Anshel Pfeffer

Still no sign of mass Charedim in Israeli army

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 19, 2012

In less than two weeks, on August 1, the Tal Law, which regulated the exemption of Charedi yeshivah students from national service will cease to exist, as the High Court ruling that deemed it unconstitutional comes into effect.

That does not mean, however, that thousands of strictly Orthodox 18-year-olds will be marched to boot camp or arrested by military police - not yet.

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Mofaz walks, coalition crumbles, elections nigh

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 19, 2012

Shaul Mofaz's announcement on Tuesday afternoon that Kadima was leaving the coalition, after only 70 days of partnership with Likud, was the opening shot for an almost certain 2013 general election. Both Mr Mofaz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are now heading to the polls seriously weakened.

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Hillary Clinton's last tour of the Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 19, 2012

American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s farewell visit to the Middle East this week highlighted the reduced influence the super-power now holds over the region, as well as the concerns of Israel and Egypt.

Despite her efforts, Mrs Clinton failed to set up any form of direct contact between the Israeli government and Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime.

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Israelis warn: more attacks on the way

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 19, 2012

In the aftermath of Wednesday's bomb attack on Israeli tourists in the Bulgarian resort of Burgas, Israeli security experts are warning that Iranian agents and terrorist groups connected to Iran are planning further attacks around the world.

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Netanyahu all at sea over universal IDF draft

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 12, 2012

In the space of a week, Benjamin Netanyahu changed his mind twice. Two weeks ago, after promising Kadima in the coalition agreement that he would accept the recommendations of the special committee on national service, he bowed to the pressure of the Charedi parties and disbanded the committee.

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Prosecutor red-faced as Olmert is acquitted

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 12, 2012

Tuesday’s ruling by the Jerusalem District Court that found former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, guilty of breach of trust on one charge but not guilty of two more serious corruption charges is being seen in Israel as a severe embarrassment for the state prosecution.

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Plesner’s service plan for yeshivah students has Bibi beating a retreat

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 5, 2012

Yohanan Plesner has been a Knesset member for five years. But until very recently, few Israelis had heard of the Kadima backbencher.

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War games ramped up as Iran hit by fresh sanctions

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 5, 2012

The United States and Iran both ramped up their military rhetoric this week following the implementation of new sanctions against Iran’s oil exports and the impasse in negotiations over the country’s nuclear programme.

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Will the real Mohamed Morsi please stand up?

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 5, 2012

Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi, is a man of contradictions.

Unlike most Egyptian leaders, he spent a large part of his life in the West. For seven years he lived in the US, studying and teaching engineering at the University of South California.

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Debt threatens to bring chaos to West Bank

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 5, 2012

A request by Israel for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make an emergency loan to the Palestinian Authority has highlighted growing concerns over unrest in the West Bank and within the Palestinian security forces.

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Pomp but no shift on Iran as Putin visits Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 28, 2012

The 24-hour visit to Israel by the Russian President was heavy on ceremony but lean on progress on the key issues of Iran and Syria.

Vladimir Putin’s whirlwind trip through the Middle East began in Netanya where, after arriving 90 minutes late, he joined Israeli President Shimon Peres to dedicate a memorial commemorating the Allied victory in the Second World War.

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Summer of rage kicks off in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 28, 2012

A second wave of social protests is kicking off in Israel, this time marred by violence on both sides.

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Iran talks close to death

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 21, 2012

A diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis appears further away than ever following the failure of the third round of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council along with Germany (P5+1).

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Israel under fire from Gaza and Sinai

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 21, 2012

The political unrest in Egypt, security chaos in the Sinai peninsular and the spike in terror attacks on Israel’s southern border are all directly connected, say senior security officials.

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Islamist gains in Egypt leave Israel rattled

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 21, 2012

The dispute over the actual outcome of last weekend’s Egyptian presidential elections, as deposed president Hosni Mubarak lingers at death’s door, is beginning to look rather superfluous.

Even if, as now seems increasingly likely, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi is the new president of Egypt, the army is unlikely to leave him with very much power.

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Israeli licencee denies Olympics tickets scam

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 21, 2012

The Israeli former Olympic swimmer, Yoav Bruck, has vehemently denied allegations in the Sunday Times that he is part of an international black market selling tickets for major events at London 2012, at a large mark-up and against Olympic regulations.

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Prosor gets influential new UN job

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 14, 2012

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations and former ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, will be a Deputy President of the 67th UN General Assembly scheduled to convene in September.

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Gaza: five years of Hamas rule

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 14, 2012

To outward appearances, commerce with Gaza is booming. Convoys of lorries carrying a wide variety of food products make their way into the Strip from Israel, 150 truckloads a day, through the Karni crossing. On the roads of northern Sinai, vast loads of cement sacks and building materials are also proceeding, at a slightly slower pace, towards the crossing at Rafah.

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Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman softens anti-migrant stance

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 7, 2012

“Jewish history compels us to take exceptional caution on these matters and forbids any harming of the other, the guest and the foreigner.”

This was the surprising denunciation made on Monday morning by the Foreign Ministry, following an arson attack on a flat rented to four African immigrants on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road.

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Syrian opposition activist tells of Iranian assistance to Assad

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 31, 2012

As the fighting and bloodshed in the Syrian civil war intensify, the fears that neighbouring countries will get sucked in are growing. Iran this week admitted that its forces are present in Syria, while Israel is concerned that the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad could lead to chemical weapons falling in the hands of terrorists.

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