Anshel Pfeffer

Can Iran's President Hassan Rouhani seduce Obama?

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2013

“Charm offensive” is the hackneyed phrase used in recent weeks to describe the intensive PR campaign being waged by Tehran on the Western media.

Small wonder that the office of Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not resist responding with a cliche of his own about Iran spinning the press and spinning centrifuges that enrich uranium.

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Israelis advised Kenyans during Naorobi mall terror siege

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2013

Israeli counter-terrorism experts were on hand to advise the Kenyan security forces facing the Al Shabaab terrorists who killed over 60 people at a shopping mall in Nairobi this week.

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CIA arms US-backed Syrian rebels

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 17, 2013

While the US-Russia deal to dismantle Syria’s chemical-weapons arsenal may have put the plans for a military strike on hold, there are signs that a clandestine campaign by the US to arm the rebels on the ground via the CIA is gaining pace.

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Israel cautiously optimistic about Syrian deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 17, 2013

Israeli leaders were cautiously enthusiastic this week following the deal reached by the US and Russia to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons.

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Detention for illegal immigrants to Israel court ruling

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 17, 2013

In a rare and unanimous landmark ruling, an expanded panel of Israeli High Court judges voted to strike down a Knesset law that enabled the police and the Interior Ministry to detain illegal immigrants for up to three years without trial.

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Bulgaria to indict Lebanese Burgas bombing suspects

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 16, 2013

The Bulgarian government is planning to indict two Lebanese men suspected of carrying out the Burgas terror bombing last year and try them in absentia if they are not extradited.

Six people were killed in the suicide attack that took place on a tourist bus in the resort of Burgas in July 2012; five of them were Israelis.

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Turkey and Israel ‘will mend fences’

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 13, 2013

Turkish officials are predicting an imminent rapprochement between Ankara and Jerusalem. A senior official last week told the Turkish daily Zaman that he did “not see any political obstacle standing in the way of normalisation”.

This comes despite fury in Israel over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent remarks that the Jewish state was behind the military takeover in Egypt.

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Does Israel have chemical munitions?

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 13, 2013

The current furore over the use of chemical weapons in Syria has also drawn attention to Israel’s alleged chemical capabilities.

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Egypt’s generals wary of sparking civil war

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2013

After arresting its leaders and killing hundreds of its supporters on the streets, the military-backed government in Egypt is now talking of disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is not clear, however, whether this a real threat or a ploy to block the Brotherhood from carrying out more mass demonstrations.

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Palestinians indicate talks are going nowhere

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2013

A flurry of contradicting statements and leaks from Palestinian officials on the ongoing talks with Israel has underlined the difficulties involved in making any progress in the negotiations, now in their second month.

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Israel sceptical over chemical weapons ‘deal’

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2013

Israeli officials were wary this week of responding to the Russian plan of securing Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles.

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Iran’s New Year charm offensive litters Twitter

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2013

The Iranian charm offensive that began with the election of Hassan Rouhani as president three months ago took a bizarre twist last week with a series of Rosh Hashanah greetings tweeted by the new president and his foreign minister. Meanwhile, diplomats are preparing new rounds of nuclear talks.

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EU signals it may review boycott on Israel projects

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2013

The European Union has signalled that it may reassess its restrictive guidelines over co-operation with Israel as talks began this week on a fresh EU-Israel agreement.

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Egypt’s national media in grip of bird-brained conspiracy theories

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan drew widespread criticism last month when he accused Israel of orchestrating the military coup in Egypt.

His “proof” was an anti-Muslim Brotherhood diatribe delivered two years earlier by Bernard-Henri Levy during a conference at which the French philosopher was seated next to Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

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Did secret IDF unit provide proof of chemical weapons use?

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2013

The most visible sign of the largest unit in the IDF is a series of giant golf-ball-shaped antennae. These can be seen from the main coastal road north of Tel Aviv and in similar, more remote, spots across the country.

Almost every other detail regarding Unit 8200, however, including the name of its commander, Brigadier General A, are not to be published in Israeli media.

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Hamas divided over Iran links

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2013

Hamas is split over the question of its ties with Iran in the wake of the civil war in Syria.

The Palestinian movement shut down its offices in Damascus last year and aligned itself with Egypt and Qatar but, following recent regional developments, it has found itself without supporters.

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Israel ‘ready for every scenario’

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2013

As the US plans to attack Syria have been put on hold for at least a week, the IDF has completed its preparations for possible retaliation against Israel and allowed some of the reservists who had been called up to go home.

Israeli intelligence analysts do not expect the Assad regime to risk trying to strike Israel following the US attack.

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Assad and Iranians are bolder now, fears Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2013

Israel was unfazed by last Thursday’s vote in Parliament against British military intervention in Syria.

The Israeli government believes that the Obama administration will still act without Britain and the main concerns are over the implications of the political difficulties in London and Washington for future action against Iran’s nuclear programme.

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Joy and pain as last Ethiopians make aliyah

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 30, 2013

A small group of toddlers are singing a Hebrew nursery rhyme in a room filled with Israeli posters. Their teacher asks them in Hebrew to point at their tummies, then their noses and their ears.

It could be any kindergarten class in Israel, but this Africa and these children are part of the last group of Ethiopian immigrants to be brought to Israel.

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France: we must revisit EU advisory

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 30, 2013

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has given the first indication that the European Union may make changes to its new guidelines on funding Israeli organisations.

The advisory limits all financial co-operation between Israel and the EU to organisations that are not involved in any operations beyond the Green Line.

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