Anshel Pfeffer

Last ditch attempt to save Israeli-Palestinian peace talks continue

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 10, 2014

Marathon talks were still ongoing this week in a last attempt to save the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Meanwhile, in Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry, who put so much personal effort into launching the talks nine months ago, appeared to be placing most of the blame on Israel for their failure.

More..

Ehud Olmert faces fresh probe

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 10, 2014

A week after he was convicted on charges of bribe-taking and fraud in the Holyland case, former prime minister Ehud Olmert was once again being interrogated by the police, this time for allegedly obstructing justice.

On Monday, Olmert was confronted with the claims made by his long-serving secretary and chief of staff, Shula Zaken.

More..

Adelson takes another chunk of Israeli media

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 10, 2014

This week, Ma’ariv, once the most popular newspaper in Israel, got its fifth owner in less than four years when it was bought by Jerusalem Post owner Eli Azur for NIS 4 million (£700,000).

Mr Azur was taking advantage of a fire-sale of the media assets of UK-born businessman Shlomo Ben Zvi, whose firm owed NIS 3.5 million (£600,000) to creditors and employees.

More..

Peace talks edge closer to abyss

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 3, 2014

The talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were on the brink of collapse this week.

By Wednesday, the Americans had suspended their role as go-betweens, Israel had refused to release the last tranche of prisoners and the PA had formally requested recognition as a member-state from international organisations.

More..

IDF and Hamas taking digs at each other over discovery of Gaza tunnel

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 27, 2014

The discovery of a large tunnel leading from Gaza to Israel has led to a war of words between Israel and Hamas.

The tunnel, one of the longest discovered so far, leads 700 metres east of the border, and runs close to the Israeli communities of Kibbutz Nirim and Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, according to the Israeli army officers who uncovered it.

More..

Threat to ‘Bibi’s paper’ Yisrael Ha'Yom

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 27, 2014

Members of six different Knesset parties have backed legislation designed to limit the influence of Yisrael Ha’yom, the free daily newspaper financed by casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson which supports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the seven years since it began being distributed for free, the paper has become the country’s most widely-read, eclipsing tabloid Yediot Ahronot.

More..

Jenin gunfight sparks fear of more violence

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 27, 2014

A firefight in the Jenin refugee camp which resulted in the deaths of three Palestinians has raised fears of renewed anarchy in the West Bank.

More..

John Kerry bids to save Middle East peace deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 27, 2014

As the deadline for an agreement on the extension of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority neared this weekend, US Secretary of State John Kerry was in frantic talks with Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday.

A few weeks ago, the two sides were awaiting an agreement which would contain the foundations for a future peace deal.

More..

Iran and Hamas bury the hatchet

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 20, 2014

Hamas and Iran have officially patched up their differences after the Syrian Civil War caused the Palestinian organisation to cut ties with Tehran.

Khaled Mashal, Hamas’s political chief, is expected to visit Iran in the coming weeks and meet the country’s leadership.

More..

Boom and bust-up: Iran nuclear negotiations end without results

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 20, 2014

A second round of negotiations between the P5+1 group and the Iranian government on Iran’s nuclear programme ended this week without results and accusations flying between Israel, the US and the Islamic Republic.

More..

Ukrainian PM tells rabbi: we will protect you

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 20, 2014

Ukraine’s acting prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has assured the Jewish community that the new government will do more to protect them.

A recent spate of antisemitic attacks has been blamed on both an upsurge of nationalism following last month’s Maidan revolution and an attempt by pro-Russian elements to create “provocations”.

More..

Israel’s ‘best soldier’ Meir Har Zion dies

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 20, 2014

Moshe Dayan described him as “the best soldier in the IDF”, generations of Israeli special forces strove to emulate his deeds and some of the army’s core values were laid down by him.

More..

Israel Air Force pilot says Malaysia jet did not malfunction

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 20, 2014

“Whoever did what was done there, he certainly knew what he was doing,” said Eran Ramot, head of aviation research at the Fisher Institute for air and space strategic studies in Israel.

More..

Leaders have only days to save the peace process

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 20, 2014

The peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are on the brink of collapse.

Despite US President Barack Obama’s meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas this week, there is still virtually no clause in the current framework agreement — the core principles for negotiations — that both sides agree on.

More..

Ukrainian Rabbis come out against Russia

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 14, 2014

World leaders are scratching their heads in an effort to divine Russian President Vladimir Putin’s next move. How far will he go? Will he annex Crimea? Will he send his troops further into eastern Ukraine?

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Jewish leaders have made a brave joint decision to overcome their disunity and publicly support the new government in Kiev.

More..

Capture of Iran ship fails to make waves

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 13, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the visit to Tehran by the EU’s foreign policy chief this week as Israel presented missiles that Iran was shipping to terror organisations in the Gaza Strip.

Mr Netanyahu was speaking on Monday at Eilat Port where the IDF put on display 40 M-302 missiles and other ammunition captured by Israeli commandos in the Red Sea last week.

More..

Palestinian President Abbas in talks with Obama

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 13, 2014

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will arrive at the White House on Monday for a potentially crucial meeting with US President Barack Obama on the future of the talks with Israel. The deadline for the end of the current stage of the talks is at the end of the month and American mediators have so far failed to deliver a frame agreement to launch the next stage of negotiations.

More..

Cameron tells Knesset that Britain’s commitment to Israel’s security is rock solid

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 13, 2014

SCROLL DOWN FOR AUDIO OF DAVID CAMERON'S SPEECH TO THE KNESSET

On the face of it, the barrage of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel, a giant row over laws passing through the Knesset and the chaotic fall-out from a Foreign Ministry strike all threatened to overshadow Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Israel this week.

More..

Political war looms as Charedi draft becomes law

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 13, 2014

Three controversial laws were passed by the Knesset this week in a legislative push that created rare unity among the opposition.

The laws raised Israel’s electoral threshold to 3.25 per cent, established criminal sanctions against Charedi yeshiva students who refuse to enlist in the IDF and that any decision to relinquish Israeli-held territory will have to be authorised by a referendum.

More..

Cameron: I stand with you

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 13, 2014

In his address to the Knesset on Wednesday, Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirmed Britain’s commitment to Israel’s security and the peace process and reiterated his steadfast opposition to any legislation against shechita in Britain.

More..