Raffi Berg is the Middle East editor of the BBC News website. A journalist for 30 years, he has a particular interest in events in Israel, from where he has reported extensively in times of war and peace, most recently for the latest elections.
Growing up, Raffi was a student of Jewish and Israel studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and subsequently graduated in Modern and Medieval History from the London School of Economics. He started his career as a reporter on local radio in Liverpool, before moving into television news and, with the advent of the internet, digital journalism. News organisations he has worked for include Sky, ITN and the Associated Press. He was also a news editor for a US operation called the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, a branch of the CIA. The proudest part of his working life though, he says, has been his long period at the BBC, which he joined in 2001. It was here that he wrote an article headlined “The Holiday Village Run by Spies” - a piece of work which spawned his literary debut "Red Sea Spies: The True Story of the Mossad's Fake Holiday Resort". The book has been translated into several languages, including Russian, Hungarian and Hebrew. In his spare time, Raffi enjoys reading, especially non-fiction, and is developing ideas for a follow-up book. He lives in London with his wife and two children, and his appearance at the festival also marks his first trip to Gibraltar - a place he says he has long wanted to visit.