Anshel Pfeffer

Israeli electoral reform ‘blocks Arab parties’

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 2, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have agreed to jointly reform the Israeli electoral system by raising the threshold for election to the Knesset to a minimum of 3.25 per cent of the vote for each party.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu fights coalition as peace caravan returns

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 2, 2014

United States Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jerusalem this weekend for his 10th visit to the region since being appointed less than a year ago.

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Tel Aviv averts horror after bomb found

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

A major tragedy was averted last Sunday afternoon when a passenger noted a suspicious bag left in the back of a bus in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv.

The bag contained a bomb that went off shortly after the bus was evacuated, lightly wounding one police officer.

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US and UK spying revealed no secrets, claims Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

The revelations in the Guardian and New York Times last Friday that the target list of a joint NSA-GCHQ surveillance operation included Israel’s former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak elicited only a muted response in Jerusalem.

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Calmer horizon for Israel as Middle East burns

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

Nearly three years into the upheaval that began as the “Arab Spring”, and both Egypt and Syria are undergoing turmoil that is unlikely to subside in 2014.

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Fortunes of Bennett and Lapid will define the political game in 2014

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

The year 2013 was the year of the “brothers” in Israeli politics.

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Will 2014 be a year of peace?

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

At a particularly bleak moment during his umpteenth visit to the region this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted: “We’re not talking at this point about any shifts [in the schedule],” and reiterated his belief that Israel and the Palestinians can still reach a peace agreement by April, at the end of the nine-month time-frame he set for the talks.

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Confusion as Bedouin plan slides off the agenda

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Thursday night to cancel the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Negev Bedouin Settlements left its opponents jubilant — but with no clue about what the replacement could be.

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Al Qaeda and ice create refugee hell in Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

As Syria’s civil war drags on towards its fourth year without an end in sight, the plight of over two million refugees has worsened as the region faces its most bitter winter in living memory.

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Isolated Hamas buries the hatchet with Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Hamas announced last week that it was “resuming” its relations with Iran after the Palestinian movement’s position on the Syrian Civil War caused it to fall out with the Assad regime’s main backers.

The announcement was made by senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar in Gaza following talks between Hamas officials and Iranian diplomats in Beirut last month.

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Israel fears sanctions tsunami

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Israeli diplomats are concerned that a large wave of sanctions could hit the country if the current round of talks with the Palestinians fails.

A recent spate of boycott actions in Europe and the US will have a limited effect but Israelis fear that they could be just the beginning.

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Israel storm of the century

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Weather historians are still arguing whether this was the worst snowstorm to hit Israel in 21, 60, 93 or 140 years, but its results are hard to argue with.

From Thursday afternoon, 48 hours of rain, hail and snow — which in Jerusalem piled up as high as 70cm — paralysed transport around the country.

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Diskin attack on Netanyahu a sign of leadership ambition

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 12, 2013

Former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin emerged last week as a possible future rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he sternly criticised the government’s policy on Iran and the talks with the Palestinians.

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Knesset 'infiltrators law': Migrants’ ‘open’ detention

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 12, 2013

The Knesset passed on Tuesday an amended version of the “infiltrators law” that was struck down by the Supreme Court three months ago. A new detention centre for African migrants was due to open by the weekend in the Negev not far from the Egyptian border.

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Bedouin land plan shelved by Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 12, 2013

The Israeli government has shelved the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Bedouin villages in the Negev.

The legislation was halted amid mounting opposition within the coalition.

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President Obama: we have to try diplomacy

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 12, 2013

US President Barack Obama made an effort last weekend to reduce the tensions between his administration and the Israeli government over the interim agreement signed three weeks ago with Iran.

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Mandela: For Israel, memorial turns into farce

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 12, 2013

While dozens of heads of state and prime ministers came to Nelson Mandela’s memorial service on Tuesday, Israel was represented by a parliamentary delegation following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to spend millions of shekels on a flight.

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EU ‘wasted millions’ in Gaza

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 12, 2013

An auditing report has raised serious question marks over EU aid money worth hundreds of millions of euros that has been given to the Palestinian Authority.

According to the report, prepared by the European Court of Auditors and revealed by the Financial Times this week, funds transferred to the PA for Gaza were paid to civilians with ties to Fatah who were no longer working.

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Kerry looks to boost peace talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 6, 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week in an attempt to revitalise the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The talks, which began five months ago as a result of Mr Kerry’s efforts, have become bogged down amid mutual accusations.

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Iran’s response to Geneva deal under close scrutiny

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 5, 2013

Israeli and Western intelligence services are closely observing Iran’s nuclear development to see whether or not it will comply with the interim agreement signed with the world powers two weeks ago in Geneva.

Iran has committed to stopping work at its new plutonium reactor at Arak and limiting its uranium enrichment programme over the next six months in exchange for sanctions relief.

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