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Daily Briefing May 23: Netanyahu finally gets UAE invite, but not the one he wanted

Diplomatic correspondent Lazar Berman brings headlines from the annual Herzliya Conference; religion reporter Canaan Lidor on stymied conversions and dying European communities

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 religion reporter Canaan Lidor join host Amanda Borschel-Dan in today’s episode.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog received an invite from the United Arab Emirates yesterday. But Berman explains why it’s not exactly the invite the premier was looking for.

The annual Herzliya Conference took place yesterday. We hear why it’s so newsworthy and some of the major headlines that came out of it.

Lidor wrote a troubling piece about how the lack of a 10-second inspection of a previously done circumcision is holding up the conversion of dozens of men in Israel. What is going on here?

We hear about nonprofit ITIM’s annual report on conversions to Judaism, which shows that the number of conversions is decreasing even as the number of Israelis listed “without religion” grows — along with the conversion authority’s budget. How does this add up?

Israeli media is filled with rumors of direct flights from Israel to Jeddah. Is this — or a larger agreement — really in the offing?

And finally, we hear from Lidor about the grim state of several smaller European Jewish communities. While leaders are hanging on, he has found that their children are increasingly immigrating to Israel and there is a question about these communities’ survivability.

Discussed articles include:

After months of delays, Netanyahu receives invitation to visit UAE for world summit

Defense Ministry to invest heavily in AI in bid to improve intel on Iran

Judicial fight is ‘source of pride for the country,’ says Herzog

A single absentee mohel is thwarting dozens of converts at very end of their journey

Israel reportedly in ‘advanced’ talks for direct flights to Hajj in Saudi Arabia

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