel ‘ill-prepared’ for Hamas-Fatah clash

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 8, 2008

The Israeli government is planning to review its policy and procedures regarding intervention in the ongoing bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip.

About 190 Fatah members escaped to Israel over the last weekend following a crackdown by Hamas, with 87 allowed to continue to Jericho after being questioned by the IDF. Fourteen were detained for further questions and 23 remained in hospital in Israel. About 70 returned to Gaza.