The Jerusalem Post Podcast brings you behind-the-scenes interviews with JPost's top reporters, editors and columnists, as well as special interviews with Israeli experts and politicians to offer insight, commentary and opinion on the biggest stories in Israel.
Donald Trump and the Jews
In this episode of the JPost Podcast, we talk to the Washington Bureau Chief Michael Wilner about his investigative report on Donald Trump and the Jews.
In his article, Wilner sought to resolve the competing narratives of Trump as a Semitophile, whose daughter converted to Judaism and bore him Jewish grandchildren, and Trump as a bigot, who tolerates or even emboldens anti-Semitic voices.
Wilner snagged some interesting interviews, including Trump supporter David Duke, a former KKK imperial wizard, and Tony Schwartz, who ghostwrote Trump’s bestseller “Art of the Deal” and has recently spoken out strongly against him.
Why Starbucks failed in Israel, and only in Israel
It’s an odd point of pride, perhaps, but Israelis take a strange satisfaction in the fact that their country is the only one where Starbucks, the international coffee giant, failed.
On social media, when the factoid is raised as part of a clever tourism marketing campaign or even an effort to tempt the company to try its luck in the Holy Land a second time,the reactions are fairly universal. 'We don’t want you here,' people seem to say. 'We make better coffee on our own.'
While the fact of Starbucks Israeli failure is well-known, the reasons behind it are less widely understood.
This week, the JPost Podcast brings you a special episode on why the coffee giant failed in Israel and only in Israel. The episode was produced by TLV1.fm, an English-language radio station in Israel that originally aired the episode. You can find more of their stories and subscribe to their podcasts here.
Taxicab Diplomacy: Trump vs. Clinton
After a brutal primary season, the general election is infull swing in the United States. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, of course,emerged as their party’s nominees. Duringthe nominating conventions in July, protesters of various stripes chanted “TheWorld Is Watching.” And it is! Here in Israel, developments in the US electioncampaign often lead the news. So what do Israelis have to say about it?
On this episode of the JPost Podcast, we bring you anotheredition of Taxicab Diplomacy, where we hear what local cab drivers think about politicalissues. On this episode: Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton.
Israelis have always had their own perspective on USpolitics, and most of them filter their views through the lens of one question:what’s best for Israel? In recent years, there’s been a feeling in Israelicircles that Republican administrations are more friendly to Israeli interests.For example, former President George W. Bush, who was unpopular around much ofthe world by the end of his second term, still had many fans in Israel. PresidentBarack Obama, a Democrat who is largely popular around the world, has much lesssupport in Israel. According to a Pew survey in 2015, just 49% of Israelis hadconfidence in Obama, compared with a world average of 65%.
But this election year is no ordinary election year.Clinton, the first woman to lead a major US party, is a known quantity. She’s linkedboth to President Obama, for whom she worked as Secretary of State, and to herhusband, former President Bill Clinton, who was pretty well-liked in Israel.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a wild card. The factsthat his daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism and her husband Jared Kushner isseen as traditionally pro-Israel help his case. But he’s been criticized bypro-Israel advocates for saying he’d be neutral on the Israeli-Palestinianconflict.
So what sticks out to Israelis? Have a listen and find out!
After Turkey, Africa and Egypt, is Saudi Arabia Israel’s next ally?
Today, in a surprise visit, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry came to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s the first such meeting since 2007, and it comes on the heels of a flurry of Israeli diplomatic activity.
Two weeks ago, Israel and Turkey restored full diplomatic ties after a six-year lull in relations. Last week, Netanyahu flew to Africa for a diplomatic tour, the first such visit by an Israeli Prime Minister in a quarter century. With all these changes, one can only wonder if the so-called moderate Arab states such as Saudi Arabia will be next?
JPost Diplomatic Correspondent Herb Keinon argues that Egypt is reasserting its role in the region, in part, to build a Sunni front against Shi’a Iran.
From Tel Aviv, a story of hope for Orlando
This week’s shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando Florida, the worst mass shooting in US history and the deadliest terror attack there since 9/11, was first and foremost a human tragedy. 49 people were murdered, and 53 wounded.
There is much to think and say about the various facets of the shooting, but today, on the JPost Podcast, we’re going to focus on one through the lens of an Israeli story: the status of the LGBT community, how much progress has been made, and how much remains to be done.
It’s a story about how this year’s Tel Aviv pride parade was almost canceled, at the behest of the LGBT community itself, and reminder of how the LGBT community has proven its ability to overcome horrific events and tragedies, and come out stronger on the other side.
Briefing: King Bibi pulls it together, again
This week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put an end to a coalition crisis, finding a path to install Avigdor Liberman as his new defense chief.
Though the outlines of a deal with Liberman were already in place, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett threatened to boycott the deal and potentially flee the coalition unless Netanyahu offered him concessions on security-related matters.
Bennett had wanted Netanyahu to install a military secretary, who would regularly brief the security cabinet, on which Bennett sits. Until the change, Netanyahu and the defense minister could, in principle, control the information flow from the military and security services to the security cabinet, and circumvent them on important decisions.
Late Sunday night, Netanyahu acquiesced, and on Monday, Liberman was sworn in, alongside Sofa Landver as Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Minister and Tzachi Hanegbi as Minister-without-portfolio. Liberman’s predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon, had quit the Knesset in protest of the deal, and over the weekend Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay, of the Kulanu party, quit his ministry. Thus, the man Time Magazine once dubbed King Bibi seemed likely to keep his throne.
But not all of Netanyahu’s political woes were put to rest.
Police investigators recommended that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit indict the Prime Minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu for misusing funds.
The charges would be over alleged fraud and breach of trust related to using public funds for purchasing food, paying special chefs and related costs for hosting private events.
In a JPost analysis, legal affairs reporter Yonah Jeremy Bob casts doubt on the likelihood that criminal charges will proceed.
In US politics, Israel has become an issue in the contentious Democratic primary between likely nominee Hillary Clinton and her Jewish rival Bernie Sanders. Sanders, wielding power from his strong showing in the primary, got say in several members of the platform committee. Among them were prominent Israel critics, including social activist Cornel West, Arab American Institute president James Zogby, and Minnesota Congressional Representative Keith Ellison.
Hillary Clinton, who chose six members to Sanders’s five, installed more traditionally progressive pro-Israel choices, including Wendy Sherman, who was one of the lead negotiators on Iran talks. The remaining four delegates were named by the DNC’s chairwoman, Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is among the most prominent Jewish leaders in the party.
And finally, Arab Israeli Ta’alin Abu Hanna won the first-ever “Miss Trans Israel Pageant” in Tel Aviv, ahead of Israel’s LGBT pride week.
Abu Hanna, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, will represent Israel at the Miss TransStar International pageant in Barcelona in September. The annual Tel Aviv pride parade takes place this Friday, and is expected to draw 180,000 people.