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Netanyahu. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today spoke publicly about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi for the first time and backed the Saudi government, which is trying to fend off international pressure over the crisis. 

Why it matters: Israel had been working mainly behind the scenes and refrained from speaking publicly on the Khashoggi affair. Netanyahu's statements show Israel still has the back of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman — its secret ally over the last few years. 

During a press conference in Bulgaria, Netanyahu said: “What happened in the Istanbul consulate was horrendous and it should be duly dealt with. Yet the same time, I say it is very important for the stability of the world, for the region and for the world, that Saudi Arabia remain stable".

Netanyahu stressed that the larger problem in the region is not Saudi Arabia but Iran. He said: "We have to make sure that Iran does not continue the malign activities that it has been doing over the last few weeks in Europe. We have helped uncover two terrorist attacks — one in Paris, and the other one in Copenhagen — organized by the Iranian secret service. Blocking Iran is uttermost on our agenda for security, not merely for Israel but I believe for Europe and the world as well."

Go deeper

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

For CEOs, social media has lost its fun

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CEO Jack Dorsey's departure from Twitter shows that, in Silicon Valley today, social media is becoming a field to flee.

Why it matters: Coming on the heels of Facebook's name change and new metaverse focus, Dorsey's resignation is another sign that the industry now views the massive social networks it built over the last two decades as buggy "legacy applications" mired in annoying social problems.