In Every Generation

By Rolene Marks

Jews know too well the dangers of antisemitism as it changes from generation to generation.

We have been raising the alarm for years. Antisemitism has a way of mutating into a different form every couple of decades or so but its roots and bones are always the same – a seething, venomous, irrational hatred of Jews and anything that is seen to be representative of us. Today that alarm is ringing out louder than we have heard for decades.

Over the centuries, this has manifested in accusations of deicide, blood libels and refusal to conform to idolatry or other religious doctrines. Jews have endured exile, auto-da-fé , Inquisition, pogroms, the Holocaust and the latest iteration – any and all attempts to demonise our nation state, Israel, while applying gross double standards and attempts to call into question its legal, internationally recognized sovereignty.

Every Passover, we Jews gather at our Seder tables and read the ancient passages that have sustained us through generations. One of those passages we read, speaks of how in every generation there are those who rise up to try and destroy us.

We have survived them all.

We are no strangers to manifestations of antisemitism, be they the genteel murmurings of the champagne socialist elite or the outright and sometimes violent actions of the anti-Israel activists. Following the recent flare up between Israel and Hamas that has come to be known as “Operation Guardians of the Wall”, antisemitism seems to have taken on a more insidious iteration.

Unveiling Her Insights! Among the pop stars who waded into the conflict between Israel and Hamas was Singer Halsey who wrote on Twitter: “It is not ‘too complicated to understand’ that brown children are being murdered.”

For many of us, the world seems to have tilted on its axis. The rise of “woke” culture that is centred on identity politics is creating more division than tolerance. While we are having very important and long overdue conversations about race, it seems that this dialogue excludes antisemitism and the results of this exclusion has never been more evident than in the wake of Operation Guardians of the Wall.

Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians is seen through the prism of identity politics. Jews and in this case Israelis are seen as white, Ashkenazi of European descent, engaged in a war against the Palestinians who are people of colour. Singer Halsey, evidenced this in the following Tweet.

This seems to be this generation’s manifestation and not only does it display great ignorance of the facts and history but negates the narrative and experience of the many Jews who were expelled from Arab countries, including North Africa and not forgetting the story of Ethiopian Jewry. It excluded the Jews of India and the African continent and the fact that the majority of Israelis are in fact, to use the parlance of the trendy, “people of colour”. Today’s generation is very attracted to social justice issues and this is admirable but the problem lies in their lack of understanding of history and facts. When it comes to understanding the conflict, context is king and facts and nuance matter. One does not become an expert on the Middle East by looking at memes on Instagram or Tweets from celebrities, models, pornstars (I am not joking!) late night talk show hosts and social media influencers desperate to prove their blue-tick social justice credentials.

Israel’s detractors know this too well and realise that placing the conflict against a background of identity politics, while relying on the ignorance of many, is a formula that unfortunately seems to be working well. They use words like “Apartheid” or “colonialists” which are highly emotive as their central accusation against Israel and as a result of this, Hamas with their genocidal intentions are now seen as resistance fighters and the Israeli Defense Forces as the aggressors. A moral equivalence has been drawn and Israel is the only country that has to defend its right to defend itself against attacks on its sovereign territory. History be damned!

I told you the world was topsy turvy and off its axis!

This is also compounded by politics. While Israel enjoys strong bi-partisan support in the United States, the increasingly vocal and acrimonious “Squad” whose trio of vociferous Israel-bashers, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Rashida Tlaib, have displayed an incredible ability to read the room. In other words they understand the power of the language that they use and platforms that their constituents flock to which is social media. These Queens of Identity Politics have a clear agenda and are not afraid to push it and dismiss them as a small but loud minority at your peril. Today’s leaders may not pay as much heed as they should but they are extremely influential amongst the movers, shakers and opinion makers of tomorrow.

Young Israelis Today.  If those anti-Israel celebrities and pop stars visited Israel they would know its Jewish population is a kaleidoscope of complexions, a far cry from the lies and distortions about Israelis they tweet to their millions of adoring followers.
 

Global institutions and mainstream media have also joined the milieu. Hardly a day goes by without the United Nations and its agencies condemning Israel for something and the once venerated global institute is more synonymous these days for institutionalized antisemitism. Where are the resolutions condemning antisemitism that is rife in the streets of cities around the world? Where was the emergency session when convoys of hate rolled through London screaming “Fuck the Jews, rape their women” or when diners were beaten up in Los Angeles and other cities? Silence. Raping Jewish women is not going to “Free Palestine”.

Deafening Silence. Where were those celebrities and pop stars on social media following a convoy of cars on May 16, 2021 adorned with Palestinian flags driving through North London whose occupants were
shouting: ‘F**k the Jews,’ ‘Rape their daughters’ and ‘Free Palestine’. (Photo: Screenshot)

The mainstream media are just as if not more guilty. Fueled by competition for ratings, the “David vs Goliath” narrative with its inference that Israel is the giant to the oppressed Palestinian is contributing to the growing hate on the streets. In fact, we can almost draw a direct line between the narrative portrayed on TV and the rise in vicious antisemitism. I have lost count how many times I have been called a “baby killer” as the result of people being fed a steady media diet of very partisan reporting. Most of the media have skipped over the facts that Hamas awarded Al Jazeera for their coverage of the recent flare up, choosing instead to focus on the razing of the media building that housed Associated Press and Al Jazeera and a fair shake of terrorists hell bent on finding ways to destroy Israel’s Iron Dome system. But of course they didn’t know they were sharing office space with Hamas!

It takes a brave news channel to challenge the narrative these days and thank goodness there are those like Sky News Australia or the newly launched GB News in the UK who are not afraid to go head to head with the wokeratti!

