Limor Simhony Philpott

Dr. Limor Simhony is a freelance writer. She was previously a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv.

Why Iran is stepping up its maritime piracy

On Tuesday there was an attempted hijacking of a tanker in the Gulf of Oman. According to the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), nine armed men boarded a Panama-flagged tanker before leaving several hours later – reportedly after the ship’s crew sabotaged the vessel’s engines. The UK believes this attempted hijacking was the latest in

Why Israel is rolling out a third Covid jab

Israel has today become the first country in the world to offer a third Covid-19 booster vaccine on a large scale. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that Israel will vaccinate all people over the age of 60 again, with the new Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, and his wife, the first people to receive their third

How Israel can block Iran’s nuclear dreams

In his first press conference, Iran’s new President unequivocally objected to renegotiating the Obama-era nuclear deal. Israel’s new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, will be unimpressed. He reacted to the election of hardliner Ibrahim Raisi by saying that it’s ‘the last chance for world powers to wake up… and understand who they are doing business with’.

Can Naftali Bennett’s anti-Bibi coalition survive?

Sunday saw a watershed moment in Israeli politics: Bibi Netanyahu was removed from power after 12 years, and his government replaced by an eclectic coalition headed by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, both of whom will serve as Prime Minister under a rotation agreement, starting with Bennett. It may be that one of Bibi’s greatest

Bibi is back

Is Benjamin Netanyahu’s time up? A fortnight ago, it seemed so. Netanyahu’s mandate for forming a coalition expired. The opportunity was handed instead to Yair Lapid, leader of Israel’s second largest political party Yesh Atid. Many dissatisfied Israelis started to hope: after four inconclusive elections, there was finally a chance to oust Netanyahu. But then hostilities broke out between Israel and

The battle the Israeli Defense Force can’t win

The hostilities between Israel and Gaza caught Netanyahu’s government by surprise. What started as a local demonstration by Palestinians against ongoing efforts to evict them quickly escalated into violent clashes with a heavy-handed Israeli police. Hamas then demanded Israel remove its forces from the area, including the nearby Al-Aqsa mosque, or face reprisals. When they

Can Iran help keep King Bibi in power?

Benjamin Netanyahu has a problem: he doesn’t have sufficient support to form a coalition. With 20 days left to complete this near impossible task, he is desperate; and, when backed into a corner, Netanyahu looks to Iran as his saviour. The timing of the recent explosion in Iran’s Natanz’s nuclear facility – and particularly the

What Britain can learn from Israel’s vaccine passports

Boris Johnson’s announcement about vaccine passports was met with criticism from backbenchers on both sides of the political spectrum. The scheme was described as potentially ‘discriminatory’ with warnings that it may lead to a ‘two-tier’ Britain. Labour leader Keir Starmer even said the use of vaccine passports is ‘not British.’ Given the deep suspicion towards

Is time up for King Bibi?

In the run-up to its fourth election in two years, Israel is enjoying its vaccine success story. The number of seriously ill Covid patients is in decline, the R rate is slowly falling and the economy has started to reopen. But prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not reaping the rewards. Support for Netanyahu’s party, Likud,

Is it time to ban New Year fireworks?

When I was 11, Iraqi scud missiles exploded next to our home, collapsing part of our roof while I huddled together with my younger siblings on my parents’ bed wearing gas masks. This was in 1991, during the Gulf War when Israel was under attacks for the better part of January and February. I lived

King Bibi’s pandemic problem

‘They are S-C-A-R-E-D’. So said Binyamin Netanyahu in a famous 1999 election campaign speech, referring to the media. Now he is the one who is scared. The political mastermind who has been Prime Minister for the past eleven years stands to lose his crown. Israel’s political crisis of 2019-2020 saw three general elections without producing