Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 11 March 2021

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, every Monday to Thursday and on our Facebook page. Rolene Marks familiar to Chai FM listeners in South Africa and 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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Lay Of The Land’s David Kaplan will be participating in this important webinar on the 14 March celebrating the centenary of the heroic rescue of Jewish orphans from war-torn Eastern Europe in 1921 and brought safely to South Africa and whose descendants today reside all over the world.

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Fast Times at IDC Herzliya

Aspiring for pole position in Israel’s hi-tech revolution, increasing number of women are enrolling at IDC to study Computer Science

By David E. Kaplan

Striving Ahead. Like the warm embracing Israeli sun, the IDC Herzliya embraces students from all over the world. 

From a high of 30% in the 2019-2020 academic year at the IDC Herzliya’s School of Computer Science, women student enrollment has risen to an unprecedented 37% in the 2020-2021 year. The writer delves into this phenomenon as women forge ahead in a field once mostly exclusive to men.

Fast Times at IDC Herzliya

(Click on the blue title)


Middle Eastern Winds Blow into Africa

By Rolene Marks

Back to Africa. Map shown at a conference in Jerusalem in 2019 before Morocco and Sudan joined.

Understanding that the seemingly intractable conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is no longer an impediment for African countries to establish mutually enriching bilateral relations with the Jewish State, more are doing so with trade and cooperation between the continent and Israel growing even during a global pandemic.

Middle Eastern Winds Blow into Africa

(Click on the blue title)


Erasive Antisemitism

Naming a Subcategory of Antisemitism

By Ben M. Freeman

Writing on the Wall. Holocaust-denial spray-painted on Seattle’s synagogue, Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

When the much loved and respected Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg recently died, her Jewishness – other than to recognise that she died on Rosh Hashanah – was mostly omitted by the international media. The writer questions whether such “omissions” are not part of a wider trend of “Erasive Antisemitism” that aims to strip or redefine the Jewishness of individuals.

Erasive Antisemitism

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Polish Dialogue

By Sarah Ansbacher

Exchanges. Polish President Duda and First Lady with former Israeli Ambassador to Poland at Yad Vashem.

The writer reveals a very personal verbal journey of discourse and dialogue on the Holocaust between herself and Polish citizens over the years. What began years earlier in London with an uneasy  exchange with a Polish tourist, the years passed with further  exchanges in Europe and in Israel arriving at greater understanding.

Polish Dialogue

(Click on the blue title)


The Arab Voice – February 2021

Arab writers from the Middle East and beyond, opine on the impact to the Middle East by (1) the  undermining of US democracy by its Far Right, (2) the life-threatening danger of “Conspiracy Theories” in the ‘Age of Corona and (3) the change in US administrations from Trump to Biden.

The Arab Voice – February 2021

(Click on the blue title)

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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 (0&EO)

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