And it doesn’t get more “woke” than the Hollywood elites. Desperate to be seen as committed social justice warriors, everyone from Ellen Barkin (is she still relevant?) to John Oliver and supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid have A LOT to say about Israel. None of it correct. From their sanctimonious perch amongst the mansions and estates of Malibu to Beverly Hills, these faux experts have used their social media platforms to spread dangerously inflammatory rhetoric. Now before we roll our eyes so far back in our heads that we detach our corneas, these schlebs have millions of followers that far outnumber the total amount of Jews on the planet. I do find it vaguely amusing that the Hadid sisters who grew up in the absolute lap of luxury and earn a living wearing next to nothing are suddenly getting in touch with their Palestinian roots. I doubt Hamas take too kindly to Victoria’s Secret models but I could be wrong.

Model Behavior! Male model Anwar Hadid (left), the brother of Palestinian model Bella Hadid, who recently published a host of inciting anti-Israel posts was allegedly caught in a text message exchange, proclaiming he wants Israelis to be “erased from the planet”. Anwar, is seen here with his girlfriend, British pop star Dua Lipa (right), who during the recent Israel Hamas war, posted on Instagram: “The big bad tough guys of the #IDF thoroughly enjoy beating and shooting children”.

So what is the solution? It is quite simple. We have to show up wherever and whenever we can. We have to challenge the hypocrisy and false narrative by sharing the stories of our diverse people and remember our indigenous rights. This is our identity politics. It is sad that we have to politicize our identity but in the narrative war this has become an imperative. In every generation they rise up to try and defeat us. In this generation it is an attack on our very identity and diversity all represented in the existence of our nation state. Israel is a physical manifestation of the ethnic diversity of the Jewish people. We will survive this as we have all the others by being present and proud. One blue tick at a time.



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).

Talk about Change!

As Israel’s 11th President, Isaac Herzog is tailor-made for transformation

By David E. Kaplan

A new President, a new Prime Minister and for the first time in Israel’s history, something extraordinary – a NEW religious Arab Muslim party (Ra’am) in Israel’s ruling coalition government. People can disagree on multiple issues of what is evolving, what they cannot disagree is where it is heading –  CHANGE.

Exactly what that change will be, nobody is too sure.

As Israel awoke the morning after ‘chaos in the Knesset’ to a new political reality, I received emails from friends and family abroad, all variation of a theme:

Nu, what does this mean?”

For the most part I replied it was a case of ditching deadlock.

The country is moving on, first a new president now a new Prime Mister and we will have to wait how this political theatre plays out. True, most of the cast remains the same actors; but there is a touch of Shakespearean irony here with Herzog’s ascendancy to the Presidency recalling the Bard’s – “The play’s the thing that will catch the conscience of the king…”. In 2015, Herzog vied to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and as chance would have it, he was elected President a few years later on the day that a coalition united in a bid to remove the veteran Prime Minister from power!

Further irony for this writer, “Enter Isaac Herzog” was the title of my interview with Isaac Herzog back in 2007 when he was then Minister of Diaspora, Society and the Fight Against Antisemitism. The article was for Haaretz magazine and it was concerning Jewish youth around the world focusing on “nurturing tomorrow’s leadership”.

Face to the Future. Former Jewish Agency head, Labour chief and son of the 6th President, Israel’s 11th President, Isaac Herzog –  seen outside the Knesset  – says that he’ll work to ‘build bridges’ within Israeli society and with Diaspora.

All these years later, “enter” the former Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party as Israel’s 11th President!

From the stable he comes he has inherited the family mettle. The son revealed in the 2007 interview an illuminating story about his father, Chaim Herzog, Israel’s 6th president, and the birth of a nation.

On the 11 March 1946, a car bomb exploded beneath the Keren Hayesod wing of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem. The bomber, an Arab in the employ of the American Consul was a trusted person at the Agency. “He said he had stuff to deliver and needed to park as close to the building as possible.” Why should they have doubted him? Only two weeks previously, he had supplied weapons to the Hagana (pre-curser to the Israeli Defence Force). What they did not know was that he was a double agent, and that ignorance resulted in eleven fatalities, including the Director of Keren Hayesod, Leib Jaffe.

Emerging from the Rubble. March 11 1946, Arab terrorists bombed the headquarters building of the Jewish Agency for Palestine in Jerusalem killing eleven and wounding eighty-six. Among the injured was Isaac Herzog’s mother, Aura who was rescued under the rubble by his father, the future 6th President of the State of Israel.

My father had been the Chief Security officer of the Jewish Agency at the time of the bombing. Luckily, he was in the toilet when the bomb exploded,” says Isaac. Not so fortunate was his mother, Aura, who was buried under the rubble.

My dad had to dig her out. She was unconscious and remained in hospital for six months. After riding in the ambulance with her to the hospital, he then had to rush afterwards to an important meeting with a representative from the United Nations. He had no time to change, so his clothes were covered in my mother’s blood. The UN man took one look at my Dad and said:

 “If this is the way you come dressed to a meeting, no one will deter you from winning this war”.”

How right this UN representative was!

Ever since, the UN has been mostly wrong about Israel and it was Herzog senior who in 1975 gave his memorable firebrand speech to the UN General Assembly  rejecting the resolution equating Zionism with racism. It was described by prizewinning historian Simon Sebag Montefiore as “one of the great speeches of the 20th century.”

Herzog stated that the resolution’s supporters were motivated by the “two great evils” of “hatred and ignorance”, something that has not changed to this day. So poetically and poignantly he ended his speech with:

For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper, and we shall treat it as such,” before tearing the draft resolution in two.

