Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 25 April 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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Flames over Cape Town. Students at UCT look with horror as they see their campus ablaze.

It was with personal sadness for many of our Lay Of The Land readers – alumni of UCT- to watch  this past week, historic buildings of their alma mater go up in flames, notably the 100-year-old library containing priceless books and manuscripts. Despite the distressing issues many alumni have with certain campus trends (see article below), all will share in our heartfelt message of solidarity with the people of Cape Town.

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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.

The Israel Brief

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Quo Vadis UCT?

By Stephen Schulman

Hitler – Not Guilty! University lecturer Lwazi Lushaba told his students that Hitler “committed no crime”.

Where are you going?” or more poetically, “Whither goest thou?” asks the writer of his alma mater regarding a lecturer in its Political Science department telling impressionable  first year students that “Hitler committed no crime.” Offending not only Jews but all decent and rational human beings, the writer sees UCT at a critical moral crossroad as to how it will respond?

Quo Vadis UCT?

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By Craig Snoyman

‘Judgement at South Africa’. Disturbing signs  in job interview of Jewish judge, David Unterhalter.

Having watched late into the night the interview on TV of Judge David Unterhalter for a position on South Africa’s Constitutional Court,  the writer, a practicing advocate, “battled to sleep”. What bothered him were questions focusing on the applicant once being a member of a leading Jewish communal organisation – the South African Jewish Board of DeputiesIs this the new direction of  South African justice?


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Poetic Perspective of Israel’s Capital

By  Gill Katz, journalist, author and TV script writer

Seen through a different Lens.  Colourful, vibrant downtown life in Jerusalem’s Old Jaffa Road.

While the walls of the Old City project a place of war and bloodshed, the writer reflects in poetry an old city – not in capital letters –  of “another Jerusalem”, not of “cultural clashes” but of bumping shoulders with bearded Greek Orthodox Priests and Haredi Jews to bare bellied tattooed teenage girls.


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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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