Anshel Pfeffer

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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Tony Blair reaches out to ‘Jewish values’ at Succot

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

Tony Blair, the former prime minister, today lauds the work done by Jewish organisations to alleviate poverty around the world, and calls upon the community to join other faith groups in fighting hunger and deprivation.

Writing in this week's Jewish Chronicle, Mr Blair says that the current festival of Succot "gives rise to the virtues of charity and solidarity, core covenantal values expressed in the work of the community's NGOs - World Jewish Relief and Tzedek, among others".

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Financial crisis? That will be the Jews’ fault

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2008

A new anti-Jewish conspiracy theory was spawned on the internet this week, latching on to a wave of antisemitic online comments blaming Jewish financiers for the global credit crunch and then exploiting it.

According to the latest false theory, Jewish executives at Lehman Brothers sent $400 billion (£230bn) to Israel before the bank collapsed last month.

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Deech reclaims her family silver

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2008

Sixteen knives and forks, the only remaining property of a prosperous Jewish family that lived until the Holocaust in a small town in southern Poland, have been returned to Baroness Deech.

A 101-year-old Polish painter, who had received the silver cutlery from Baroness Deech's aunt, contacted her following a report in the JC in June revealing that she plans to sue the Polish government for lost family assets.

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Don’t make martyrs of deniers

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2008

It's a waste of money prosecuting Shoah-deniers -just confront their views in public


Any limit on freedom of speech is wrong and almost always achieves the opposite to that which it is aiming for. But in the case of Holocaust-deniers, sticking them in prison is an especially bad idea.

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Your silver, baroness. I hid it in the garden

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2008

In June, we reported Ruth Deech's plans to sue Poland's government over family property lost in the war. She has now returned - and had an emotional reunion in Krakow.


It was a story of two Polish families that had not been told for almost seven decades. One Jewish, the other Catholic - the Frankels and the Wanieks; living just a street away from each other, with children of similar ages playing together, the mother of the Catholic family giving private piano lessons to the Jewish children.

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Lord Levy still has security protection

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2008

Sixteen months after ending his role as the Prime Minister's envoy to the Middle East, Lord Levy continues to have security protection. He was last week seen travelling to synagogue accompanied by a bodyguard.

Cabinet ministers and senior government officials do not normally continue having official protection after they leave their positions, with the exception of the Prime Minister and, during the "Troubles", former Northern Ireland Secretaries.

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Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle yields a mixed bag

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 7, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's reshuffle this week yielded a mixed bag as far as Jewish and Israeli interests were concerned, with some appointments greeted with quiet satisfaction and others with mild concern.

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Israel urges branding guru to shed its ‘war-torn’ image

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

One of Britain's top image-makers is to lead a campaign to recreate Israel's international profile.

Fiona Gilmore, head of the Acanchi group, was in Israel last week meeting all levels of society, from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to environmental activists in the Negev.

Ms Livni had appointed Acanchi as part of a campaign she has led for three years to re-brand the country and lose its image as a spartan and war-torn.

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Selling out to Premier Putin

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

Why is a major Israeli fundraising body appointing one of the Kremlin's men as head of its Russian operation?


Last October, I interviewed a group of twenty-somethings participating in the first Limmud to take place in Russia, near Moscow. They were intelligent and articulate on the future of Jewish life in their country. Just one of my questions remained unanswered: did they not fear living in a society whose hard-won democratic freedoms were rapidly being eroded by the government? They all smiled awkwardly and declined to say anything on the subject.

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Prosor’s UK tenure ‘may end early’

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

There are suggestions in Israel that the London ambassador, Ron Prosor, might return home after only a year of service here if Shaul Mofaz is appointed Israel's next Foreign Minister.

There is widespread belief in Jerusalem that Mr Prosor would be Mr Mofaz's leading candidate to become director-general of the ministry, a post he previously held between 2004 and 2006.

Mr Mofaz, currently Transport Minister, came a close second two weeks ago to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in the Kadima primaries.

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Conservative think-tank unfavourably compares Sharia courts to Batei Din

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

Unpublished research by one of the UK's leading think-tanks makes unfavourable comparisons between the conduct of Muslim Sharia law courts with that of rabbinical courts, the Batei Din. The research suggests that while Batei Din are injuncted by Jewish law to act in accordance with the law of the land, Sharia courts aim to usurp local laws.

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Tory conference sketch:Two-day Boris steals the show

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

The warmest applause at the Conservative Friends of Israel lunch was reserved for the two members of the Christian Friends of Israel who remained behind to man the stand - while the Jews rushed home to spend Rosh Hashanah with their families.

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