Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commends his military for ‘quick and forceful’ retaliation

Railway to Damascus is being staged at Tel Aviv's Habima theatre

Israeli veterans wounded by 'offensive' play

Drama set in 1940s shows woman's execution after she has child with British officer

Israel passes draconian law on illegal immigrants

Israel's parliament approved harsh new penalties on illegal immigrants yesterday in an effort to stop mainly sub-Saharan Africans seeking refuge from conflict and poverty.

Ultraorthodox men with a sign reading: 'Women are asked not to linger here'

Sexism and the state of Israel

Driven by a theology that refuses to grant women equal rights, ultraorthodox Jews have begun to flex their misogynist muscles. But, says Catrina Stewart, a fightback has begun

Nick Clegg held a joint press conference with Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, at Admiralty House

Diary: Chin up, Ed. Nobody likes you, but your job looks safe

Ed Miliband has not had a good start to the year. There has been a run of unhelpful stories, and now an opinion poll which suggests that the only opposition leaders for a generation whose popular standing was worse than his were Michael Foot and Iain Duncan Smith. The latest survey by YouGov, for The Sunday Times, showed that 20 per cent think Miliband is doing well, but 66 per cent say he is doing badly. That is a score of minus 46.

TV news anchor joins the political fray

One of Israel's most popular television personalities quit the news business yesterday to start his own political party, a move that could shake up the Israeli political system by energising opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Werritty met Miliband official

Adam Werritty, Liam Fox's former adviser whose activities led to the Defence Secretary's resignation, held official talks with a senior civil servant at the Foreign Office when Labour was in power, it emerged last night.

Republican leadership candidate Mitt Romney says the greatest threat to the world is a nuclear Iran

Adrian Hamilton: The more we talk of war with Iran, the more likely it becomes

The frightening thing is that so many discuss war as if it was perfectly rational

Palestinian and Israeli mediators restart security talks

Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators yesterday held their first face-to-face meeting in more than a year, searching for a formula to restart long-stalled negotiations.

Britain last hosted the Olympics in 1948

Olympics 1948 & 2012: Two Games - 64 years, and worlds apart

With the 2012 Games' now only 208 days away, the IoS interviewed some of the surviving 1948 British Olympians...

Israel accused over 'provocative' new homes in Jerusalem

Israel has been accused by the UK of hampering peace efforts with another "provocative and deeply counter-productive" step after authorities approved construction in sensitive areas of Jerusalem.

Leading article: The battle for Israel's soul

If the state of Israel is threatened, the assumption has been, that threat comes from outside – from militant Palestinian groups vowing to drive it into the sea or, more recently, from Iran. It is increasingly apparent, however, that the survival of Israel as a democratic and modern state is also threatened from within, specifically by its own ultra-Orthodox minority.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Israel’s leader has condemned rabbis who call for discrimination against Arabs

Secret paper reveals EU broadside over plight of Israel's Arabs

Memo seen by The Independent highlights tensions between Tel Aviv and Europe.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal leads the Christmas midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Hundreds pack Bethlehem church for Christmas Mass

Hundreds of Christians, defying lashing rain and wind, filled the ancient Bethlehem church that marks Jesus's traditional birthplace for Christmas Day Mass today.

Crowds gather in Manger Square, next to the Church of the Nativity, as people ready to celebrate Christmas eve in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

Crowds return to enjoy merry Christmas in Bethlehem

Tens of thousands of tourists and Christian pilgrims packed the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations Saturday, bringing warm holiday cheer to the traditional birthplace of Jesus on a raw, breezy and rainy night.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own