Arieh Kovler

Arieh Kovler is a political analyst and writer based in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu’s strategy in Rafah isn’t working

On 7 April, six months after the October massacres in southern Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the public that the country was just ‘one step away from victory’ in its war against Hamas in Gaza. Nearly two months later, Israel hasn’t taken that step yet. The war continues. No more hostages have been released

Why Biden’s plan to sanction an IDF battalion could backfire

The Biden administration is planning to announce sanctions against a part of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). On the one hand, this would be the latest in a series of US and European sanctions targeting Israeli settler organisations linked to violence against Palestinians. On the other, it’s an unprecedented legal action by the United States

Netanyahu can’t ignore the scale of Iran’s attack

Today was supposed to be the day we sent our kids back to nursery. For two weeks, my toddler and baby have been home with a nasty stomach bug that turned out to be shigella, a bacterium that causes dysentery and that has been ripping through Israeli troops in Gaza. Then, on Saturday night, Rear Admiral

Israel has faced its darkest day for 50 years

While preparing to head out to synagogue to join the dancing and celebration for the Simchat Torah festival, the rocket sirens started sounding. As we grabbed the kids and ran to our safe room (all new Israeli houses are built with one), I assumed there must have been some incident overnight, some Israeli escalation to

Israel’s politics is collapsing

Here we go again. On Monday, Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Prime Minister, announced that he would bring a bill to dissolve the Knesset and trigger yet another election. After a seemingly endless procession of elections, Bennett’s rainbow coalition was a brief respite from constant campaigning that exhausted the populace and bankrupted the political parties. Comprising factions

Israel scraps its redundant vaccine passports

So farewell, then, to Israel’s vaccine passport, the green pass. Less than three months after coming into effect, the Covid vaccination certification scheme was scrapped today, along with almost all of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions in public places. Israel was the first country to introduce a vaccine passport back in March. Cafes, bars, restaurants, gyms

Inside Israel’s Iron Dome

A dramatic photo from the Gaza strip taken in the early hours of Friday morning looks like something out of a Marvel film. On the right, rockets fly from Gaza. The gentle trajectory of their parabolic curves shouldn’t fool anyone: these are unguided explosives travelling at hundreds of miles an hour towards an Israeli town. On

Israel’s worrying descent into violence

I didn’t hear the boom on Monday night. I didn’t hear the siren either, due to some loud renovations. Sitting at my desk in the bomb shelter in my flat that doubles as a home office, I found out we were under rocket attack by reading about it on Twitter. With the blast door and

Riots in Jerusalem

In 2015, I was nearly beaten by a far-right mob in Jerusalem. Thursday night’s riot in the holy city reminded me a lot of that evening. Thankfully, this time, nobody died, but that same feeling of tension, anger and violence was in the air. My run in with the mob began at a small vigil

Beware the rise of state-sponsored cyberattacks

In November 2014, a glowing red skeleton appeared on the computer screens of executives at Sony Pictures Entertainment. ‘Hacked,’ began the accompanying message. It went on to explain that Sony data had been stolen and would be released to the world. ‘This is only the beginning,’ it warned. Gossipy emails about Angelina Jolie, licensing problems

Don’t count Bibi out just yet

Elections are supposed to settle things. That’s the idea, at least. Politicians argue, take decisions and pursue the policies they want to, but there comes a day when they have to answer to the public and face their judgment. A day after Israel’s fourth parliamentary election in two years, no verdicts are forthcoming, not even

Is Israel’s green pass the key for lifting lockdown?

Coronavirus rates in Israel right now are among the highest in the world. But that didn’t stop the Israeli government from lifting its strict lockdown and, yesterday, reopening most of its retail economy. Non-essential shops, shopping centres, libraries and museums reopened to the general public after being closed for more than six weeks, despite the