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Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus during meetings in Jerusalem last month that he doesn't see President Trump reducing the pressure on Turkey over the arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson or an improvement in U.S.-Turkey relations in the near future, Israeli officials and Western diplomats told me.

Why it matters: Greece and Cyprus are two of Turkey's main adversaries. Israel has its own crisis with Turkey after the government in Ankara asked the Israeli ambassador to leave the country over violence in Gaza. And Netanyahu played a role in Trump's efforts to release Brunson when he agreed to Trump's request to release a Turkish citizen detained in Israel. As a result of the deal, which didn't lead to Brunson's release and led to U.S. sanctions against Turkey, Netanyahu has good knowledge of Trump's thinking on the issue.

  • The Israeli officials and Western diplomats who were briefed on Netanyahu's meeting with the Greek and Cypriot foreign ministers said he stressed he doesn't think there will be any progress in solving the U.S.-Turkey crisis before next month's midterm elections because Brunson's case is important to many evangelical voters.

In the meetings, Netanyahu spoke very critically about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to the Israeli officials and Western diplomats, Netanyahu said he is pessimistic and concerned about the economic situation in Turkey because Erdogan is making irrational economic decisions.

  • Netanyahu said: "There is a systemic problem in Turkey. Erdogan calls me Hitler every two weeks — I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel [regarding Turkey's future]."

More from the meetings:

  • The ongoing civil war in Syria also pushed Turkey to get a reconciliation deal with Israel two years ago, according to Netanyahu. He told the Greek and Cypriot ministers that after the reconciliation deal his aides used to speak to Erdogan's closest adviser Ibrahim Kalin every two weeks about the situation in Syria. "But today we don't even have intelligence exchanges with Turkey about Syria," Netanyahu added.
  • Netanyahu also said he was concerned about possible Turkish moves against gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. U.S. companies work in this region with Greece, Cyprus and Israel. Netanyahu said: "Erdogan is rash and unexpected. I am pessimistic. It is an oxymoron that a NATO member like Turkey buys S-400 missiles from Russia. … I am also concerned about Turkey buying F-35 jets from the U.S."

Go deeper

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.