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Kushner (center) and Netanyahu (right) have both reportedly supported Mohammed bin Salman in recent weeks. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

Israel is concerned that the international pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents will destabilize the Sunni kingdom and the Middle East as whole, Senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Until today, Israel refrained from commenting about the crisis publicly. This statement by the senior Israeli officials is very rare and shows Israel is nervous over the reaction of Western countries, including the U.S. The reason is that in the last few years, Saudi Arabia, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has become a staunch secret ally of the government in Jerusalem against Iran.

The senior Israeli officials told me they think the killing of Khashoggi was unacceptable: "Calling it problematic is an understatement." But they added that regardless of the Khashoggi affair, Israel has big interests in Saudi Arabia.  

"We have to make sure the stability will be maintained in Saudi Arabia. Just imagine what might happen if the kingdom destabilizes — it will negatively affect the whole region."
— Senior Israeli officials

The backdrop: According to the Washington Post, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu lobbied the Trump administration to take some of the pressure off the Saudi crown prince. Per the report, Netanyahu told U.S. officials he supports the crown prince and argued he is an important strategic partner in the region for Israel. 

Go deeper

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Credit: Apple

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.

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