Anshel Pfeffer

Flotilla sends Greece and Turkey into arms of Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 7, 2011

Both Israel and Turkey are eager to put the last two and a half years behind them. All that is needed now, according to Turkish daily Hurriet, is "to find a word that sounds in Turkish like an apology but not in Hebrew".

This weekend could prove critical.

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Sunk: the Gaza flotilla stays in Greece

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 7, 2011

The second flotilla to Gaza seems to have ended up as two small boats.

Meanwhile, security forces in Israel are preparing for an "airlift" of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists planning to land at Ben-Gurion Airport this weekend.

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What Gaza really needs: not a boat-load of activists

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 30, 2011

Almost six years since Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip, nothing there is what it seems.

A Hamas junta rules, but the civilian government departments are run from the PA in Ramallah, financed by money Israel allows to go through.

A blockade is ostensibly in place, but hundreds of lorries go through the crossings from Israel every day, carrying almost everything except what is now a limi

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Settler rabbi arrested for 'incitement'

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 30, 2011

The arrest this week of the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Dov Lior, on suspicion of incitement has provoked outrage from the religious right and a rare statement by the Attorney General that "no one is above the law".

Rabbi Lior, one of the spiritual leaders of the settlers, had already been questioned by police five months ago.

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Israeli navy on alert as second Gaza flotilla looms

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 30, 2011

The boats of the second Gaza flotilla are expected finally to set sail this weekend from the Greek coast.

The flotilla was initially planned to sail on Tuesday but a number of delays, including a mysteriously broken propeller shaft and anonymous complaints to the Greek Coast Guard, have delayed embarkation.

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Israelis train for attack

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 23, 2011

Israel this week completed a five-day national emergency exercise designed to test the co-operation between the IDF, civilian emergency services, government departments and local authorities in the case of missiles being fired on Israeli cities.

The scenario for the annual exercise was a war in which missiles are fired on Israel from Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and Iran.

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Israel tells Apple: drop intifada app

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 23, 2011

The Israeli government is demanding that Apple remove an app called "The Third Palestinian Intifada" from its online store.

The iPhone application, designed by a software company in Dubai, supplies users with information in Arabic on upcoming demonstrations against Israel in the West Bank and on the country's borders, as well as anti-Israel articles and photographs of protesters killed by Israe

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He's angry, then hugging Shakira: is Peres all right?

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 23, 2011

Shimon Peres is a president for all occasions.

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Israel and Turkey edge to détente

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 23, 2011

Israel and Turkey are working to resolve the diplomatic differences that have clouded the once "strategic" relationship between the two countries.

Israeli officials have interpreted the recent announcement by Turkish movement IHH that it would not be participating in the upcoming flotilla to Gaza as a signal of the willingness of the government in Ankara to improve relations.

A combination o

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Campaigners keep the fires lit for Shalit

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 23, 2011

The fifth anniversary of the capture of Gilad Shalit has rekindled the debate over the price worth paying for his release. A flurry of diplomatic activity in Israel in recent weeks has so far failed to deliver a breakthrough.

On Shabbat, June 25, it will be five years to the day in which Palestinian fighters attacked a tank by Kerem Shalom, killed two and took Shalit.

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Israel's new envoy: Daniel Taub

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 23, 2011

The Israeli Foreign Ministry's senior appointments committee has selected London-born Daniel Taub as the next ambassador to Britain.

Colleagues lauded the selection of the 49-year-old as "an inspired and worthy choice", despite the Foreign Ministry employees' union objecting over his lack of seniority.

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New dawn for Turkey-Israel ties?

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 16, 2011

Israeli and Turkish diplomats are hopeful that following the victory of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sunday's general elections, an opportunity has opened up for an improvement in relations between the two countries.

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Egyptian 'spy' arrest ratchets up tension

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 16, 2011

The arrest in Cairo of a student of dual American and Israeli citizenship on charges of spying for Mossad is another sign of the increasingly tense relationship between Israel and Egypt.

Israel has officially denied that Ilan Grapel, a native of Queens in New York, was in any sort of contact with its intelligence agencies.

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Syrian turmoil may splinter Iran's radical axis

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 16, 2011

Iran seems to be everywhere nowadays, wherever you look in the Middle East. Reports abound of Iranian submarines collecting intelligence in the Red Sea and warships foraying into the Mediterranean, agents of the Revolutionary Guards advising the Syrians how best to put down the rebellion in border towns, and diplomats from Tehran in secret meetings in Cairo.

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All bets are off in Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 16, 2011

The Obama Administration is trying to restart the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible, before an attempt to gain UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state and to ward off alternative European peace plans.

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Rogue traders or spy heroes? Ofer family mystery deepens

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2011

One of the richest families in Israel is at the centre of a controversy involving trade with Israel's deadliest enemy and murky espionage. And, at the height of the scandal, its patriarch has died at the age of 89.

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Why ex-Mossad head hit out at Netanyahu

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2011

Meir Dagan could never be described as a lily-liveredliberal.

In eight years at the head of Mossad, he embarked on a series of clandestine operations that, according to senior Israeli officials, "stopped at nothing to disrupt the axis between Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbollah".

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Navy has 'surprises' for flotilla

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2011

The Israeli Navy will "forcefully" divert the flotilla planning to sail for Gaza at the end of the month if the activists on board do not agree to unload their supplies in an Egyptian or Israeli port.

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Assad will take Israel to wire again

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2011

Senior Israeli officers are worried that attempts by Palestinian groups to cross the border with Syria will become a recurring event while the Assad regime fights for its survival.

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Israel recruits allies ahead of UN vote

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 2, 2011

Israel has concluded that a UN General Assembly vote in favour of recognising an independent Palestinian state is inevitable and is therefore trying to make it plain that such a move would be meaningless.

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