Hello. We’re covering tensions in Israel ahead of a key vote, Thailand’s third wave, and strained diplomacy ahead of the G7 summit.
Fears over Israel’s coalition
Israel’s director of internal security issued a rare public warning on Saturday evening about what he called increasing levels of incentive. Social tensions precede the vote of a political coalition to overthrow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Right-wing Jewish activists announced plans to stage a provocative march through Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem later this week. And on Sunday, Israeli police arrested Palestinian twins whose activism helped draw attention to the displacement of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, which precipitated the recent conflict in Gaza.
The heterogeneous coalition could usher in a more liberal civil rights program and would include, for the first time in Israel’s history, an independent Arab party.
But some fear the political turmoil will prompt far-right members to step down. Netanyahu and his supporters are stepping up the pressure, accusing ultra-nationalist members of betraying the country. And hundreds of right-wing protesters picketed the homes of several hesitant members.
Divisions: Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who represent 13% of the population, risk losing power. Under Netanyahu, the two main Haredi parties have become linchpins of the ruling coalitions, wielding their inordinate influence to secure generous public funding, fight pandemic restrictions, promote a conservative social agenda, and exempt members from compulsory military service.
Clubs fuel epidemic in Thailand
For months, Thailand had no confirmed cases of local transmission. Now an epidemic is radiating from Bangkok’s elite nightclubs to its slums, prisons, construction camps and factories.
It’s not really a new trend in Thailand, which has one of the biggest gaps in wealth among the major economies. Many Thais have rigorously kept their masks on and obeyed blockades throughout the pandemic. But a privileged few, the phuyai, continued to party. An ambassador and a government minister are among those linked to the clubs who have tested positive.
Analysis: All three waves of coronavirus in Thailand have peaked in areas where the wealthy are profiting and defying Covid protocols. The first wave was attributed to a stadium operated by the country’s powerful army, which earns money from sports betting, and the second to a seafood sweatshop, which depends on immigration officials who turn a blind eye to trafficked workers.
Quote: “The phuyai destroyed the Covid situation themselves, and we the little people cannot live,” said Mutita Thongsopa, a worker whose sister died after contracting Covid-19. “People are dying like falling leaves. “
Regional trend: Thailand’s push is part of a late-breaking wave that has swept across much of Southeast Asia, where adequate vaccines are largely unavailable.
Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.
In other developments:
Overview of Biden’s trip to Europe
President Biden will join European leaders at the Group of 7 summit this week in Britain, before visiting NATO on June 14. After the previous administration, the mere fact that Biden sees Europe as an ally and NATO as a vital part of Western security is almost a revelation.
But the scars of the last administration will take time to heal, and European leaders have seen with their own eyes how 75 years of American foreign policy can disappear overnight with a change of presidency.
And leaders still have tense issues to discuss, ranging from withdrawal from Afghanistan to military spending, from Russia and China, from trade disputes and tariff issues to climate and vaccine diplomacy.
Developments: The summit comes after finance ministers agreed to support a new global minimum tax rate which aims to prevent large multinational companies from seeking tax havens.
THE LAST NEWS
Amsterdam, a beloved tourist magnet built on a swamp, slowly crumbles. The millions of wooden pilings that hold the city upright were designed to support the weight of wagons, not cement trucks. Thus, for the next two decades, the city will look like a gigantic construction site.
ARTS AND IDEAS
See and be seen
In the small Marmottan museum in Paris, there is a small marine scene. It might sound like a typical Impressionist pleasure: calm water, lapping waves, gentle breeze.
But take a closer look. Artist Berthe Morisot “is perhaps the most underrated of all Impressionists,” writes my colleague Jason Farago, and this painting contains multitudes. In a masterful performance, Jason peels the underestimates.
Morisot, the rare female artist, took the very rare step of painting her husband. The work depicts a seaside vacation, then a new fashion. And Impressionist art – now considered pretty – was radical and disruptive, an interpretation of the anxieties surrounding modernization.
Upon closer inspection, the painting speaks of the act of looking itself. Morisot’s husband looks at a woman, who looks at a child, who in turn looks at the sea – framed like a picture within a picture, like the commodity he had just become. And Morisot watches them all, documenting a new social order, the Belle Époque, which will be defined by appearances.
“You can see how Morisot paints the seaside as a new stage in modern life, defined by its pleasures and pressures – the pressures, above all, to be watched,” writes Jason.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. – Amelie
PS A hidden haiku from a Times interview with Stephen King: “They say the minute / you show the monster, you take away / take away his power.”
There is no new episode of “The Daily”. Instead, listen to episode 2 of “Day X”, about right-wing extremism in Germany.
You can reach Amelia and the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.