Anshel Pfeffer

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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Syrians burn pictures of Nasrallah

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 2, 2011

The members of Iran's radical axis in the Middle East are rallying around their ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in support of his bloody crackdown of the pro-democracy protests that have taken place in Syria over the past two months.

Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called upon the Syrian people to "defend the regime" in a televised speech last Wednesday.

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Open Gaza unburdens Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 2, 2011

The Israeli government has decided not to object to the opening of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, despite it being an abrogation of the 2006 agreement between Israel and Egypt to keep the border closed. The crossing was opened to allow almost totally free passage of Palestinian citizens last Saturday.

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Spy, arms trader or military envoy: will the real Colonel now stand up?

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2011

An arms deal gone bad? A bungled attempt to obtain intelligence? Or internal rivalries within the Russian security establishment?

Whatever the case, the arrest of Colonel Vadim Leiderman, Israel's military attache to Russia, in Moscow two and a half weeks ago was a rare occurrence in the normally stable relationship between the two countries.

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Grand words, but peace no closer

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2011

Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave the most concessionary speech ever heard from a leader of Likud to the joint houses of the United States Congress on Tuesday in Washington.

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Israelis 'sold ship to Iran'

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2011

The US State Department delivered a damaging and embarrassing blow to one of the richest families in Israel this week when it named the private shipping company of the Opher family, which also controls Israel's national shipping conglomerate, Zim, in a list of firms to be penalised for dealing with the Iranian government.

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Thought Nakba Day was bad? Get ready for June

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2011

Israel faces two major challenges on its land and sea borders next month.

The first will be an attempt by Palestinian groups to repeat the storming of Israel's border with Syria and Lebanon. And later in the month, a large flotilla is set to try to get through to Gaza.

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It's stalemate - and time is running out

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2011

Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama have at least one thing in common. It would be hard to find two more accomplished orators on the international stage.

They instinctively read their audiences, are masters of the pregnant pause and the seemingly spontaneous quip, and expertly milk multiple standing ovations.

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Tension as moment of truth looms

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 19, 2011

Israel and the United States have agreed over the past two weeks to set out the principles for a peace deal and to try to prevent a unilateral recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the UN in September.

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'Third intifada' in east Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 19, 2011

"Palestinians used to want to leave the West Bank and move to east Jerusalem, to take advantage of the better conditions there. Now it's the opposite," said Zoheir Kawasmeh, as he looked at the rock-strewn street outside his home in the Silwan neighbourhood.

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Lorry rampage a 'lone terror attack'

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 19, 2011

A return of deadly terror attacks in Israel's cities or a fatal flat tyre? The timing of the incident seemed to leave little room for doubt.

On Sunday morning, for the Palestinian Nakba Day, a lorry began hitting cars and pedestrians on a crowded thoroughfare in the Tikva neighbourhood of south Tel Aviv.

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Israel fears September as Arab Spring rattles IDF

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 19, 2011

The Israeli security establishment is rethinking its entire policy on security along the country's borders.

The attempts to storm across the borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza signal a change of strategy by the Palestinians, inspired by the uprisings throughout the Middle East.

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The frontrunners for UK Israel envoy revealed

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 19, 2011

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is expected to announce Israel's new ambassador to the United Kingdom next week. The ambassador will be an internal candidate, and not a "political appointment".

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IDF reinforces West Bank units ahead of Palestinian 'day of rage'

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 12, 2011

The IDF is preparing for every eventuality during the Palestinian "days of rage" over the weekend and reinforcing its units accordingly.

While preparing for a worst-case scenario, the army believes that the Palestinian security forces will "contain" the demonstrations and prevent them from clashing with Israeli troops.

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Ex-Mossad chief says attack on Iran would be 'stupid'

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 12, 2011

In a rare display of public disagreement, both chiefs of Israel's intelligence services over the past decade have voiced serious misgivings about key policies of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Iran and the Palestinians.

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