The wife he earlier saved three decades earlier in the rubble in Jerusalem, Aura Herzog became a social activist and in 1968, she founded The Council for a Beautiful Israel – a public non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of life in Israel – and remains at 96, its international president. This family name has a presidential ring about it!

The Israel Connection. An old generation cellphone, Isaac Herzog being interviewed in 2007 by the writer, on ‘connecting’ with Jewish youth around the world. (photo D.E.Kaplan)

No less enlightening, his Egyptian-born mother is the one who gave Israel’s new President his popular nickname “Bougie” by mixing the French word for doll “poupee” with its Hebrew equivalent “buba”.

In his acceptance speech as Israel’s 11th President, Bougie said:

I intend to be the President of all Israelis, to lend an attentive ear to every position and respect every person. To join the connecting lines and build bridges of consensus, in order to bring in even the most distant amongst us, as well as our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.”

These words resonated with the writer recalling what he had expressed back in the 2007 interview. Sitting in a restaurant in his hometown of Tzahala, a neighbourhood in north Tel Aviv, he said, referring to the Internet and the World Wide Web:

Press ‘enter’ today and you are connected to the world; that’s the good news. The bad news,” he continued, “is that in the new age of instant connectivity, too many Jews in the Diaspora have become disconnected – from their religion and their community.”

While the majority of Jews today live in democracies enjoying unprecedented freedom, “it has not come without a price. Too many have become alienated, a challenge to Jewish leadership the world over.”

This remains a challenge that as Israel’s 11th President, Isaac “Bougie” Herzog can pursue with the full weight of his office.

From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A youthful relaxed then Minister of Diaspora, Society and the Fight Against antisemitism, Isaac Herzog being interviewed by the writer at a restaurant in north Tel Aviv in 2007. (photo D.E. Kaplan)






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).

A Rabbi and a Self-Hating Jew walk into court with a Newspaper

By Adv. Craig Snoyman

South African Jewry is resilient. They know that their government is vociferously anti-Israel and that when an incident flares up in the Middle East between the Israel and its neighbours, they know to keep their heads down and try and weather the storm.  This time, the captain of the ship was on the starboard, plotting a course to safety and became a target.

Two weeks ago, a three-quarter page article appeared in South Africa’s most widely read national newspaper, the Sunday Times. The headlines blazed:

 “A chief rabbi who is a disgrace to his faith and to human decency.

This prominently placed article was written by a former politician, who is now well past his sell-by date. Once a cabinet minister in the Thabo Mbeki cabinet, his star has faded, but he tries his best to appear news-worthy whenever he can. His sure-safe recipe is knocking Israel or the Jews.  He can do this because he was born a Jew and it’s therefore “acceptable”. It always makes for great conversation when a Jew publicly attacks another Jew, even if the first “Jew” has not an iota of Jewishness, save for the accident of his birth.  This was the situation with our self-hating “Jew”, Ronnie Kasrils. His target was the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Rabbi Warren Goldstein, and he could hardly fail!

The Rabbi vs the Rebel. Ronnie Kasrils’ article in the Sunday Times attacking South Africa’s Chief Rabbi, Warren Goldstein.

Kasrils, who has very publicly renounced his Jewishness, has pooh-poohed the idea that the Jews were chosen by God. He has declared that Jewishness is merely a charade for Jews to hide their racism and their Zionist exclusivity. His article, which he called an open letter to the President, was much of the same.  Many didn’t read past the headline.  It was a sickening headline. In fact it is exceedingly difficult to find a more disturbing headline than this, in any mainstream newspaper anywhere in the free world. It was incredible that a newspaper was prepared to print it. How does one react to big, bold in-your- face print that says – “A chief rabbi who is a disgrace to his faith and to human decency”.

The article itself was filled with the normal vitriol about Israel and the Jews, but it also made an unjustified and unheard-of attack on Rabbi Goldstein. In fact, the last time that I can remember a chief rabbi of South Africa being so viciously attacked was when Rabbi Rabinowitz attacked the Nationalist government for its policy of Apartheid.  It was an uncalled for, ad-hominem attack on the Chief Rabbi  and a rant against many things Israeli or Zionist.  It was an article that had no place in any respectable publication. Kasrils started off his letter by referring to “the illegal occupation by Israel of Palestinian land” which was “the greatest moral issue of our time”. It only got worse from there.  He referred to the anger at the pain and humiliation inflicted on the Palestinian people, to which was an offence South Africa’s core values of equality, justice and human rights. Clearly, Rabbi Goldstein had no justice or compassion of the hundreds of innocent Palestinians who perished in Israel’s “so-called precision bombing” The Chief Rabbi’s version of “the truth” about Sheikh Jarrah was the same as Apartheid’s eviction policy. Similarly the Chief’s statement that there had been many attempts to create a Palestinian state, was “sheer sophistry”. This was because Israel had colonised Palestine in 1948 and had thereafter engaged in expansion, land theft and ethnic cleansing.  It was the Israeli government that had refused to be a partner for peace, while the Palestinians, even Hamas, “had gone out of their way to consider a two-state solution”. It was the Israelis that had rejected proposals, instead insisting on a Bantustan solution. The Chief Rabbi was “obfuscating” if he suggested otherwise. As for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ rockets, “Goldstein [had] callously ignored the rain of death poured into the world’s most densely populated concentration camp where two million inhabitants have no place to hide.” How can he support a “people that smash a small densely populated territory to smithereens because they sustained 12 deaths?” Kasrils did not forget to refer to the dubious quote of Richard Falk that “Palestinian resistance to occupation is a legally protected right” and that Israel was violating international law. He also scoffed at the Chief Rabbi’s reliance on “a property-dealing God who presented another peoples land to the so-called chosen” which was in stark contrast to the belief of Palestinian Christians and Muslims. He concluded by holding that “numerous devout Jews interpret the Hebrew bible very differently to Goldstein and his ilk. His views are not representative of Jews in general” and that “Goldstein’s utterances contradict the golden rule of all religions to treat others as you wish them to treat you”.

