Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 28 June 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 from every Monday – Thursday LotL’s “The Israel Brief” broadcasts and on our Facebook page and  YouTube by seasoned TV & radio broadcaster, 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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Our thoughts are with the people of Surfside, Florida

As those who live in the tight-knit community of Surfside are trying their best to help those who are missing loved ones in the condo collapse, Lay Of The Land joins the global community in extending our thoughts and prayers to all effected by this human tragedy.



Monumental Man

A tribute to the passing of Israel’s internationally renowned sculptor – Dani Karavan (1930-2021)

By David E. Kaplan

‘Writing’ on the Wall. Inspirational is the sculptor’s huge stone mural in the Knesset, named  – ‘Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem’. 

Imbedded in city and country locations across the world, Dani Karavan’s giant monumental works blends sculpturearchitecture and the landscape into unique and monumental works of art. His sculpture invites the viewer more than to observe but to respond!

Monumental Man

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The Deafening Silence of Assent

An Open Letter to UCT Vice-Chancellor Phakeng

By Stephen Schulman

The Beatty and the Beast. Picturesque UCT campus is home to a “Hitler committed no crime” Political Science lecturer.

While the words of University of Cape Town lecturer Dr Lwazi Lushaba to his first year students that “Hitler committed no crime” were shocking, infinitively more shocking for the writer is the conduct of his alma mater of remaining SILENT – thus complicit in the academic dissemination of lies and hatred towards Jews.

The Deafening Silence of Assent

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“JUNETEENTH” – what’s in a name?

Could the Americans have learned from the Jewish heritage?

By Craig Snoyman

How was Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the abolition of slavery signed into Law? Adv. Craig Snoyman examines how laws are signed into legislation and gives his personal opinion of what influences these decisions and also looks at how some of Judaism’s holidays and observances have been decided.

“JUNETEENTH” – what’s in a name?

(Click on the blue title)


The Arab Voice – June 2021

Arab writers from the Middle East and beyond, opine on issues ranging from making the case that Jewish sovereignty is rooted in Russia not the Middle East, to whether Iraqis will boycott their upcoming election in October and the fate of Syrian refuges in Denmark.

The Arab Voice – June 2021

(Click on the blue title)


Legends & Legacies

The saga of the South African Jewish community

International Charity Premiere

Online Screening of a Documentary History of South African Jewry

Legends and Legacies: A Story of a Community’,

In Eight Unforgettable Episodes

Though small in number the impact of the South African Jewish community has been monumental. “Congratulations on producing such an informative and interesting series” – History Channel. The Union of Jewish Women South Africa (UJW) invites you to its Charity Benefit Premiere Screening. Episodes 1 to 8 will launch on consecutive Sundays, at 18:00 CAT, from 11 July to 29 August.

Cost for all 8 episodes: US $ 30

Register here for the premier:

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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).