Anshel Pfeffer

Agents risk all to rescue Jews from Georgia

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 14, 2008

Israeli officials and Jewish organisations have been operating deep inside the war-torn provinces of Georgia this week to seek out and rescue Jews caught up in the conflict.

Israel and the Jewish Agency have also been planning an Operation Solomon-style airlift from Georgia in case the fragile ceasefire with Russia fails.

Close to 600 Israeli citizens who were caught in Georgia as fighting broke out in South Ossetia over the weekend were flown out on Tuesday on three specially chartered planes of El Al and Georgian Airlines.

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Israel ‘ill-prepared’ for Hamas-Fatah clash

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2008

The Israeli government is planning to review its policy and procedures regarding intervention in the ongoing bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip.

About 190 Fatah members escaped to Israel over the last weekend following a crackdown by Hamas, with 87 allowed to continue to Jericho after being questioned by the IDF. Fourteen were detained for further questions and 23 remained in hospital in Israel. About 70 returned to Gaza.

 

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Kadima rivals battle for party’s support

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2008

The front-runners in the Kadima leadership primary began a mad scramble this week to garner as many endorsements as possible from their fellow parliamentarians.

As this is the party's first primary, the make-up of its membership is still unclear, therefore the support of other MKs is seen as crucial.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, currently leading in the polls, has gathered official endorsements from five Knesset members so far - including one minister - to Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz's one.

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Sorry, they don’t all hate us

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2008

Are we becoming too sensitive about what we call ‘antisemitism'?

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Now the race to succeed Olmert

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 31, 2008

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz are neck-to-neck in the race to succeed Ehud Olmert as leader of Kadima and Prime Minister of Israel after his dramatic announcement that he would not be running in the Kadima primaries next month.

In a televised address on Wednesday night, Mr Olmert attacked his detractors and insisted once again that he was innocent of the corruption claims being investigated by the police.

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Outcry as Defence Ministry authorises 20 new houses in the West Bank

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 31, 2008

Settlers in the Jordan Valley are unfazed by the international outcry against the Defence Ministry's decision to authorise the building of 20 houses at a West Bank settlement.

In an unusually harsh statement, Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband has described it as "a real obstacle to peace" and complained directly to Jerusalem. The US State Department and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also condemned the planned expansion at Maskiot, in the Jordan Valley.

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Chief Rabbi lobbied MKs over divorce bill

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 31, 2008

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar intervened in the political process this week when he tried to scupper a law that would have ensured women get equal parts of a couple's assets in divorce proceedings.

Rabbi Amar personally called up religious Knesset members to try and persuade them not to vote in favour of the new law.

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Riots loom after boy is killed in PA

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 31, 2008

Israeli forces equipped for riot-control have been stationed near a West Bank village after a 10-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by a border policeman

Ahmed Moussa was shot in the forehead by a live bullet as protestors and troops clashed in Ni'ilin, the focal point of daily demonstrations against the separation barrier. In the Ni'ilin area it takes the form of a four-metre concrete wall, and separates the village from much of its land.

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UK authorities detain Israeli 12-year-old girl for a month

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2008

Israeli officials expressed astonishment this week that a 12-year-old girl who entered Britain unaccompanied had apparently been kept under British welfare supervision for more than a month before contact was made with the Tel Aviv authorities. The girl — and earlier her nine-year-old brother — had been sent to Britain by her mother, a 38-year-old Russian-born Israeli.

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Crackdown call after bulldozer rampage

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2008

An Arab bulldozer driver has gone on the rampage in Jerusalem in the second incident in three weeks, bringing renewed calls for restrictions on the capital’s Palestinian civilians.

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Obama fires up the Israeli public

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2008

Senator Barack Obama may or may not be elected the 44th President of the United States in November, but this week in Israel he received a welcome to match that of many heads of state.

The Democratic candidate reciprocated in kind by saying almost everything possible to allay Israeli and Jewish fears of his election.

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Israel divided over possible Shalit deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2008

Efforts to bring about the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit ran into further difficulties this week, when it emerged that the Israeli government is divided on the price to pay.

Fellow members of corporal Shalit’s tank platoon, who were discharged on Tuesday at the end of three years’ service, marched to the office of Defence Minister Ehud Barak to demand that he does more to ensure their comrade, captured two years ago, is freed.

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Case against Olmert ‘very strong’ after key witness gives evidence

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2008

Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz must now decide whether to indict Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over the alleged bribes he received from Morris Talansky, after the American fundraiser ended five days in the dock with his version of events intact.

Despite appearing at times shaken and confused during the cross-examination, the main facts of his testimony have not been changed. Mr Olmert allegedly received money through Mr Talansky on at least three separate occasions and he also covered the expenses of Mr Olmert and his wife’s stay in Washington in October 2005.

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The blank cheque stops here

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2008

Rich foreign donors are going to be much more reluctant to bankroll Israel

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Soldiers come home on a day of public mourning

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2008

IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were laid to rest yesterday (Thursday), two years and four days after the Hizbollah attack on their patrol which triggered the Second Lebanon War.

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Brown won’t visit Sderot

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will visit Israel next week — but despite requests by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, he is not scheduled to visit Sderot.

Mr Brown’s visit to Jerusalem on Sunday and Monday will not last much longer than 24 hours. He is due to meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the foreign and defence ministers, and the head of the opposition. He will also sign two treaties, including an initiative of academic exchange reported by the JC last week.

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Israel is in mourning as Hizbollah claims victory

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2008

“A nation in tears” is how President Shimon Peres summarised the nerve-wracking Wednesday in which Israel received the bodies of captured soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud (Udi) Goldwasser in return for the remains of 199 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters, four captured Hizbollah men and convicted murderer Samir Kuntar.

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Olmert’s ‘last chance’ to save his future

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2008

The cross-examination of key witness Morris Talansky that began yesterday (Thursday) in Jerusalem and will continue into next week is expected to be Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s last chance to save his political future.

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Obama to visit Israel and PA

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2008

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is scheduled to receive a red-carpet reception when he arrives in Israel and the Palestinian Authority next week on a whirlwind visit.

The exact date of Mr Obama’s visit is being kept a secret for security considerations also related to his planned visit to Afghanistan and Iraq.

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PM prepares for a Knesset address

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 10, 2008

An address to the Knesset on July 21 is likely to be part of a two-day visit to Israel by Gordon Brown, the JC understands.

Mr Brown’s visit was planned months ago to coincide with Israel’s 60th-anniversary celebrations. But it was delayed because of the crowded list of world leaders visiting Jerusalem of late.

US President George Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy have been there in recent weeks. After Mr Brown, it will be the turn of Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi.

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