Up to his Neck. No, Ronnie Kasrils is not wearring a tallit (prayer shawl worn by Jews) but a Palestinian keffiyeh.

With the Jewish community in shell-shock, the response came in last week’s Sunday Times. Entitled “Kasrils breached acceptable boundaries of civilised discourse” virtually every leading organisation within the Jewish establishment attached its name to this public rebuke.  A small photo-replica of the original article with the offensive heading was attached to the Jewish establishment’s response (just in case it could have been forgotten).  In defending the Chief, Kasrils was accused of breaching acceptable boundaries, demonising and defaming the state of Israel and vilifying and crassly impugning “the integrity of the chief rabbi, Dr Warren Goldstein, the public face of the Jewish faith community in South Africa” and inflaming race relations in South Africa. Notably, the Chief Rabbi was not a signatory to the article.

Like any Jew, I know some things and I have an opinion on some things. They don’t always overlap. I have an opinion on Kasrils’ conduct (which might not be fit to publish) and I know something about the law of defamation in South Africa. My opinion based on my knowledge of defamation is that he has opened himself up to a massive lawsuit. Kasrils, who has been on the winning side of a defamation case previously, must also be acutely aware of this as well.

The law of defamation in South Africa balances the existence of various conflicting constitutional rights such as the right to privacy and dignity against the right to freedom of expression and political rights. In principle, to succeed in a defamation case one needs to prove the following: 

(1) there is a statement

(2) it has been published 

(3) it concerns that person

(4) it is defamatory

(5) it has injured that person in his reputation.

The test to be applied to decide whether a statement is defamatory is whether the words complained of, are reasonably capable of conveying to the reasonable reader a meaning defamatory of that person. One does not need to prove falsity. The quantification of damages is dependent on reputation and character, standing in the community and the extent of the publication.

The party being sued has a variety of defences at his disposal. The most common defence is that while the statement appears on the face of it (prima facie) defamatory, the words were used in a non-defamatory sense and special circumstances are set out.  Other defences might include (a) the absence of intention to cause harm (this defence is not available to the media) or (b) that it was made in jest or (c) that the words were spoken in sudden anger as a result of provocation (referred to as “Rixa”) or (d) lack of knowledge of wrongfulness or (e) denial of wrongfulness i.e., that the defamation was not wrongful. 

There are also defences that would apply where the statement was made in the discharge of an official duty such as (f) qualified privilege or where it was made in parliament being (g) absolute privilege. For statements appearing in the media, there are two   defences that are invariably raised, viz. (h) truth and public interest and (i) fair comment. 

When one looks at the requirements that the Chief Rabbi would have to prove, then elements (1)-(3) are self-evident. The crux of the case would be – the reasonable person test.  If this is successful then element (5) falls into place. I regard myself as a reasonable person. On a simple reading of the article, I find it to be unacceptably egregious. On a deeper reading of the article, I find it to be irredeemably and grievously reprehensible and having no redeeming merit. Thus, on the Chief Rabbi’s version, I believe that he cannot but succeed.  As the Chief Rabbi is the pre-eminent Jew in South Africa, I believe that he should qualify for the largest sum of damages ever awarded for defamation in South Africa.

Heading to Court. The man Kasrils has accused of as “a disgrace to human decency”, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein speaking at Nelson Mandela’s memorial ceremony on December 10, 2013. (Sky News, YouTube)

Strategically and tactically the response was brilliant. Whether intentionally or by chance (or should I say by fate, as Rabbis don’t believe in chance), with the stroke of a pen, the people of the book  vindicated the Chief Rabbi. The entire upper echelons of the Jewish Community, unquestionably comprising of reasonable people, found the article to be, not only defamatory, but as exceeding the bounds of civil discourse and both vilifying and crassly impugning the chief rabbi’s integrity.  One can’t get a much stronger condemnation of Kasrils’ statement than that. No doubt the Chief has a superior legal team advising him. His father, Ezra Goldstein was one of the sharpest judges on the South African bench and certainly one of the most compassionate.  But the Chief Rabbi, no doubt, has a Greater Hand guiding him. I think the whole Jewish community would derive immense satisfaction in seeing him nail this ###%##   BIG TIME, through the agency of this Greater Hand.

Kasrils, on the other is not without his defences. He has revelled in his article, has not denied a single word of it and his only complaint is that it was not published in its totality. Various defences are immediately ruled out. Having called the Chief Rabbi an obfuscating sophist whose views, and that of his ilk, are not representative of Jews in general, he can hardly be seen to raise a defence of absence of intention to cause insult, or that they were not intended to defame the Chief Rabbi.  The defence of lack of knowledge of unlawfulness is moot. Many of our jurists hold that it is an element of intention. Whether unlawful forms part of intention or not, Kasril’s   statement falls within this larger category.  So Kasrils is left with a choice of two defences: truth and public interest or fair comment. To succeed in the defence of truth and public interest requires proof that both (1) the statement was true and (2) that its publication was to the benefit of the public. Just on a summary of his statement as set out, it is unlikely that he can prove either. Which leaves Kasrils with one defence, that of fair comment. The elements required to be proven for this defence are (1) that it was a comment and not a statement of fact; and (2) that the comment was “fair” (in that it does not exceed certain limits); and (3) the facts commented on were truly stated and (4) the matter was in the public interest. With several facts indisputably incorrect as well as a response from the entire Jewish establishment that Kasrils’ comment breached acceptable boundaries of civilised discourse, it will be difficult for a judge to hold that this defence has any merit either.

