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Daily Briefing Mar. 21: Day 167 – The Israeli PM is (again) a partisan issue in the US

Editor David Horovitz weighs in on what’s happening with a potential hostage deal, a looming Rafah operation and how Israel is 5th place in happiness rankings. Say what?

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 20-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world.

Today is day 167 of the war with Hamas. Editor David Horovitz joins host Amanda Borschel-Dan for today’s episode.

We begin today’s episode with more ripples felt from US Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer’s 45-minute speech last Thursday calling for Israeli elections as the war winds down and branding Netanyahu as an obstacle to peace. Yesterday, Netanyahu spoke to a group of Republican senators and US House Speaker Mike Johnson confirmed that the legislative chamber’s Republican caucus is considering inviting Netanyahu to address Congress. What does it mean as Israel — or at least Netanyahu — becomes an increasingly partisan issue?

Netanyahu said yesterday he would “soon approve plans to evacuate the civilian population” from Rafah ahead of an expected major operation in the southern Gaza city. At the same time, he acknowledged that preparations for the operation “will take some time,” as Jerusalem continues its dialogue with Washington. What new information do we have on a looming Rafah operation?

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel on Friday, but yesterday he said that the “gaps are narrowing” between Israel and Hamas on an extended truce and hostage deal. What are we hearing from Israeli hostage families?

Though the findings predated the Hamas massacre of October 7 and the subsequent war in Gaza, Israel was fifth place in the World Happiness rankings for 2024. Horovitz weighs in.

For the latest updates, please see The Times of Israel’s ongoing live blog.

Discussed articles include:

Live blog March 21, 2024

US speaker says House GOP weighing asking Netanyahu to address Congress

Never mind Chuck Schumer’s hopes and fears, what Israel do Israelis want?

‘Gaps closing’ in hostage talks, Blinken says as he begins 6th wartime trip to region

Israel drops one place to 5th in global happiness list; Finland retains top spot

THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Civilians and soldiers killed in Hamas’s onslaught on Israel

THOSE WE ARE MISSING: The hostages and victims whose fate is still unknown

Subscribe to The Times of Israel Daily Briefing on Apple PodcastsSpotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves.

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