Anshel Pfeffer

Fury in US over Netanyahu speech plan

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 12, 2015

The shockwaves caused by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to Congress in three weeks continue to reverberate, with senior Democrats announcing their intention to be absent.

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Why did America leak a report on Hizbollah chief killing?

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2015

A detailed report in the Washington Post last weekend revealed that, contrary to popular belief in the Middle East, the 2008 assassination of Hizbollah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh was largely carried out by the CIA, rather than Mossad.

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Clowns, fire-breathing and beasts out of cages: it's the Israeli election circus

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 5, 2015

Six weeks to go until the Israeli election and the campaigns are mired in allegations of illegal funding and corruption.

This week, Likud accused the Labour party of being linked to V-15, a group that claims not to be affiliated with any of the parties and is calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be replaced.

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Germany and Israel: a very special relationship

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 5, 2015

In a recent New Yorker profile of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, interviewees who know her well said that nearly all her principles were "negotiable". They also said that one of the few values on which she is unbending is her support for Israel.

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To hell, and back

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 29, 2015

"I thought, maybe one day I will go into this crematorium and I will never have experienced a true love's kiss."

Standing metres from the place where her family was murdered, Auschwitz survivor Halina Birenbaum's voice trembled as she told those gathered about what went through her mind as a young girl at the death camp.

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Landau, the interrogator who bridged the divide

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 29, 2015

David Landau, who died on Tuesday aged 67 after a long battle with cancer, was a rare writer and journalist in a country that does not lack for polemicists.

He bridged social divides that to others were uncrossable chasms.

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Bibi, the guest in by the back door

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 29, 2015

In some ways, Benjamin Netanyahu's scheduled speech to Congress, bypassing the normal protocol of co-ordinating head of state visits through the White House and State Department, is testimony to the strength of those ties.

What other world leader could imagine organising such a trip with the House Speaker while keeping the President out of the loop?

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Israel on edge after IDF kills Hizbollah commander

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 22, 2015

An Israeli strike on a group of senior Hizbollah and Iranian officers could lead to an escalation on Israel's northern border, but for now seems to have wiped out a significant part of the Lebanese movement's military command.

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As election fight gets digital, Bibi still holds the ace card

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 22, 2015

Eight weeks to the elections in Israel and, while recent polls show Labour - or in its current incarnation with Tzipi Livni's Hatnuah, "The Zionist Camp" - with a small but constant lead of between one and four Knesset seats over Likud, Isaac Herzog still faces a rocky path to forming the next government.

The left-wing Zionist parties, Labour and Meretz, are currently polling together at around

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Ties with Asia blossom as Israel's EU rows rage

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 22, 2015

Israel's ties with the Far East are receiving a major boost just as its relations with Europe are becoming ever-more strained.

The arrival of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Jerusalem on Sunday was just the latest sign of this trend.

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Israel prepares legal and diplomatic push to fight off ICC threat

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 22, 2015

Israel is planning a diplomatic and a legal battle against the decision by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor to examine allegations that its soldiers committed war crimes in Gaza last summer.

Last Friday, the office of the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she had a opened "preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine".

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Anshel Pfeffer suggests four ways that France can help to prevent another attack

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 15, 2015

The coup de grace was near faultless - two special-forces teams working in complete co-ordination stormed the print works where Cherif and Said Kouachi were holed up north of Paris and the Hyper Cacher grocery where Amedy Coulibaly had taken hostages. Within minutes, the three gunmen were dead without further casualties.

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Bibi seems happy to pay the price over aliyah call

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 15, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under fire for urging French Jews in the wake of the terror attacks last week in Paris to emigrate to Israel.

While his remarks were certainly undiplomatic, he is not the first Israeli leader to ruffle feathers with such calls.

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Sale boards at the ready. After all, the French are coming

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 15, 2015

On Monday morning, Israel's largest tabloid, Yediot Ahronot, featured a cartoon showing an estate agent in Netanya reading the paper's headline "Terror in Paris" and immediately cancelling all his employees' holidays.

For local readers the inference is clear - the French are coming.

Last year broke all records for aliyah from France with 7,000 new immigrants arriving in Israel.

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Oslo buried as Abbas launches diplomatic war

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 8, 2015

There is one thing that the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority can agree on at this point.

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Hamas deny Qatari expulsion of Mashal

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 8, 2015

Whether or not the media reports on the expulsion of Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal from Qatar were accurate, it is clear now that things are less hospitable for the Islamist movement in the emirate which, until not long ago, was its main supporter.

A CNN report on Monday based on "sources close to Hamas" said that Mashal, along with seven members of Hamas's parent organisation, the Egypt

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Bibi bounces after primaries punish rivals

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 8, 2015

Monday was the best day so far in this election campaign for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Germany and Israel in £470m gunboat deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 31, 2014

Germany is to supply the Israeli Navy with four missile boats in a new arms deal worth 900m euros (£470m).

The German government will finance a third of the deal as part of its ongoing commitment to Israel’s security.
The IDF has been looking to buy new warships to modernise its navy and improve its ability to defend its offshore gas fields discovered in recent years.

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Molotov attack leaves girl with horror burns

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 31, 2014

An 11-year-old Israeli girl suffered third-degree burns last Thursday when the car she was travelling in near the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Shomron was firebombed.

Ayala Shapira, whose family escaped serious injury, was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition.

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Lieberman graft probe may redraw Israeli politics

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 31, 2014

With every day bringing new revelations in an alleged embezzlement scandal engulfing dozens of public officials, including senior Yisrael Beiteinu politicians, two questions are paramount.

First, did the party leader, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, know anything? Second, how will this affect the party’s prospects in the upcoming elections?

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