Anshel Pfeffer

As dawn breaks, normality returns

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 1, 2008

The streets of the commercial areas in South Mumbai were, on Friday and Saturday, relatively free of traffic as drivers avoided the area around the Taj Mahal Hotel, as the fighting continued.

By Sunday morning, things were back to something close to normal: every empty parking area was occupied by young men playing street cricket.
On Monday, the frenetic Mumbai working week resumed; the traffic is now as intractable as ever.

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Analysis: Why talking to the Vatican paid off

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2008

The last two years have not been good for the traditionally testy relationship between the Vatican and the Jewish people.

The historical dispute over the conduct of the Holy See during the Holocaust flared up last year when the Papal Nuncio to Jerusalem threatened to boycott Yad Vashem over its portrayal of wartime Pope Pius XII. Tensions rose again last month over reports that Pope Benedict XVI was about to beatify his controversial predecessor.

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Obama and Israel to boycott ‘Durban II’

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2008

Advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have assured Jewish leaders that the United States will not take part in the so-called Durban II conference, the JC has learned.

The now-notorious 2001 Durban Conference became a forum for extreme anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism.

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Pope to visit Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI is to visit Israel next year at the invitation of President Shimon Peres, in an attempt to end the recent period of tension over the beatification of former Pope Pius XII.

The visit, which is yet to be formally announced, is set to take place in early May 2009.

President Peres officially invited the Pope a few weeks ago, following a meeting with Archbishop Antonio Franco, the papal nuncio in Jerusalem, who indicated that such an invitation would be positively received.

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The Dirt to Come in Israel’s Elections

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 26, 2008

Sometimes you can just sense that a political campaign is on a losing streak. I got that feeling on Monday, driving in to Tel-Aviv and seeing the new giant Kadima election posters on the Kibbutz Galuyot Road. There's something about Tzipi Livni's glum and unphotogenic face - and the inarticulate slogan: "What is Good for the Country". It sounds just as bad in Hebrew.

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‘Generals row’ hits Peres visit

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

A diplomatic row is simmering behind this week's historic visit of President Shimon Peres.

Mr Peres, who flies back today after four days in Britain, met The Queen, the Prime Minister and made an emotional address to Parliament.

He also faced protests during an address to Oxford students and made an emotional address to MPs.
But his aides accused the British government of failing to deliver on promises to change the law that allows individuals to bring legal actions against IDF officers.

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Peres receives honorary knighthood from the Queen

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

Queen Elizabeth awarded an honorary knighthood this morning to President of Israel Shimon Peres. Mr Peres was knighted with the Grand Cross of the order of St Michael and St George.

The Queen and Mr Peres met for about 30 minutes during which Mr Peres spoke to the Queen about Israel's history and current situation. Mr Peres gave the Queen two gifts: a letter written by her father, George VI, upon the official recognition by Britain of the state of Israel, and two silver candlesticks in the shape of pomegranates.

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Israeli leaders ‘satisfied’ with Miliband’s pressure on Syria

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

Israeli leaders have expressed their satisfaction with the results of Foreign Secretary David Miliband's visit to the Middle East this week.

They were especially pleased that the Foreign Secretary demanded the Syrians act to prevent the arms deliveries from Iran to Hizbollah being transferred through their territory.

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Don’t ask America who holds the purse strings

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

Nearly one in five Americans think that Jews control the world's financial institutions, although only seven per cent think they have too much power and are to blame for the current financial crisis.

The findings by international pollster Stanley Greenberg also indicated that Israel continues to enjoy a high degree of public support in the United States with 66 per cent saying America should support Israel while only six per cent support the Palestinians.

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Protestors fail to disrupt Peres talk

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 19, 2008

President Shimon Peres showed grace under fire on Tuesday night when he was systematically heckled and barracked by Oxford students at the city's Sheldonian Theatre.

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Expert doubts Auschwitz ‘plans’

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2008

A leading historian has poured scorn on the publication of Auschwitz death-camp blueprints in German tabloid Bild over the weekend.

The blueprints were purported to show the crematorium and gas chamber at the death-camp. One of the blueprints apparently was initialled by SS chief Heinrich Himmler.

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Britain confirms its anti-settlement push

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2008

The Foreign Office has confirmed that Britain's initiative against Israeli exports originating in the West Bank is merely the opening shot in a wider campaign it is waging against the settlements.

A paper sent by the UK to its European Union counterparts, which was revealed last week, urged EU members to exercise more vigilance in monitoring Israeli products, to ensure they were not manufactured in the settlements. Israel opposes British demands for clearly labelling such goods.

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Keep new German Jews Jewish

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2008

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No Peres visit to UK war plaque

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2008

A ceremony to unveil a plaque commemorating British diplomats who saved Nazi victims has been dropped from the schedule of President Shimon Peres' official visit to Britain next week.

Jewish organisations had objected to the wording of the plaque.

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Cash crisis rocks Chabad

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2008

The world's biggest Jewish outreach group faces a cash crisis fuelled by fears that its biggest donor, billionaire diamond mogul Lev Leviev, may slash funding due to his own financial difficulties.

Chabad has around 4,000 emissaries in 70 countries, running 3,300 community centres worldwide.
Sources within the movement say many of the emissaries in charge of running Jewish religious activities around the globe have been told that their funding will be stopped.

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Livni fears UK-led push to boycott settlement goods

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2008

The Israeli and British governments have clashed over imports from West Bank settlements, with Jerusalem concerned this may be the first salvo in a British-led international campaign.

The issue has been personally pursued by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who, according to an internal document "has proposed a round-table involving UK government officials, NGOs, and retailers" to discuss it.

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Britain prepares to do the honours for Peres

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2008

All the stops will be out to honour Israeli President Shimon Peres when he visits Britain on November 17 - his first time since becoming president.

In addition to being awarded an honorary title from the Queen, he will receive an honorary doctorate from King's College, London.

Both the British and Israeli foreign ministries have unofficially confirmed that Mr Peres will be awarded a title during his visit, though details are "still in the works".

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Neighbours attack ‘barbaric’ brit

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2008

An elderly woman living in sheltered housing has been threatened by an anonymous letter over her plan to hold her great-grandson's brit milah in her flat.

The letter was sent to Shirley Shad, of Norman Harris House, Southend, after she had told her neighbours about the impending circumcision.

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National race gets fresh faces

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2008

A raft of political newcomers and veterans have already entered the fray of Israel's election season.

This week's most prominent debut was of Benny Begin, the son of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who will return to the Likud almost a decade after leaving in protest at Binyamin Netanyahu's acceptance of the Oslo Accords. Another recruit to Likud was Brigadier-General (Res) Miri Regev, the former IDF spokeswoman.

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Peres to address MPs in historic visit

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2008

All the stops will be out to honour Israeli President Shimon Peres when he visits Britain for the first time since becoming president, on November 17. In addition to an as yet unannounced honorary title from the queen, he will be receiving also an honorary doctorate from King's College in London.

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