Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.
Diplomatic correspondent Lazar Berman and news editor Amy Spiro join host Amanda Borschel-Dan in today’s packed episode. Also included at the end of the program is a brief excerpt from a previous 2020 podcast with President Isaac Herzog in which he speaks about his mother Aura Herzog, who died Sunday night aged 97.
We begin our conversation with an update from Spiro about the Western Wall compromise and where it stands today. What recent changes have brought it to the news, and will anything move forward under the new government?
Next, Berman sheds light on a little-known Alabama-based Christian group called the United States-Israel Education Association. With a small staff of only 10 paid employees, the group has been instrumental in shaping US policy and budgeting on several key defense measures, as well as a new push for pharma in the Mideast.
We then hear about the bizarrely convoluted race to replace Herzog as head of the Jewish Agency. What has gone awry and what do four of the front-runners stand for?
Finally, Spiro speaks about Israel’s Winter Olympics figure skating hopeful, Hailey Kops. The American-born Orthodox immigrant has paired up with Israeli veteran Evgeni Krasnopolski to become one of 19 couples to qualify for the Olympics.