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Daily Briefing July 14: True reason for Biden’s visit; civil marriage game-changer

Senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur presents a different narrative for the US president’s Israel trip; legal correspondent Jeremy Sharon on the Bibi trial and Utah online weddings

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.

Senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur and legal correspondent Jeremy Sharon join host Amanda Borschel-Dan on today’s episode.

Israel has welcomed US President Joe Biden with all due pomp and circumstance, and he has been busy, paying a poignant visit to Yad Vashem, viewing Israel’s defense technology, and meeting with Prime Minister Yair Lapid. But some analysts are scratching their heads trying to figure out why he is really here and what he hopes to accomplish with this trip to the Middle East. Rettig Gur provides some important context for Biden’s travels — and goals.

We also hear whether or not part of the Biden visit is to influence the upcoming November 1 Israeli elections.

Sharon updates us about the ongoing trial of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including details that emerged from the explosive testimony of key prosecution witness Hadas Klein. Klein is the personal assistant of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and an aide to Australian billionaire James Packer, both of whose luxury gifts to Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are at the heart of Case 1000, one of the cases in which the former premier is standing trial.

Sharon updates us on a potentially game-changing step on the way to Israeli civil marriage.

Discussed articles include:

Why Biden’s 10th visit to Israel must be his most productive

Biden, Lapid to sign ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ – a platform for US-Israel cooperation

Witness details Sara Netanyahu suicide threat over pool refit; $46,000 bracelet gift

Court rules online civil marriages valid, upending Israel’s religious status quo

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