Anshel Pfeffer

Anger as defence chief postpones Charedi draft

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2015

The implementation of Israel's national service law, which was created to regulate the enlistment of Charedi men into the IDF, is to be pushed back.

The move reflects the terms of the coalition deal that was signed earlier this year by the strictly Orthodox parties and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who agreed to soften the law in order to secure Charedi support in government.

More..

EU labelling is not what it seems

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2015

Israel's official response to the publication this week of the European Commission's guidelines on labelling settlement produce was harsh.

Government press offices put out statements protesting over Europe's "double standards" and announced the suspension of all high-level meetings with European Union officials.

More..

Can Erdogan bring stability? Unlikely

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2015

The Turkish electorate went back a second time to the polls on Sunday and voted for stability. After five months of a hung parliament, terror attacks, media repression and renewed warfare with the Kurds, enough voters returned to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to enable Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a majority government.

More..

Israel in last-minute fight to ward off EU labelling

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2015

Israel is waging a diplomatic battle to try to prevent the publication next week of Europe-wide guidelines on labelling goods made in the settlements.

While the precise wording of the guidelines is still not clear and may not be completed until hours before the document is published, Israeli politicians and diplomats see any new directive as a setback.

More..

Violence ebbs, but Abbas is still rejecting talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 29, 2015

A flurry of diplomatic initiatives seem to have caught the Palestinian leadership off-guard, just as the recent wave of violence appears to be subsiding.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been quick to accept any proposal for him to meet his Palestinian counterpart, President Mahmoud Abbas.

More..

Cabinet chaos looming over crucial gas deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 29, 2015

The Israeli Prime Minister is set to finalise a controversial new gas deal - but only if a cabinet colleague resigns.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to push through a law that permits an Israeli-American energy partnership to develop offshore natural gas fields in the face of anti-monopoly laws that would normally block such an arrangement.

More..

Daesh pledges genocide but is 'no real threat'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 29, 2015

A glider pilot, spotted by an IDF observation post as he was crossing over the Israel-Syria border late on Saturday afternoon, sparked a state of emergency and an Israeli media blackout.

More..

He won the Six-Day War, but Israel unsure how to remember him

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 29, 2015

At many points over the two decades since Yitzhak Rabin's murder in Tel Aviv, it has seemed as if Israelis are remembering three different prime ministers.

His former political allies and the embattled left-wing are anxious to focus above all on the last three years of his life, during which Mr Rabin, by then in his 70s, embraced the peace process with the Palestinians.

More..

Diplomacy founders as Abbas rejects Netanyahu talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 22, 2015

A scheduled meeting this week between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US State Secretary John Kerry was not expected to yield a diplomatic breakthrough that could reduce the violence.

Expectations surrounding another planned meeting between Mr Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were equally low.

More..

What happens next is in hands of the wannabe martyrs

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 22, 2015

The location of the most serious attack this week in Israel - the southern city of Beersheva - as well as the fact that the perpetrator was an Israeli Bedouin, has raised concern that the three-week terror wave could be spreading.

More..

Fury grows over Bibi’s Holocaust ‘distortion’

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 22, 2015

The Israeli Prime Minister has caused uproar by saying that it was only after meeting the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, in November 1941, that Adolf Hitler decided to embark on the Final Solution.

More..

US and Israel talk defence as Iran marches on Aleppo

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 21, 2015

Israel and the US are trying to restore co-operation at the highest levels following months of tension over the Iran deal.

On Sunday, Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Israel for talks on future military aid to Israel and co-ordination over the two countries' response to developments in Syria.

More..

Solutions? What solutions?

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 15, 2015

Every day that has passed in the latest round of violence in Jerusalem, the West Bank and within Israel's pre-1967 borders, has brought new suggestions from politicians, the media and security experts on how to curb the terror attacks.

More..

Bibi blames Abbas for ‘incitement’

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 15, 2015

The role of the Palestinian leadership in inciting the latest round of violence has been hotly debated within the Israeli establishment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues of inciting the Palestinian public to carry out terror attacks by accusing Israeli Jews of "defiling" the Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount.

More..

Political predicament for Netanyahu

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 15, 2015

As if the wave of terror attacks is not bad enough, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also has to contend with growing political isolation.

As the Knesset began its long winter session this week, centre-left opposition leaders lined up to lambast him for failing to create a diplomatic situation which would have allowed Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians.

More..

The framework is crumbling

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 14, 2015

As noon drew near on Wednesday, Israelis cautiously whispered to each other, anxious not to tempt fate or the evil eye.

Twenty-four hours had passed without a terror attack anywhere in the country. Perhaps things were beginning to calm down.

More..

More Israel-Russia talks on Syria

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 8, 2015

High-level military talks began on Tuesday in Tel Aviv between a Russian delegation and a team led by IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Major-General Yair Golan.

More..

Top cop farce may have happy ending

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 8, 2015

For 48 hours, the media in Israel was allowed to name the nation's next chief of police only by his first initial - R. That did not change the fact that anyone could easily find his name on Wikipedia, which was quick to prepare an entry on the man.

More..

Violence soars in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 8, 2015

Earlier this week, Israeli security officials were gingerly suggesting that the violence sweeping through Israel and the West Bank could be subsiding.

Then, on Wednesday, all hell broke loose.

An Israeli woman was stabbed in the Old City of Jerusalem, an IDF soldier was knifed near Kiryat Gat, a mob attacked a Jewish woman in her car near Jerusalem, an Israeli man

More..

Greeks boost military ties with Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2015

It has a hard-left government that has a history of lambasting Israel but Greece has been quietly bolstering its military ties with the Jewish state.

A joint exercise between Israeli and Greek attack helicopter squadrons took place in the Negev Desert earlier this month, the latest in a series of practice operations involving both militaries.

More..