Israel Daily News Podcast
Wed. Jan 20, 2021
The U.S. has a new president; Israel has new lockdown regulations and the Christian world has a new piece of history bringing them closer to their history.
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Music: Erika Krall Flying High — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE0fnZ9Ktuk
- In a unanimous decision Tuesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved his proposal to extend the current, nation-wide lockdown by ten more days. The closure has been in effect since January 5th, and was supposed to end tomorrow night, Thursday. However with seriously high infection rates, reaching more than 10,000 new cases on Monday — which is a first since March, the cabinet has decided to extend the lockdown until January 31st. Even though Israel is leading the world with it’s vaccination campaign, inoculating more than 2 million Israelis, or around 20 percent of the entire population, Covid-19 cases are rampant. Health ministry officials say they believe new, more contagious strains of Covid are to blame, with the British variant accounting for 30 to 40% of current infections.This is the third lockdown for Israel since March of 2020. Also — a new regulation to note. You will officially need a negative Covid test from within the last 72 hours in order to enter Israel. Those who can’t prove their health status will need to fork over 2500 shekels or 772 dollars.
- The world is erupting today as US president Trump leaves the white house and hands over power to incoming US PRESIDENT Joe Biden and his vice president Kamala Harris. Harris is the first female vice president in US history and the first person of color to to take the seat. As the regime changes in the US, it will also affect all the party members and public servants who have been appointed by Trump including the ambassador to Israel. David Friedman, the current US ambassador to Israel will be going out at 7 pm Israel time when the inauguration occurs at 12 pm Eastern time and rumor has it that Daniel Shapiro could be in. He worked the role from 2011 until Trump took office in 2016. His name is listed with a handful of others who are qualified for the seat. Shapiro remained in Israel after his role as envoy concluded. Prime Minister Netanyahu praised outgoing ambassador Friedman calling him the best US ambassador yet, saying he brought relations with the US to a high and corrected diplomatic injustices in global democracy. Friedman now has a new twitter account, says he will split up his time between Israel, New York and Florida and will be resisting Israeli citizenship for another 4 years in hopes of returning to the political sphere. When working for the government, you’re supposed to have just 1 citizenship.
- For many American Jews, the Iran deal, which President Trump kicked to the curb once in office, is a big deal. Iran outwardly threatens Israel’s right to exist and there are questions over whether the country can be trusted with a nuclear program. Biden’s nominee for U.S. secretary says Tony Blinken, says if Iran comes into compliance, the U.S. would too, but not without the support of Israel and Arab ally countries in the gulf region. Essentially saying before making any decisions about the Iran deal, he would consult with Israelis and other Arab diplomats in the area. I’ll be following that story.
- Former U.S. President Trump and his foreign affairs officials have brought a lot of peace and normalization deals to the table for Israel and Muslim countries in the region in the last years. Following the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, reports are out that Mauritania and Indonesia were next on the list. But time ran out. Reports say it was just a matter of weeks before Mauritania would sign a normalziation deal with Israel. The nation is an Atlantic coast country in Western Africa. Indonesia would have been next, it’s an island country near New Guinea between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
- A 1500 year old inscription was found on an old excavated Byzantine or Islamic period building. And the words in Greek say “Christ, was born of Mary.” The section was uncovered in northern Israel and announced by the Israel Antiquities Authority today. The building has mosaic pavements with geometric designs and tiles on it.