Israeli government

Three held as ambassador faces a riotous Assembly

By Ian Cameron, June 27, 2008

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor was given a rough reception both inside and outside the Welsh Assembly on Tuesday on his visit to Cardiff.

Pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police who made three arrests as Mr Prosor arrived at the building on the Cardiff Bay waterfront.

Two women and a man were held for questioning on public-order offences and later bailed.

Four Assembly Members joined the 30 flag-waving protesters while inside Mr Prosor faced a “very aggressive” grilling from other AMs.

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Ex-president tells UK event of 'shame' at Israel sleaze

By Leon Symons, June 20, 2008

A former Israeli president has said he is ashamed of the corruption scandal engulfing his country’s politics.

Yitzhak Navon, who held office from 1978 to 1983, said: “I feel ashamed at what is happening, but my consolation is that there is no cover-up. Whatever rank or position someone holds, they are interrogated if under suspicion. If they are guilty, they will be punished and this shows democracy works.”

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Ambassador slams ‘anti-Israel’ Britain

By Shelly Paz, June 13, 2008

Israel’s ambassador to the UK claimed this week that the debate on Israel had been “hijacked” by a minority which said “don’t bother us with the facts”.

Ron Prosor declared that Britain was “a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment” in an opinion piece which appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday. Mr Prosor, who said that the University and College Union’s resolution on an academic boycott of Israel had been the “trigger” for the article, added: “For five consecutive years everyone told me how marginal this issue was, how it was not significant.

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Olmert agrees to Kadima primaries

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 13, 2008

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert caved into pressure on Wednesday and agreed to his Kadima party preparing for leadership primaries at the soonest possible date.

Mr Olmert had tried in the preceding days to persuade his colleagues to wait, but the threats by coalition partners that they would support a Knesset motion for early elections forced his hand.

On Wednesday, Mr Olmert met MK Tzachi Hanegbi, the chairman of Kadima’s Party Affairs Committee, and the head of the party’s Knesset faction MK Eli Aflalo.

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Minister’s threat of Iran attack ‘sends oil price soaring’

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 13, 2008

A weekend newspaper interview with Israel’s Transportation Minister, Shaul Mofaz, who threatened Iran with military action, has been deemed a major cause of the latest spike in oil prices.

Mr Mofaz’s threats coincided with the unofficial start of his Kadima leadership primaries campaign, but its reverberations were felt much further afield than Israel’s political scene.

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Kadima prepares for new party primaries

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 6, 2008

The countdown to the end of Ehud Olmert’s premiership will begin next week, when senior Kadima members will meet to agree upon a date for primaries for a new leader.

Mr Olmert has signalled that he will not oppose the move, though he is still maintaining that he has no plans to resign. Meanwhile, support is growing in the Knesset for bringing forward the elections.

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Outrage over East Jerusalem plans

By Ben Lynfield, June 6, 2008

In the face of criticism from the Palestinian Authority, the United States and the UN, Israeli housing minister Zeev Boim has defended a decision to expand Jewish housing in parts of East Jerusalem considered as settlements by the international community.

Mr Boim said that the decision to build nearly 900 units at Har Homa and in Givat Zeev was taken with the “knowledge and approval” of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and underlined the government’s policy to maintain Jerusalem as an undivided capital.

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Livni’s Mossad past charms our media

By Alex Brummer, June 6, 2008

Profiles of Ehud Olmert’s heir-presumptive, Tzipi Livni, focus on her James Bond credentials

The idea of a woman PM is still unusual enough to make the progress of Tzipi Livni to the top of Israel political tree fascinating. Israel may have been here before, in the age of Golda Meir (1969-74), but it is long enough ago for this generation of political watchers to have forgotten.

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Olmert in crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2008

Kadimah inner circle to discuss future

The pressure on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to leave office greatly intensified this week after Defence Minister Ehud Barak demanded that he resign or suspend himself from the premiership until the investigation into his alleged bribe-taking was over.

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Israeli politician who advocates ‘transfer’ of Arabs due in London

By Shelly Paz, May 30, 2008

One of Israel’s most controversial politicians, former deputy prime minister Avigdor Lieberman, has been invited to London next month by Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael and the Israel Business Club, in an attempt to spark  debate that will assist fundraising.

“Many of the members of the Israeli and the Jewish community in London, who are likely to donate money, do actually agree with Lieberman’s opinions,” said Dubi Bergman, KKL’s representative in London.

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