Last but not least, the law also provides the Chief Rabbi with a further useful line of attack. Even if Kasrils were able to show circumstances providing a justification for his statement, such a defence should fail, if it can be shown that he intended to injure the Chief Rabbi in his reputation. As my maths teacher used to say: Quod Erat Demonstratum! (Roughly translated: this which has been proved)

In defamation cases like this, not only is the writer of the article sued, but the publisher is as well. There have been cases where even the distributor and the printer of the newspaper have been sued as well. In this case, it would probably be adequate to sue Kasrils and the owners/ publishers of the Sunday Times.

Like all juicy court cases, there is invariably a twist in the tale.  This one is no different. Following this notorious article, Kasrils was interviewed on a Muslim television channel.  He went on record as stating that he was not responsible for the headlines that appeared above his article, that was done by the newspaper itself. It is almost inconceivable that the largest national newspaper, with top-class legal advisors on tap, could have created such a stupefyingly defamatory headline. Our Supreme Court of Appeal has made it abundantly clear that the public media cannot rely on the absence of animus injuriandi to escape liability, (although it may rely on absence of negligence.) If Kasrils is to be believed, not only would it appear that the Sunday Times had been negligent, but it would seem that a case might be made for malevolent premeditation and malice in choosing the headline.  That the Sunday Times first published and then republished the headlines a week later, when the response was published, places it in a very invidious position. Not only has the headline been published twice in hard copy, but these headlines appear around the world in soft copy and remain on record.

No place to hide!

The newspaper’s legal team are going to have their work cut out for them, in the event of defamation litigation being instituted.

I am one of those South Africans who keeps my head down. I am not part of the Jewish establishment. I don’t know what the Chief Rabbi will do. In response to the article, I have bought a Jewish National Fund Certificate so that a tree will be planted in Israel in the name of Ronnie Kasrils.  I really hope that the Chief Rabbi will sue and get the biggest defamation award ever issued in South Africa and then donates it to a Zionist cause in the name of Kasrils. ….and it all has to published in the Sunday Times!



About the author:

Craig Snoyman is a practising advocate in South Africa.



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) .

Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 13 June 2021

Unveiling the contours and contrasts of an ever-changing Middle East landscape

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Enough is Enough

For antisemites, enough is never ever enough as the last 2000 years of history attests

By David. E. Kaplan

Silent Swing. The “optics” in Israel that rarely appear in the overseas media – a home destroyed by rocket fire from Gaza.

Interesting how people ask of the Holocaust “How could Jews allow themselves to walk in their millions to their slaughter?” and yet scream “FOUL” when they defend themselves. Only for Jews is “defense” a “war crime”!

Enough is Enough

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Cadena – Bringing Dignity Back to Young Women

Breaking taboos, Jewish non-profit on a mission to repair the world

By Rolene Marks

Proud Project. Volunteers from Jewish non-profit helping in South Africa upgrading unsafe and unsanitary  latrines.

With at least 50% of young women in South Africa having their education disrupted during their menstrual cycle, the Jewish non-profit Cadena is helping alleviate the situation by breaking taboos through hygiene education so that their general academic education is free from disruption.

Cadena – Bringing Dignity Back to Young Women

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Beyond Words

By Monessa Shapiro

Words Unworthy. Recent hostilities has exposed the dangerous abuse of words to slander and malign Israel.

As we learn from Humpty Dumpty how words can “mean so many different things”, we need to be cautious of a media that glibly embraces the parlance of the terrorist not to describe events accurately but to skillfully undermine the very legitimacy of the state of Israel.

Beyond Words

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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).

The Israel Brief- 07-10 June 2021

The Israel Brief – 07 June 2021 – Coalition vs Netanyahu tension. Hamas share footage of Gilad Shalit? UNRWA criticizes Hamas again.





The Israel Brief – 08 June 2021 – Coalition to be sworn in on Sunday. Will the flag march take place? Bella Hadid scores epic own goal.





The Israel Brief – 09 June 2021 – IDF on why the media building blown up. Die Build publishes research into Palestinian textbooks. Will the flag march happen?







The Israel Brief – 10 June 2021 – 2 PA Security officers killed in a gun battle with IDF. Why did Sky News reporter, Mark Stone apologise? Israel bans the sale of fur to the fashion industry.








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).

Enough is Enough

For antisemites, enough is never ever enough as the last 2000 years of history attests

By David. E. Kaplan

Puzzled, people frequently ask of the Holocaust:

 “How could Jews allow themselves to walk in their millions to their slaughter?”

So why not puzzled when Jews collectively band together, restore sovereignty in their ancestral homeland after 2000 years of insufferable exile and incessant persecution and finally – DEFEND themselves?

Then the global community reframes the narrative:

Hold it; how can you behave this way?”

In other words – “How dare Jews defend themselves?”

The world is okay with Jews as victim never as victor!

Always lawyered-up to the teeth to ensure compliance with the international rules of war, Israel’s army is also expected to run a constant audit of casualties to comply with an antisemitic prerequisite of “proportionality”.

If even Sartre was baffled when asked in conversation to explain antisemitism, suggesting it defies rational explanation, then one hardly needs to be a philosopher to deduce:

It is less a matter of WHAT JEWS DO and more a matter of WHO JEWS ARE!

