Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 06 December 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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That Magnificent Man in his Flying Machine

By David E. Kaplan

Thumb Up. Celebrating his 100 years, Smoky Simon signals ready for takeoff in the central Negev.

Seventy-two years after taking off to do battle from the sky to secure the future of the nascent Jewish state in the War of Independence, Smoky Simon celebrates his 100 birthday by again taking to the sky in a one-propellor Tiger Moth and ruminates of those daring days when Israel’s future lay in the balance.

That Magnificent Man in his Flying Machine

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The Story Seldom Told

By  Rolene Marks

Cry Freedom. Jews in Yemen fleeing across the desert to rescue camp near Aden on route to Israel.

While concern for the descendants of Palestinian refugees who fled during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence still dominates the global media,  the writer asks what about the plight of the over 850,000 Jews forced to flee from Arab countries leaving behind homes, possessions and a way of life they enjoyed for over 2000 years?

The Story Seldom Told

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The Oscar Winner and Plungė

By Danutė Serapinienė

Cape Town to London. Born Ronald Horwitz,  the celebrated scriptwriter revisited his “Litvak” roots.

The passing of South African-born British author, playwright and screenwriter, Sir Ronald Harwood best known his screenplays The Dresser and The Pianist, for which he won an Academy Award, Harwood‘s roots trace back to the Lithuanian Shtetl of Plungė (Plungyan).

The Oscar Winner and Plungė

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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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