Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 10 September 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.

The Israel Brief

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Sights from the Saddle

A perspective on a “cycling revolution” in Israel and changing Middle East

By David E. Kaplan

Ready to Ride. From the Negev desert to the roads of Dubai and Paris, Israel pedaling proudly into the future.

As Israel participates for the first time at the 2020 Tour de France with team ‘Israel Start-Up Nation’, the brand Israel  as a modern democratic hi-tech powerhouse is resonating across new landscapes.

Sights from the Saddle

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The Holocaust is NOT Entertainment

“Trauma Porn” is the sickening new trend surfacing on social media

By  Rolene Marks

The Clock is Ticking. Time for action with TikTok swamped with disturbing antisemitic content.

A disturbing new trend is taking place on the social media platform, TikTok. Described as “trauma porn” – young people are re-enacting scenes in which they pretend to be victims of the Holocaust or 9/11 – not for educational purposes, but for “likes” and views.

The Holocaust is NOT Entertainment

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A New Dawn in Dubai

Once a gulf apart, now Israeli emissaries set to serve Jewish community in the Gulf

By  Michael Jankelowitz

Picture Perfect. An idyllic vista of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that will see an influx of Israeli visitors. 

Following the signing of the historic Abraham Accords in August, emissaries from the World Zionist Organisation  are being sent to the UAE to serve the Jewish community in Dubai – a FIRST to an Arab country! Is this a portent for a “warm” rather than the old familiar “cold peace”?

A New Dawn in Dubai

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A Corona Cry for Help

The JNF in South Africa responds

By Beverley Price

Stand and Deliver. The JNF distributing  food parcels to the needy community in South Africa.

It was Mandela that brought  a shidduch (match) between South Africa’s Mamelodi community and the Jewish National Fund so  when during the height of the Corona pandemic, a cry  from that community for food was heard by the JNF, it was a call for action.

A Corona Cry for Help

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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