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 our editor David Horovitz and investigative reporter Simona Weinglass, along with host Amanda Borschel-Dan.
We begin the program with some updates about the increasingly disquieting coronavirus infection spreading in vaccinated Israel, even as serious cases hover only around 29. This week Prime Minister Naftali Bennett again called on parents to vaccinate their 12- to 15-year-old children and brought his own daughter to a vaccination center for her shot.
Also this week, within the flurry of diplomatic visits and phone calls, Bennett spoke with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and the two men agreed to meet soon. Between Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s recent trip to the United Arab Emirates and outgoing President Reuven Rivlin’s farewell tour of the United States, are we seeing a new era of international relations?
And finally, we focus on an investigative report about Payoneer, which started trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange this week. It achieved a market cap of $3.5 billion on the first day of trading, which would have been a big story in any case, but what made it even more newsworthy is that Bennett invested in the company 13 years ago, becoming about $5 million wealthier this week. The fly in the ointment? Over the years, at least some of Payoneer’s profits came from processing payments for pornography websites and scams.