In Brief: Coalition talks imperilled as Islamists withdraw amid violence

The Islamist Ra’am party announced on Monday that it was suspending coalition talks with the anti-Netanyahu “change bloc” in the wake of Hamas rocket fire from Gaza. The move represents a potentially major blow to the hopes for an anti-Netanyahu government, which began last week when the prime minister’s mandate expired after he failed to[…]

In Brief: Revolutionary Guards tighten grip as Iran looks to elections

A number of potential presidential candidates in Iran have emerged out of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), raising concerns regarding the further militarisation of the country’s politics. Hopefuls have until Saturday to formally register their status as a candidate ahead of the election on 18 June. Their names will then be handed to the[…]

In Brief: Israel and Lebanon move towards gas row agreement

  Israeli and Lebanese negotiators have restarted talks over disputed offshore gas reserves in the Mediterranean sea. Previous talks over the maritime border dispute  collapsed in October 2020 following an attempt by Beirut to extend its claims deep into what Israel considers its exclusive economic zone. Israel pushed back in November, with energy minister Yuval Steinitz[…]

In Brief: Biden endorses Arab normalisation with Israel

US president Joe Biden has expressed his support for the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Arab countries and Israel that has developed out of last year’s Abraham Accords. In a phone call with the UAE’s crown prince Mohamad bin Zayed Al Nahyen on Tuesday, Biden “underlined the strategic importance of the normalisation of relations between[…]

In Brief: Netanyahu’s government formation mandate expires

Benjamin Netanyahu’s mandate to form a coalition government following Israel’s March general election expired on Tuesday night. After 28 days of negotiations, Netanyahu announced that he had failed to persuade enough other parties to join a government led by his Likud party. Netanyahu’s efforts ultimately failed when Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the far-right Religious Zionism[…]

In Brief: Israel mourns its worst ever civilian disaster with 45 dead

Israel experienced its worst ever civilian disaster last week, when a stampede at Mount Meron in the northern Galilee led to the deaths of at least 45 people. More than 100,000 people, mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews, gathered at the annual Lag B’Omer celebrations, which include visits to the gravesite of the second century rabbi Shimon Bar[…]

Rosie Cooper pushes FCDO on International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

LFI vice-chair Rosie Cooper today pushed Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly on potential UK membership of the international board of the International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. “It is now five months since the US Congress passed a $250 million Act to create the international fund for Israeli-Palestinian peace,[…]

David Evans holds first meeting with Eran Harmoni, Israeli Labor Secretary General

General Secretary of the UK Labour Party, David Evans, has met with his counterpart, Eran Harmoni, Secretary General of the Israeli Labor Party. LFI Chair Steve McCabe MP joined the meeting.   It was the first meeting between the two General Secretaries of the sister parties in over four years, and the first formal meeting between[…]

LFI vice-chair: Labor’s ‘pink-collar revolution’ offers a vision for feminist politics in the 2020s

Labour Friends of Israel vice-chair Rosie Cooper MP has written for LabourList. Click here to read the original. UK Labour can learn from the example of Merav Michaeli, new leader of Israel’s Labor Party The challenges facing Israel’s Labor Party will sound all too familiar to all of us; at successive elections, its support has slumped[…]