Never to be Repeated. Rejected by the world and later to be murdered, Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. St. Louis arriving in Antwerp, Belgium after over a month at sea, during which they were denied entry to Cuba, USA and Canada. (Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Image)

If the world showed scant regard to the over 4000 rockets fired from Gaza at Israel’s civilian population, then a stark reminder of the world’s apathy towards the plight of Jews in times of crisis was brought home this week when reading of the passing of 94-year-old Herbert Karliner in Florida, USA.  He was one of the last survivors of the ill-fated SS St. Louis, which was forced to return to Europe in 1939 after being turned away from Cuba, the United States and Canada with more than 900 Jewish refugees trying to flee Nazi Germany. When the ship returned to Europe, about 250 of the passengers were murdered in the Holocaust, including Karliner’s parents and his two sisters.

We were so close to Miami Beach, I could see it,” Karliner once recalled.

So close!

Voyage of the Dammed. Herbert Karliner (right) with his father on  the ill-fated SS St. Louis, which was forced to return to Europe in 1939 after being turned away from the United States, Cuba and Canada with more than 900 Jewish refugees.

If the fleeing Jews in their desperate crying appeals from the ship’s railings fell on deaf ears of the governments of the USA and Canada – bastions of Western democracy – condemning them to certain death, who can Jews EVER depend on?

The transparently antisemitic attitude towards the plight of the Jew during WWII was chillingly articulated by a senior Canadian immigration official when asked how many Jews should be considered for entry into Canada.

His reply:

None is too many.”

Less publicly blunt but ad idem in sentiment was FDR, for under his wartime presidency, the American door to Jews remained closed. Apart from setting up a “committee” to strike the right pose, suggesting an open door policy – it was just a veneer.

He had hoped – “Let others open their doors’. 

Few did.

At the Évian  Conference convened in July  in 1938 to address the problem of Jewish refugees wishing to flee persecution by Nazi Germany, only ONE nation out of 32 countries represented, the Dominican Republic, agreed to accept 100,000 refugees. Reflecting the opinion of many of the delegations, the Australian representative, T. W. White, offered this explanation:

As we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one.”

“No” To Jewish Rescue. In July 1938, Thomas Walter White, representing Australia at the inter-governmental conference on Jewish refugees held at Évian, France, to discuss the growing numbers of Jewish emigrants seeking to leave Germany and occupied territories said: “As we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one by encouraging any scheme of large-scale foreign migration.”

In other words, European Jewry would be a toxic import into the racial purity of Australians.

What has changed today in global attitudes?

The venomous verbal assault on Israel during the latest Gaza war ranging from acting “worse than the Nazis”, “ethnic cleansing”  and “genocide” – all cunningly usurping Holocaust terminology to reframe Israelis as today’s Nazis – to the more nuanced of  acting “disproportionately”, reveal a revival of Jew hatred until recently thought in decline.

Wrong!

If once herded to their deaths like cattle to the slaughter, today the world expects Israel – the home to the largest Jewish population in the world – should let rockets rain upon their civilian populations and NOT respond.

This thinking is insane but this insanity has a name – antisemitism

The antisemitism that gave rise to the industrial ‘death factory’ of Auschwitz did not start with bricks but words, and the words today whether from the Left, the Right and everywhere in-between are what’s giving rise to the alarming rise of antisemitism across the world. It is why the Simon Wiesenthal Center opens its latest weekly newsletter with an alarming” “NEVER AGAIN has become AGAIN and AGAIN…..”  before listing antisemitic attacks around the world. Its hunting season and Jews are once again the prey…..

Auschwitz Album. Look, stare, cry and ask – how and why? Last Moments before the gas chambers.

If Jews through the millennia faced false accusations preceding persecutions and massacres, today it’s Israel facing these false accusations, even from totalitarian dictatorships like the world’s worst human rights abuser North Korea whose Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang released a statement that read:

It is no exaggeration to say that the whole Gaza Strip has turned into a huge human slaughterhouse and a place of massacring children.” Hyping up the hate against the Jewish state with outrageous falsehoods, the statement continues to allege that Israel’s actions are “a crime against humanity” that challenges the future of humankind and is engaged in “state-sponsored terrorism and [the] act of obliterating other nations.”

June 1, 2021
From headlines around the world: Anti-Semitic attacks spread like wildfire in the US… Officials Say Hate Crimes Against Jews Are Growing… Who’s out protecting us?: Spate of anti-Jewish attacks… A Dangerous and Drastic Surge: Rise in Antisemitic Attacks… Germany sees spike in antisemitic crime. Shades of the Shoah. Headline news compiled by the Simon Wiesenthal Center of widespread rampant antisemitism.

Shades of the Shoah. Headline news compiled by the Simon Wiesenthal Center of widespread rampant antisemitism.

Pathetically and predictably climbing onto the proverbial bandwagon, the South African government condemned Israel’s “unjust attacks on civilians in Gaza….” and said the atrocities should be investigated and referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as possible crimes against humanity. 

Israel defends itself against rockets fired at its civilian population from Gaza – a war crime  in international law –  and the world chastises Israel about “proportionality” and “the toxic optics coming out of Gaza”. The problem was that there was “no optics” coming out from  Israel because the global media hardly covered it.
All we see,” says my family and friends in the UK, USA and South Africa, “is what is happening in Gaza.”

Lives Shattered. The “optics” in Israel that rarely appear in the overseas media. An infant’s swing outside the home of the Wolf family in the central Israeli village of Mishmeret, which was destroyed in the early morning hours of March 25, 2019 by a rocket fired from Gaza. (Jack Guez/AFP)

What’s “toxic” is the  media manipulation of the coverage so much so that North Korea and South Africa can be ‘moral’ bedpartners in ganging up against Israel.  Their only partnering is their shared antisemitism!

