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Daily Briefing May 26 – Back to real life: COVID progress and coalition deadlock

Tune in Sunday through Thursday to hear ToI editors and reporters quickly catch you up on what’s important today

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.

Today’s panel comprises political correspondent Tal Schneider and health reporter Nathan Jeffay, along with host Amanda Borschel-Dan.

We begin today’s episode with an update on the lifting of coronavirus restrictions here in Israel. The well-vaccinated country is doing away with most restrictions on gatherings, and will no longer limit entry to certain venues only to the vaccinated. However, the use of masks indoors is yet to be changed. Why?

With the lifting of most restrictions and the very low infection rate, reports of vaccinations for children ages 12-15 by the end of May have some parents asking whether their kids actually need to be vaccinated. Jeffay presents new research that may see youths and adults under 30 only receive one dose, which may alleviate some parents’ concerns.

On the domestic political front, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid only has until June 2 to firm up any possible coalition. As the numbers still don’t add up, is this just an exercise in futility? And what of Yamina head Naftali Bennett and New Hope partner Gideon Sa’ar?

Amid the horrific rioting that took place in many mixed Arab-Jewish cities during Operation Guardian of the Walls, there were several poignant stories illustrating that people really do just want to get along. Jeffay brings a couple.

And finally, Schneider discusses just what was significant about the recent visit of United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It’s not what you think.

Discussed articles include:

As virus fades, Israel to lift all COVID restrictions on gatherings

Israel may begin vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds by end of May

Still far short of majority, Lapid finalizes coalition deal with Meretz

Eyeing ‘change government,’ would-be partners up pressure on holdout Bennett

In emotional reunion, Jewish victim of Arab mob thanks Arab nurse who saved him

In Ramallah, Blinken announces plans to reopen US consulate in Jerusalem

Blinken: Hamas’s foothold in Gaza could slip if US-led rehabilitation successful

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