Anshel Pfeffer

High Court push to speed up IDF draft law

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2014

The Israeli High Court order on Tuesday to prevent the government from funding Charedi yeshivahs for students whose IDF draft has been deferred has added extra urgency to the move to pass a new national service law in the Knesset.

The 8-1 ruling by the nine Supreme Court judges came following a petition by the Hiddush lobby group against the state for not drafting the students.

More..

Israeli pilots jailed over maps leak

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2014

Fourteen Israeli combat pilots have been disciplined for storing secret maps and operational documents on their smart-phones. Two received short military prison sentences and the rest received suspended sentences and fines.

More..

Israel steeled as Syria delays chemical weapons detox

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2014

The dismantlement of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal has stalled.

Two deadlines for the removal of the deadliest toxins have passed but only about four per cent of the chemicals have left the country.

More..

Bennett lights fire under coalition

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 6, 2014

Irael’s governing coalition has cracked and teetered in recent weeks but somehow remained intact.

This week, however, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett issued his strongest threat so far to leave the government.

More..

Israeli presidential race kicks off

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 31, 2014

Nine candidates are already setting out their campaigns for the presidential race with Shimon Peres scheduled to end his seven-year team in July.

The president of Israel is elected by the Knesset. All 11 presidents since the country’s foundation had been active in politics; nine of them were serving or former parliamentarians before their election.

More..

Winter Olympics will be safe, says rabbi of Sochi

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 31, 2014

Security experts and local Jewish figures have dismissed reports of terror threats during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics opening next week in Russia.

More..

Ex-security chief backs West Bank pullout ‘once talks fail’

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 30, 2014

Israel’s former military intelligence chief, Amos Yadlin, called for Israel to consider a “co-ordinated unilateral” withdrawal from most of the West Bank if the talks with the Palestinians fail.

More..

Coalition cracking over future of the West Bank

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 30, 2014

The most right-wing component of the Netanyahu government hit a crossroads this week when the prime minister openly contemplated what could happen to the settlements following the establishment of a Palestinian state.

More..

Israel foils US embassy terror plot

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

A jihadi group with al-Qaeda links tried to recruit Palestinians in East Jerusalem to carry out terror attacks against high-profile targets, it was claimed this week.

More..

Knesset ovation for Canada’s pro-Israel PM

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

Few world leaders have so enthusiastically endorsed Israel’s policies as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper did this week during his first visit to Jerusalem.

More..

More jihadi strikes on Eilat feared

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

Two Grad rockets fired towards Eilat on Monday evening failed to cause any casualties or damage but raised concerns about future attempts by terror groups in Sinai to launch attacks on the city. The rockets fell in open spaces near its southern neighbourhoods.

More..

Israel on verge of creating one chief rabbi role

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

The israeli government has backed a move to disband the twin posts of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi chief rabbis.

Last Sunday, the cabinet’s legislative committee unanimously voted for the proposal, co-sponsored by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett.

More..

Israel plans laser beam rocket shield

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

Israeli defence firms are developing new short-range missile defence systems to protect civilians and military bases in border areas under threat.

The IDF’s Iron Dome has proved capable of intercepting the majority of missiles but is less effective at dealing with rockets and mortar rounds fired from under four miles away.

More..

Multi-billion funds mull Israel exit

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 23, 2014

The international pressure on Israel to cease settlement-building and reach an agreement with the Palestinians is beginning to directly affect its economic prospects as European investment funds start to rethink their connections to the Jewish state.

More..

Iran to destroy stocks of enriched uranium

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 17, 2014

Iran is scheduled to begin neutralising its enriched uranium next week following an agreement achieved last Sunday on the implementation of the Geneva agreement signed in November.

More..

Coalition mired in rows as talks pressure grows

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 16, 2014

Israel’s announcement that it would build 1,400 new homes across the Green Line has provoked local and international protests.

The announcement had been due to coincide with the release of the third tranche of 26 Palestinian prisoners two weeks ago, but was postponed to avoid a clash with US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the region.

More..

Egyptians expected to vote in new constitution

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 16, 2014

The result of the constitutional referendum that took place this week in Egypt is not in any doubt: the Egyptians are expected to approve of the constitution by a large majority.

All eyes, however, are on the turnout, levels of violence and the next step of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, widely expected to run for president later this year.

More..

Kadima: the party that briefly broke the mould of Israeli politics

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 16, 2014

Only once in the history of Israeli politics has a party other than Likud or Labour formed the government. That was Ariel Sharon’s Kadima in March 2006. But by then the party’s founder had been in a deep coma for nearly three months and even as his heirs celebrated their victory, the leader’s absence already signalled their ultimate downfall.

More..

Could Sharon now live on in Bibi?

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 16, 2014

The Israelis who eulogised Ariel Sharon at his memorial and funeral on Monday either ignored or referred only in passing to his final political acts — the disengagement from Gaza and his departure from Likud to set up his new centrist party, Kadima.

More..

Palestinian embassy blast mystery

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 9, 2014

Mystery still surrounds the death of a Palestinian diplomat killed in Prague last week by an explosive device hidden in a safe.

Even if the explosion was an accident, as both the Czech police and the Palestinian Authority are claiming, it served as a reminder of the connections between Soviet Bloc powers and Palestinian terror back in the 1970s and 1980s.

More..