If one thing is loud and clear from the rampant rise of global antisemitism and revealing reactions to the recent war between Israel and Hamas is that Israel has to do what it has to do to defend Jews – whether in Israel or abroad. Whatever their disparate perspectives on Israel, Jews today throughout the world can walk tall and feel far more secure than their predecessors in the knowledge there is a national homeland with a powerful army. Because of Israel – NEVER AGAIN will Jews be herded onto trains before walking towards their slaughter – NEVER!

The majority of the world’s Jewish population today lives in Israel and its people are not going anywhere come rockets or rebuke!








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)

Cadena – Bringing Dignity Back to Young Women

Breaking taboos, Jewish non-profit on a mission to repair the world

By Rolene Marks

There is an old and wise African proverb that says:

Educate a woman and you educate a village.”

Access to a good education saves and improves the lives of girls and women the world over, ultimately leading to more equitable development, stronger families, better services and better health for children. Educating young girls has a wide-ranging impact as well as long term benefits. It is often said that the future is women – and who can forget such extraordinary young women like Malala Yousafzai who literally risked her life for the right to be educated and the countless others, who dream of what so many take for granted?

The simple act of going to school every day is one that many of us don’t give a second thought to; but what of the millions of young girls living in poverty around the world who miss out on a week of school every month because of their menstrual cycle? During this time, young girls who live in areas that are either rural or poverty stricken do not go to school because of a lack of access to safe, hygienic sanitary products, and/or who are unable to manage their periods with dignity, sometimes due to community stigmas. Many of these young girls are made to feel ashamed of their bodies and that they are dirty.

There is a connection between the confidence of women who are able to take care of their bodies and their ability to be able to take care of their education and their communities. At a time when we are having important conversations around issues of body positivity and breaking the stigma about menstruation which is a natural function, we need to draw attention to the many suffering from period poverty, that is – the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and waste management.

Young women deserve the basic human right to menstruate with dignity. Diminished capacity, even for just a week, creates barriers to opportunities. It does not just affect the ability of young girls to go to school but women to go to work.

Proud to Help. Young volunteers from the Jewish non-profit Cadena helping a  community in South Africa to replace unsafe and unsanitary pit latrines.

It also impacts on physical health. Lack of access to the right feminine hygiene products may lead to greater risk of infection. In some cases, women and girls do not have access to menstrual products at all. They may resort to rags, leaves, newspaper or other makeshift items to absorb or collect menstrual blood. They may also be prone to leaks, contributing to shame or embarrassment.

Humanitarian organization, Cadena has found a solution to these issues.  Cadena was formed in Mexico in 2004 with the intention of assisting with victims of natural disasters. Since then, Cadena which now has a global presence in many countries around the world, has expanded its focus to include education, the launching of rescue missions, community rebuilding programmes and many, many more important projects. Cadena also firmly believes in a philosophy of “hand to hand”, preferring direct contact with the people that they are helping. The organization became more and more concerned hearing about the situation for young women in poverty stricken areas of South Africa where a decision between buying a loaf of bread or sanitary protection for girls is a heartbreaking but common occurrence. At least 50% of young women in South Africa have seen their education disrupted during their menstrual cycle!

Project Preparation. Volunteers planning and preparing to  replace and upgrade latrines in rural community.

What could Cadena do to help alleviate the situation and ensure that the education of these young women and girls is not interrupted?

The first order of the day was to break the taboos. Cadena had to educate these young girls and women that there was nothing “dirty” or horrible about a process that is a very natural part of being a woman. Sadly today, taboos around this subject are not just in struggling communities but worldwide which is why an article like this can help a lot with breaking down stigmas and taboos.

Team Work. Cadena volunteers help communities with solutions to replace deadly pit latrines and help host workshops to help alleviate period poverty.

Cadena is determined that young girls and women get their dignity back and are committed to equipping them with the tools and material necessary!

Cadena is launching workshops in the townships where women will not only be taught about health and hygiene but will also be supplied with fabric and materials to help them make their own ecological, washable and reusable menstrual pads. This not only helps to empower the women attending the workshops but helps them to share the same skills with their families and communities. These workshops have been held with great success in South America.

Helping communities also creates opportunities for other volunteers to be involved. Students from Johannesburg’s Jewish day school have been eager to help. Cadena is primarily a volunteer organization. While they cannot take anyone under the age of 18 into the field, students were really keen to help as much as possible by packing materials, helping with content creation for distribution and helping to raise awareness. After all, who better to help than their peers of the same age! It also proved a great opportunity for them to learn about the situation for many in their own country who don’t enjoy the same comforts and privileges that they do.

Making a Difference. Braving heat and dust for three weeks in a row, CADENA volunteers in South Africa went from house to house in Plot 89 to deliver PitFix by Enzyme Genie that has made such a difference in a short amount of time.

Cadena has also been instrumental in making sure that rural communities have safe, hygienic latrines following a tragic accident where a 5-year-old little boy drowned. CADENA South Africa will be using PitFix, a locally produced product by the company Enzyme-Genie that removes wastes, breaks down organic solids resulting in a dramatic reduction in smell and the presence of flies in both traditional pit latrines and septic tanks.

This Should Not Happen! The mother of a five-year-old South African boy who died after falling into a pit latrine at school breaks down in court as she described finding his body.

Every person deserves to live a life of dignity and for the truly vulnerable, including women and girls, Cadena is playing a vital role in ensuring that that their personal health is protected and that they never have to miss out on receiving their education.

The future is clearly women!


For more information about how you can help by donating or becoming a volunteer, please visit: https://cadena.ngo/en/southafrica/






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)

Beyond Words

By Monessa Shapiro

When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

And so it is with the Israel – Palestine conflict.  Words have taken on new meanings, far distant from their original intent. They have become tools with which to obfuscate the truth.

