In Brief: Iran executes champion wrestler

Amnesty International described Iran’s execution of wrestler Navid Afkari as a “travesty of justice”. The 27-year-old was sentenced to death over a security guard murder that occurred during a 2018 wave of anti-government protests. Afkari alleged his confession was secured by torture, stating in audio released by the human rights organisation: “If I am executed,[…]

In Brief: Israeli cabinet approves full national lockdown

The Knesset’s coronavirus cabinet has agreed to a three-week national lockdown in Israel as cases continue to spike. The decision came ahead of the Jewish high holy days while Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya is said to be overwhelmed and turning away new covid-19 patients. On Sunday, Haredi Minister Yaakov Litzman resigned from cabinet, telling[…]

Analysis: Israel and Bahrain normalise relations as historic UAE agreement is signed

In the third announcement of its kind in as many weeks, the Israeli and Bahraini Governments announced the normalising of relations. This follows a similar agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and two Balkan states.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu traveled to Washington DC for a four day trip to be part of the[…]

LFI chair: The left’s fixation on Israel has stifled fresh analysis about long-term stability in the Middle East

LFI chair Steve McCabe has written for The House, click here to read the original. Relations in the Middle East are shifting. Labour Friends of Israel will help craft a new internationalist approach to the region, while standing up to anti-Semitism in our party Labour Friends of Israel this week doubled our number of vice-chairs[…]

In brief: Police clashes as anti-Bibi protests enter eleventh week

Last Saturday, about 20,000 protesters gathered outside Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem. With parallel gatherings held outside Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea and at over 300 bridges and major intersections nationwide, the demonstrations are in their eleventh consecutive week. Activists are calling on the prime minister to resign in light of his ongoing corruption[…]

In brief: Two former Yugoslavian states pledge to open Jerusalem embassies

Having originally refused to recognise the independence of Kosovo, Israel has struck another deal of diplomatic firsts. The Jewish state is to recognise Kosovo, which will open an embassy in Jerusalem – the first Muslim country to do so. Its neighbour Serbia will move its embassy to Jerusalem by July 2021. The deal announced by[…]

In brief: Hamas and Hezbollah to maintain an ‘axis of resistance’ against Israel

The Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV announced on Sunday that leaders of Hezbollah and the Hamas met to discuss the consequences of diplomatic normalisation between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates. The meeting comes on the back of US President Donald Trump announcing Israel and the UAE agreeing to normalise relations, including the establishment of direct[…]

Analysis: Netanyahu under pressure during second wave lockdowns

Having hailed victory over coronavirus back in May, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now embarrassed and appearing indecisive over his response to the second wave hitting the Jewish state. Israel operates a four part traffic light system based on the number of new patients per 10,000 residents, ‘red’ being most severe and ‘green’ being[…]

LFI Director: My progressive values mean I support Labour — and Israel

LFI director Michael Rubin has written in the Jewish Chronicle. Click here to view the original. This week I start as Director of LFI. After five years of Jeremy Corbyn, and 10 years of increasingly right-wing government in Israel, friends of Israel have questioned if they can still find a home in Labour, while progressives[…]