ToI podcast

Daily Briefing Oct. 3: US visa waiver ‘is gamechanger’ for bilateral ties and travel

US bureau chief Jacob Magid discusses visa waiver program success; news editor Luke Tress looks at award for anti-Israel ex-UN official; Jessica Steinberg talks Sukkot events

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.

US bureau chief Jacob Magid and news editor Luke Tress join host Jessica Steinberg for today’s podcast.

Magid discusses the factors that finally pushed forward Israel’s admission into the US Visa Waiver Program that will offer an easier entry process for Israeli travelers to the US, including finding solutions for handling security issues regarding Palestinian travelers at Ben Gurion International Airport.

He also talks about comments made by former US ambassador Tom Nides, who focused heavily on the program during his 18 months in office, and noted that when Israel wants something, it can figure out how to make it happen.

Tress looks at recent calls from US Jewish groups and organizations to participating law firms to cut their support for a significant legal award for Navi Pillay, the former UN human rights official accused of bias against Israel and the Jewish people. Tress discusses the deeply interwoven relationships between Pillay and the top law firms funding the award.

Steinberg mentions events taking place throughout Israel for the holiday of Sukkot, including two upcoming shows from US pop star Bruno Mars for Tel Aviv audiences of 60,000 each.

She also talks about efforts made by the Brown boutique hotel chain to make several of their Tel Aviv hotels more amenable to religious clientele, with kosher kitchens and sukkahs built on roof decks.

Discussed articles include:

US admits Israel into Visa Waiver Program, in major boost to bilateral ties

Ex-envoy Nides: Visa waiver success proves Israel can make concessions when it wants

Leading US Jewish groups decry top legal award for anti-Israel UN official

Pop star Bruno Mars makes his way to Tel Aviv for two shows

Hip Brown hotel chain embarks on holy quest for Tel Aviv’s religious visitors

Subscribe to The Times of Israel Daily Briefing on iTunes, Spotify, PlayerFM, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Check out yesterday’s Daily Briefing episode:

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