Anshel Pfeffer

Bibi, Herzog struggle for control as gas debate reveals Knesset chaos

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 2, 2015

Monday night in the Knesset belonged to the opposition.

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Israeli fury over plan for rival convert court

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 1, 2015

An initiative by the Jewish Agency to set up its own independent conversion court could challenge the Israeli rabbinate's global monopoly on giyur.

Israel's rabbinical courts are currently the sole authorities that can decide on the Jewishness of converts who seek Israeli citizenship.

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Fury over Jewish Agency plan for independent conversion court

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 29, 2015

An initiative by the Jewish Agency to set up its own independent conversion court could challenge the Israeli rabbinate’s global monopoly on giyur.

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'Obama's Muslim outreach stems from childhood'

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 25, 2015

A new and controversial book by Israel's former ambassador to the US is aggravating the already tense ties between the two countries.

Ally, by MK Michael Oren, which came out on Tuesday, has enraged US officials and elicited a stern rebuke from Mr Oren's own party leader.

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Tension over French UN move

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 25, 2015

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius's visit to the Middle East on Sunday raised the prospect that the Obama administration may not veto a resolution France plans to bring to the UN Security Council on setting a timetable for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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Israeli man shot dead on trip to swim in spring

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 25, 2015

Over a thousand people attended the funeral of Danny Gonen on Sunday after the Israeli was shot at point blank range by a Palestinian near the West Bank settlement of Dolev.

Mr Gonen and his friend, Netanel Hadad, were intending to go for a swim in the Ein Bubin spring north of Jerusalem on Friday when they decided to turn back after seeing only Palestinians there.

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The nuclear deal with Iran will happen. Question is, what will it look like?

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 24, 2015

The last round of talks towards a comprehensive nuclear agreement between the world powers and Iran began this week amid statements from both sides that put their official deadline in doubt.

While a deal is supposed to be completed by June 30, it is now widely expected that the talks will extend beyond that.

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Likud will need MK who 'pimped and took drugs'

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 18, 2015

Allegations of sexual harassment, pimping and hard drug-use against a junior Knesset member have cast a shadow over Israel's parliament and emphasised the difficulties facing Benjamin Netanyahu's tiny coalition.

Oren Hazan, who was number 30 on Likud's candidate list and scraped into the Knesset, has been the subject of two hard-hitting TV news reports in the past two weeks.

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Culture Minister Regev on 'collision course' with left

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 18, 2015

Culture Minister Miri Regev is rapidly becoming the standard-bearer, or main hate-figure, depending on the political perspective, in the escalating culture-war between the new right-wing government and Israel's mainly left-leaning creative community.

On Tuesday, Ms Regev announced she was freezing public funding for the Jewish-Arab theatre in Haifa, Al-Midan, which had produced a play on the li

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Destroying Arab villages is self-defeating

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 18, 2015

The Israeli Defence Ministry this week issued a list of special arrangements for the West Bank during the month of Ramadan.

The orders eased the restrictions on movement for Palestinian civilians in ways unprecedented since the start of the First Intifada in 1987.

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Israel ups Gaza PR war - but engages Hamas

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 18, 2015

Israel and the Palestinians are preparing for next week's publication of the UN Human Rights Council report on last year's conflict in Gaza.

But events on the ground this week seemed to overtake any struggles to define the past as reports circulated of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas and, on Wednesday, the Palestinian government resigned.

Israel has refused to co-operate with the UNH

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Wanted: new Mossad chief

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 11, 2015

Tamir Pardo, chief of Mossad, is scheduled to retire at the end of 2015 after five years in the post and 35 years in Israel's intelligence community.

The race to replace him is on and the identity of the new Mossad chief could be an indication of how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sees Israel confronting the Iranian nuclear programme, Mossad's primary target over the past decade.

Three ca

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It tried to court boycotters — but Orange got squashed

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 11, 2015

The CEO and chairman of Orange, Stephane Richard, knew he would be given a hard time at a press conference with Egyptian journalists in Cairo last week.

Orange - formerly known as France Telecom - is now the principal shareholder in Mobinil, the first and one of the largest mobile phone operators in Egypt, but the company has suffered from image problems in the Arab world.

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Netanyahu launches anti-BDS drive

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 11, 2015

The Israeli government has announced it is embarking on a crusade against the boycott movement, which may also have implications for Israeli diplomacy in Britain.

Ambassador Daniel Taub is being mentioned as a candidate to lead the government's anti-BDS efforts.

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Saudi-Israeli relations reach new high point

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 11, 2015

The normally secretive ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia are coming out of the closet as both countries gear up to confront joint regional challenges and lobby against the impending P5+1 nuclear deal between the international community and Iran.

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Israel holds off as Hamas reins in Isis

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2015

Israel is officially holding Hamas responsible for the recent rocket attacks from Gaza.

However, behind the scenes, there is a silent understanding that Hamas will be allowed time to deal with the groups that fired the rockets, and that both sides will try to prevent a new escalation.

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Controversial Israeli laws blocked

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2015

Plans to push through legislation that would limit the powers of the Israeli Supreme Court are on hold for now because there is no majority in the Knesset for the new laws.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to pass an "override clause" that would allow the new legislation to pass even if the Court rules they are unconstitutional.

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Hamas cracks down on Islamic State in tacit understanding with Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2015

Israel is officially holding Hamas responsible for the recent rocket attacks from Gaza.

However, behind the scenes, there is a silent understanding that Hamas will be allowed time to deal with the groups that fired the rockets, and that both sides will try to prevent a new escalation.

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What the Turkish election means for the Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 9, 2015

The schadenfreude in the West and in Israel over the electoral blow suffered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday is understandable.

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Republicans do 'Adelson audition'

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 4, 2015

Israel has become a must-stop on the campaign trail in the Republican Party's primaries for the presidential nomination in 2016.

Eager to burnish their foreign policy credentials and to appeal to the influential Jewish GOP donors, they pray at the Kotel and go on helicopter rides to see Israel's slender borders. Unofficially, it is being called "the Adelson audition".

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