Anshel Pfeffer

Peres: Iran’s a world threat

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 26, 2008

Israel's president, Shimon Peres, warns today that it must not be left to Israel alone to solve the Iranian issue. "The Iranian threat is not only towards Israel, but the whole world," the president says in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with the Jewish Chronicle to mark Rosh Hashanah.

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Israel seeks to change its image

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2008

A top British re-branding guru, Fiona Gilmore, is currently on a fact-finding visit to Israel. Ms Gilmore's company, Acanchi, has been hired by the Israeli government to lead the campaign to recreate the country's international image.

The contract with Acanchi was announced last month. It is part of the campaign that Foreign MinisterTzipi Livni has been leading for the last three years to create a new international image of Israel, as far away as possible from its current Spartan, grim and war-torn one.

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Year of the Lame Duck

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 23, 2008

Gordon Brown will probably manage to ward off the latest Labour rebellion, for now, and depart from his party's conference for the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Effectively a lame-duck prime minister, just waiting for the moment in which one of his cabinet ministers plucks up courage to wield the knife.

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High votes against Israeli-Palestinian peace possibility

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 19, 2008

An audience this week voted overwhelmingly against the possibility of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the next five years.

The debate in Westminster on "Paths to Peace: Proposals to Resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" was sponsored by the Weidenfeld Institute for Strategic Dialogue and The Spectator magazine.

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A Chief Rabbi’s reality gap

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 19, 2008

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Tel Aviv seeks ex-City workers

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 19, 2008

The Israeli embassy in London is stepping up its efforts to recruit workers from the City in the wake of the crisis sweeping the financial sector.

A commission set up by the Israeli government is recommending transforming Tel Aviv into a global financial centre. Last week, the Knesset authorised new tax laws that will exempt new immigrants and returning Israelis from taxation on property and share portfolios which they hold outside Israel.

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Archbishop to go to Auschwitz

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will visit Auschwitz in November. The Archbishop divulged his plans in a meeting this week with the two chief rabbis of Israel.

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Red faces over squabbling Israel lobbies

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2008

Competition between two pro-Israel advocacy groups over their lobbying of the British media has been described as a "war of the Jews" by a senior Israeli government official.

Bicom - the British Israel Communications and Research Centre - is said to be angry that the Israeli government is working closely with the US-based Israeli Project over public relations initiatives aimed at British media.

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Peres plans UK visit to discuss the Iran threat

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 11, 2008

Israeli president Shimon Peres is to visit Britain in November to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat with British leaders.

The visit - which has as yet not been formally announced - will not be an official state visit, though he is expected to meet the Queen.

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Palestinians say no to Israel boycott

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 10, 2008

The Palestinian Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) does not support a general boycott on trade and investment with Israel.

This position emerged at the annual TUC Congress in Brighton this week, where a heated debate took place over the question of whether Palestinian workers are in favour of the boycott.

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Greens vote not to tolerate antisemitism

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 10, 2008

Delegates at this year's Green Party conference have backed a motion stating that the party did not tolerate or endorse antisemitism, but only after radically cutting the original resolution.

The original motion said that antisemitism also included elements of anti-Zionism and called for the Greens to adopt the European Union's definition of antisemitism.

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St Moritz: Switzerland's frum Fawlty Towers

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 5, 2008

On a Friday night in August, the shul in the Edelweiss Hotel in St Moritz is packed with black-clad men swaying to the Shabbat service.

An overflow of some 20 men sit in the adjacent lounge which doubles as the women's section, at that hour still devoid of female presence. All of a sudden, a bony elderly man wearing a dark suit and homburg bursts in, shouting in a mixture of Yiddish and Shwitzerdeutsch, the local dialect.

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We don’t murder... right?

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2008

There is a distinct element of déjà vu in the complaints in a British newspaper about the way the
Israeli press has been handling the disappearance of a four-year-old girl, 13 months after Madeleine McCann went missing. But the tone of the coverage of the alleged murder of Rose Pizem - intensified over the last week by the news that Alon Yehuda and Mikhail Kruchkov, both also four, were drowned by their mothers in two separate incidents, five days apart - is very different.

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Switzerland’s frum Fawlty Towers

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2008

n a Friday night in August, the shul in the Edelweiss Hotel in St Moritz is packed with black-clad men swaying to the Shabbat service.

An overflow of some 20 men sit in the adjacent lounge which doubles as the women's section, at that hour still devoid of female presence. All of a sudden, a bony elderly man wearing a dark suit and homburg bursts in, shouting in a mixture of Yiddish and Shwitzerdeutsch, the local dialect.

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Police make peace with modesty patrols

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2008

the Jerusalem police and the leaders of the Eda Haredit, the extremist camp in the ultra-Orthodox community, have reached an unofficial agreement to end the latest cycle of unrest on the streets of the Mea Shearim neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

The sporadic outbreaks of violence, arson and clashes with police, followed the arrest of a member of the so-called "modesty patrol", Shmuel Weispish. As part of the agreement, Mr Weispish was released and the rabbis promised that the violence would cease.

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Shock over new child murders

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2008

Israel has been gripped by the tragic details emerging from the investigation into the fate of three four-year-old children, allegedly murdered by their parents.

In the latest case, police arrived at a south Tel Aviv flat on Tuesday night after 31-year-old Regina Kruchkov called the police and said: "I killed my son." They found the lifeless body of Mikhail drowned in a tub of water.

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He trained his rifle on me but his eyes were on our car

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 22, 2008

I flew out to cover the war in Georgia but made the news myself when a Russian soldier robbed me at gunpoint


If we had known a few seconds earlier that the young Kalashnikov-toting Russian soldier only wanted to steal our Mercedes, it would all have been much simpler.

But Dato, our Georgian driver, had disappeared. So we were stuck: three Israeli reporters and a photographer, and no shared language with the furious youngster.

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Prisoner release may do nothing for Shalit

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 22, 2008

Israeli defence sources have warned that the government decision to release 199 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority - and to apply pressure on Hamas over the negotiations to free Sergeant Gilad Shalit - might backfire.

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Israel plans its response to ‘Free Gaza’ ship

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 22, 2008

The Israeli government will try to portray the Free Gaza movement's attempt to run a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip as both non-humanitarian and a project designed to question Israel's right to exist.

Israeli officials have kept a low profile over their response to the plan to sail two ships to Gaza loaded with hearing-aids and some 40 activists, including former UK premier Tony Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth.

They prefer not to draw too much media attention to what they are calling "a stunt".

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