Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter – 06 August 2020

Unveiling the contours and contrasts of an ever-changing Middle East landscape

Reliable reportage and insightful commentary on the Middle East by seasoned journalists from the region and beyond


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Look Who’s Watching

Why is Israel today such a powerhouse in global entertainment television?

By David E. Kaplan

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Fauda Phenomenon. The series about a team of undercover operatives hunting terrorists is captivating audiences worldwide.

With Israel’s TV shows offering such contrasting, compelling characterizations from the lives of undercover operatives in “Fauda, to the ultra-Orthodox communities in “Shtisel” to Jewish ethnic divisions in the romantic-comedy series “The Baker and the Beauty”, Israeli TV producers display a magic touch that transcends international boundaries.



The Crisis of Zionism

By Alex Ryvchin

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Determining Destiny. From ‘idealists’ in a hotel in Basel in 1897 to tinkering ‘mechanics’ today in the Knesset in Jerusalem.

The price of Israel’s success is that the existential imperatives that drew Jews to Zionism – pioneering, state-building and the salvation of Jewish communities – are seemingly now much less “imperative”. With less “to connect a young Jew of Johannesburg, Sydney or Toronto” to Israel, what is the purpose of Zionism today?



Unbreakable Bonds

The Relationship between the USA and Israel

By Lay of the Land USA correspondent

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Friends in Deed. Warm assurances and smiles at a recent meeting of US Secretary of State and Israel’s President.

The biblical bond the Jewish people have with the land of Israel and the bond of common values Israelis share with the American people were the core themes addressed by US Jewish leader and philanthropist, Simon Falic during a recent ceremony in Florida honouring  US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.



The Arab Voice – August 2020

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Arab writers from the Middle East and beyond, opine on a rapidly declining Lebanon and on the behaviour and ramifications of two presidents – USA’s Donald Trump and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


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LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

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While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs

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