Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter – 20 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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What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  YouTube by seasoned TV & radio broadcaster, Rolene Marks familiar to Chai FM listeners in South Africaand millions of American listeners to the News/Talk/Sports radio station WINA broadcasting out of Charlottesville, Virginia. You can subscribe to LOTL news from Israel and enjoy at a time of your convenience.

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Grow More – with Less!

Israel is leading the way with precision irrigation by getting to the ‘root’ of the problem

By David E. Kaplan

Leading the Way. From South America, to Asia to Africa, Israel’s Netafim providing Smart Irrigation Solutions

August has been a monumental month. From Israeli company signing a deal to provide Smart irrigation solutions to Indian famers – a country

once not too friendly with Israel – to Israel’s highly publicised breakthrough into the Arab world with its normalization deal  

with the UAE, it leaves South Africa to get in step and support a path to peace and prosperity.


Fortune Favours the Bold

The historical peace agreement between Israel and the UAE ushers in new era

By  Rolene Marks

Israel De’light’ed. From foe to friend, Tel Aviv City Hall is lit up with the flag of the United Arab Emirates.

The “Abraham Accords” or normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE is a “game changer”, not only bringing together the descendants of Abraham but a signal to other regional countries and the world that the time has come to transcend ancient divisions and hatred and work together towards a better future for the Middle East.

Fortune Favours the Bold

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Fabulous Phyllis

Lifetime volunteer for Israel and WIZO turns 100

By Martine Maron Alperstein

Movers & Shakers. Team WIZO (l-r) Rolene Marks, ‘Driver’ Phyllis and Martine.

Belying her 100 years, sprightly WIZO stalwart Phyllis Lader arrives at top speed on her scooter for her interview atProtea Village with a message to the younger generation “get involved, give of yourself and of your time.  Charity is not only about money, it is about doing.” Both Phyllis and her beloved WIZO are all revved up  – at 100!

Fabulous Phyllis

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In this week’s media roundup of the Arab world, writers from Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, opine on the story dominating international news – The Blast in Beirut.

The Arab Voice

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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