Anshel Pfeffer

Israeli coalition stabilised - for now

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 2, 2016

On Monday evening, as Avigdor Lieberman was finally sworn in as Defence Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu completed his mission to broaden his tiny coalition.

In the process he had lost two ministers, gained three new ones and added five new Knesset members to the coalition. The government now has 66 MKs backing it, a more comfortable margin than before, but it is hardly stable.

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Israel changes prostitution rules in order to protect 'working women'

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 31, 2016

Israel will no longer prosecute brothels as long as they are owned by the women who work in them.

While no change has been made to the laws forbidding prostitution, the state prosecution office promised on Monday not to press charges against prostitutes as long as they are either running their business from their own homes or on premises rented by the prostitutes themselves.

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Yaalon may return, but Herzog's sinking

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2016

When Ariel Sharon was forced to resign from the Defence Ministry in February 1983, his friend Uri Dan memorably said: "They didn't want him as defence minister. They'll get him as prime minister." It took 18 years for that prophecy to be fulfilled.

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Lieberman's entry is a new dawn - of uncertainty

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2016

The military guard of honour that received Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday at the Defence Ministry's headquarters in Tel Aviv took place according to protocol.

However, it lacked the warmth with which the same soldiers and officers had bid farewell to the departing minister, Moshe Yaalon.

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Push for Trump trip to Israel stays on ice

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2016

Despite attempts by supporters of Donald Trump to persuade the presumptive Republican presidential candidate to visit Israel before the US elections, it remains unclear whether the trip will go ahead.

A scheduled visit in December 2015 was cancelled in the wake of Mr Trump's call to prevent Muslims from entering the US.

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Diplomacy weakened by rivalries

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2016

The State Comptroller's report published on Tuesday reveals that ministerial rivalries have impeded Israel's attempts to counter the BDS campaign abroad and boost diplomacy.

Yosef Shapira, the Comptroller, found a steady erosion of the Foreign Ministry's role since Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power in 2009.

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Breaking the Silence in the dock

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2016

The Israeli government is demanding that Breaking the Silence - the organisation that records testimonies from IDF soldiers on alleged human-rights offences - reveals the names of soldiers who spoke to the organisation's researchers.

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He's bet on Trump, but is Mr Casino now gambling with Israel?

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 20, 2016

Last year, a Republican talent show took place in Jerusalem. Barely a month passed without another presidential hopeful landing at Ben Gurion Airport and driving up to the capital for a series of obligatory visits. The Western Wall, Herzl Mount, a reception at King David Hotel and, most important of all, an audience with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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IDF: Hamas in joint training exercises with Daesh

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 16, 2016

Israel has accused Hamas of allowing Daesh fighters to enter the Gaza Strip for joint training.

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Death of top Hizbollah man sign that no-one is in control in Syria

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 16, 2016

Senior commanders have been killed on all sides of the Syrian war over the past five years. Generals in the Syrian army and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. Rebel chieftains, emirs of Daesh and veteran Hizbollah field operatives.

It is a dirty war, often fought at close quarters, and shifting loyalties create the conditions for treachery.

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Hamas lashes out as IDF detects terror tunnels

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 12, 2016

A fragile calm was restored around the Gaza Strip last weekend after a series of attacks and counter-attacks between Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian groups.

Israel claimed that the Palestinians fired on IDF forces to prevent operations to uncover and destroy Hamas-built tunnels leading from Gaza to Israel.

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IDF hawk calls for shift in attitude to Arabs

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 12, 2016

Major General Yair Golan's military CV does not mark him out as an obvious target for Israel's right wing. The thin and austere paratrooper, currently serving as the IDF's deputy chief of staff, was twice reprimanded when he was a senior commander in the West Bank.

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Israel fears Quartet push on talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 11, 2016

The Israeli government is concerned that a major new report on the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians could blame the current stagnation on Israeli settlement building.

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Bitter row erupts in Jerusalem over 2014 Gaza war

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 9, 2016

Hamas tunnels discovered by the IDF during the 2014 conflict have become the subject of an intense political confrontation in Jerusalem as details of a draft of the State Comptroller’s report have leaked to the media.

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Majority of Israelis prefer Hillary Clinton

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 27, 2016

A majority of Israelis believe that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton will be the better president for Israel.

In a survey carried out just before Pesach by TNS polling company for Israel's Channel One, 42 per cent of respondents said that Mrs Clinton was preferable, while 34 per cent said that the Republican frontrunner Donald Trump would be better.

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Police advise closure of Herzog case

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 27, 2016

The leader of Israel's opposition, Isaac Herzog, was questioned last week by police as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations that he committed fraud during his 2013 leadership campaign.

Other members of his campaign team have also been questioned under suspicion that services rendered during his successful bid for the Labour Party leadership were not documented or paid for.

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Health chief hits out at McDonald's

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 27, 2016

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said he would crack down on fast food and other causes of heart disease as he launched Israel's first serious anti-obesity campaign earlier this month.

In a speech to the Israeli Cardiologists Association, Mr Litzman, a United Torah Judaism member, said: "McDonald's out!

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Opinion split as IDF medic set to face trial

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 21, 2016

An IDF sergeant has been charged with manslaughter by a military court following the shooting of a wounded Palestinian attacker in Hebron last month.

The case of Sergeant Elor Azaria has split Israeli society and political opinion. According to polls, a large section of the public believes he should not go on trial.

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Bibi left rudderless as Herzog tie-up collapses

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 14, 2016

Everything had been in place for the announcement of the new coalition deal.

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Abbas seeks UN statehood vote

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 14, 2016

The Palestinian Authority has launched a diplomatic initiative to secure a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and setting out a timetable for the establishment of a Palestinian state within a year.

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