Anshel Pfeffer

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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Olmert faces fresh allegation

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 30, 2008

A new allegation of corruption was raised this week against Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

David Cohen, one of the central witnesses in the case against former Finance Minister Avraham Hirschson - accused of stealing NIS 4 million (£680,000) from two public organisations - told a Tel Aviv courtroom that he had passed a "fat envelope" to Mr Olmert in the early 1990s when he was health minister.

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Jewish judge ‘not biased’ in Arab asylum-seeker ruling

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 30, 2008

The Law Lords have upheld the decision of a Jewish judge to refuse asylum to a Palestinian woman, denying the claim that the judge's membership of a Jewish jurists' organisation prejudiced her ability to hear the case.

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Israeli elections: Blackmail, threats and a policy or two

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 30, 2008

Israel's ruling party, Kadima, will try to run its election campaign on the promise to reform Israel's shaky electoral system. Kadima spin-doctors are planning to leverage the breakdown in coalition talks with Shas to portray party leader Tzipi Livni as a no-nonsense stateswoman who will not give in to blackmail.

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Israel in shock over Anglo family killings

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 30, 2008

Israeli police are still searching for a motive for a triple killing and suicide in which a policeman apparently shot his wife and two young children before turning his gun on himself.

Leeds-born Michael Fisher apparently shot his wife Hila, 30, and children Yuval, three, and Yarden, eight weeks, in their flat in Hod Hasharon last week.

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Peres to be knighted?

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 24, 2008

Israeli President Shimon Peres may receive an honorary title from the Queen on his forthcoming visit to Britain next month. The details of the visit, which was reported first in the JC last month, and the bestowing of any possible title, are still under discussion between the Foreign Office and Buckingham Palace.

Mr Peres will visit Britain on November 18 for three days and though the trip is not classified as an official state visit, he will also meet the Queen.

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MoD criticised over test flights in Galilee

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 24, 2008

The UK Ministry of Defence has stirred local opposition by demanding that trials of a £317 million aircraft fleet it is buying from Israel should take place over Galilee.

The Army's new unmanned aerial vehicle system, which it is buying from an Israeli firm, must now be moved from an airfield on the Golan Heights.

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Revealed: the secret JNF cash transfers

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 24, 2008

Hundreds of thousands of pounds were transferred from JNF UK to an Israeli organisation set up by its former leaders without being stated in the JNF accounts, it has emerged.

The activities of Nes Eretz Israel came to a light during an unsuccessful High Court action recently brought by the JNF's ex-chief executive, Simon Winters.

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Jerusalem mayoral race enters last lap

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

The Four candidates vying for the job of Jerusalem's mayor in the elections that will take place on November 11 have been finalised.

The two front-runners are MK Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism (UTJ), representing Jerusalem's strictly Orthodox community, and the independent Nir Barkat, who has led the opposition in Jerusalem's City Hall for the last five years and has emerged as the champion of the secular camp.

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Leviev cuts back on schools

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

The largest Jewish education network in Europe is to cut back as a result of the global financial crisis.

Or Avner, founded by billionaire Lev Leviev, is to "rationalise" operations due to a shortfall in donations.

Operating more than 100 Jewish schools in Russia, the former Soviet Union, Germany, Israel and the US, it is planning to cut back particularly in places where there are only small communities and little Jewish activity.

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Vote for me — I have a kippah

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

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Mazeltov — we’ve won a Nobel Prize

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

Princeton University professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences credited him with "having shown the effects of economies of scale on trade patterns and on the location of economic activity", adding: "His ideas have given rise to an extensive reorientation of the research on these issues."

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Pius XII may soon be a saint

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

Pope Benedict is expected to announce the beatification of controversial wartime pope Pius XII within the next year.

Conservative Catholic groups have been pressuring the Vatican to canonise Pius for decades, but major Jewish organisations have tried to oppose such a move since he has been accused of remaining silent over the extermination of the Jews.

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Haider was drunk before fatal car crash

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

The austrian far-right politician who died in a car crash last Saturday was drunk at the wheel, his spokesman has admitted.

Joerg Haider was killed after driving his car off the road near Klagenfurt in southern Austria.

His spokesman Stefan Petzner confirmed on Wednesday that the alcohol level in Mr Haider's blood was three times the legal limit.

Austrian police also confirmed that the 58-year-old had been driving at twice the speed limit.

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