Anshel Pfeffer

Israeli premier needlessly offended European Jews

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 19, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu's call on Sunday for a "mass-immigration" is a direct extension of his personal belief that he is the "representative of the entire Jewish people".

That is how he described his role at an election event with French-speaking Likud members two weeks ago.

More..

'Americans holding from Israel details of Iran talks'

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 19, 2015

Tension between Washington and Jerusalem is growing as yet another crucial stage in the talks between the international community and Iran begins.

American and Israeli media outlets reported this week that the Obama administration has been limiting the information it has been sharing with Israel on the status of the talks and the details of an impending agreement.

More..

Teflon Bibi rides out new expenses storm

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 19, 2015

The report issued on Tuesday by State Comptroller Yoseph Shapira on major overspending at Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence was potentially explosive for the prime minister.

The report contained allegations of excessive spending on fancy meals, the cleaning of his private weekend home in Caesarea, and hairdressing for his wife, Sara.

More..

Israel-Jordan-Egypt alliance deepens

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 12, 2015

Two recent media reports of Israeli drones operating over Jordanian and Egyptian territory have not been acknowledged or commented upon — unsurprisingly — by any of the governments involved.

What is surprising, however, is that such reports now barely create a stir in the region.

More..

Likud and Labour going head-to-head in poll war

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 12, 2015

As the election campaigns in Israel enter their final month, the main battlegrounds are increasingly within the right and centrist camps.

Both Likud and Labour believe they have little chance of convincing voters to switch camps and are concentrating on becoming the largest party in the next Knesset.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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?

More..

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.

More..

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

More..

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.

More..

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".

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..