Hamas fired a cavalcade of well over 4000 rockets into Israel targeting her civilians, aimed at murdering as many Israeli men, women, and children as possible. A rocket every 3-4 minutes, Israelis spent days and nights huddled in bomb shelters, terrified and traumatised. A proportionate response for any country under such threat would be the destruction of the rockets and rocket launching sites, as well as the killing of those firing the rockets.   But in our Humpty Dumpty, Alice in Wonderland world, “proportionate” is the new “disproportionate”.  The media and much of our leadership cry: “disproportionate”.  Not enough Israelis have died, all say. Israel’s actions are considered disproportionate because the number of Palestinians killed exceeds the number of Israelis. The only conflict in the world where proportionality depends on a quid pro quo of deaths.  No acknowledgement that Hamas does not build bomb shelters for its citizens but uses instead all her resources to procure arms and build tunnels in order to destroy Israel. No acknowledgement that Hamas fires rockets from within the civilian population, using women and children as human shields. No acknowledgement that 680 rockets fired by Hamas fell short and landed in Gaza killing in one instance, a Palestinian family of 8, and in another two mis-firings, 3 and 2 Palestinian children respectively.

Falling Short. Rockets fired toward Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on May 14. Between 20-30% of the rockets launched in Gaza fell short landing in its OWN territory killing Gazan civilians. Over a period of 3 days early in the war, it was established that Hamas misfired 350 rockets that killed Palestinian children, women and men. (see a video by clicking here​). MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/GETTY IMAGE

Jews have been the indigenous inhabitants of the land of Israel for over 3,000 years.  King David built his city in Jerusalem.    When the Roman Emperor Hadrian conquered Israel in the second century CE he renamed it ‘Palaestina’ in order to remove any links with the Jews, whom he exiled. But even during the long 2000-year exile, there remained a Jewish presence in Israel, and during that exile, Jerusalem remained the epicentre of Jewish yearning.  Wherever Jews resided in the world, when in prayer three times a day, always faced towards Jerusalem and at the Passover Seder always recited:

Next year in Jerusalem”.

Following the defeat of the Ottoman Turks in The Great War (1914-1918), Britain took control of Palestine. It was the Jews who, with the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948 in terms of UN Resolution 181, which divided British mandatory Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, decolonised part of the land and returned it to its indigenous people – the Jews.   Only in Humpty Dumpty’s language does an indigenous people colonise a land!

Following Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948, the Arab population numbered 156,000. In 2021 there are 1,890,000 Arabs living as free and equal citizens in the state of Israel.  Yet today, in our inverse world, this exponential growth is characterised as “ethnic cleansing”. Israel’s treatment of her minority Arab population will certainly go down in the annals of history as the most unsuccessful attempt at ethnic cleansing ever.  Or perhaps, in terms of the Israel-Palestine conflict, we must accept that “ethnic cleansing” just cannot have its rightful meaning. Perhaps, just perhaps it is used to merely inflame emotions and intensify hatred.

Disgraced former President Moshe Katzav was tried and found guilty of rape by an Israeli Arab judge.   Mansour Abbas from the Arab party Ra’am has just become part of Israel’s new government.  Moslems, Christians and Jews, blacks and whites live together freely in Israel as equal citizens. They shop together, dine together, go to the same beaches and parks, are cared for by the same doctors in the same hospitals.  There are Arabs in the IDF who serve their country Israel with the same love and pride as their Jewish counterparts.   Yet Israel is termed an “Apartheid state”. Apartheid was institutionalised racism.   Racial laws governed every aspect of the lives of black South Africans – where they lived, married, which park bench they sat on, which school their children attended, which beach they could swim at and so on.  Under Apartheid, only the white minority had the vote. And yet egregiously, Israel is termed an Apartheid state!  

Getting Country Back on Track. Hardly apartheid, when Dr. Mansour Abbas (left), a devout Muslim from a small town in the Galilee could prove the most important man in Israel re-mapping the country’s political landscape (AFP)

The Hamas Charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. 

The embracing of the words “disproportionate”, “colonisation”, “ethnic cleansing” and “Apartheid” lends legitimacy to Hamas’s nefarious call. If the media, and those who glibly use these terms, understand this, then we must accept that they are knowingly calling for the end of Israel – the one and only Jewish state in the world.

In 1940 it was the Jews who had to be exterminated; in 2021 it is the Jewish state.  Draw your own conclusions.

Dark Side of Words. The latest round of hostilities between Israel and Hamas has exposed the dangerous abuse of words to slander and malign.



About the writer:

Monessa Shapiro is a retired teacher and a member of the Media Team. Monessa also writes and blogs for the Times of Israel.











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)

Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 06 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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Lay of the Land congratulates Isaac Herzog as Israel’s 11th President.

Seasoned politician and  Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog, the son of Irish-born former Israeli President, Chaim Herzog, grandson of Rabbi Yitzhak Halevi Herzog the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland before becoming Chief Rabbi of Palestine, and nephew of Abba Eban, the country’s celebrated diplomat, the Herzog family has a legacy  of superlative service to Israel and the Jewish People.


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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

(Click on the blue title)



Articles

(1)

Ghastly in Gaza

By David E. Kaplan

‘Press’ Charges. Not wearing a veil, journalist Rawaa Mershid was severely beaten in public by a Hamas patrol.

Rough justice in Gaza is meted out by a Hamas public flogging of woman journalist – while reporting –  for failure to wear a hijab – facial veil. She wants “out” feeling depressed and distressed living under the ruthless rule of Hamas. The world can help!

Ghastly in Gaza

(Click on the blue title)

(2)

Showdown on Islam TV

From Rockets to Rolene, the war continues in the media as Israel remains under attack

A Fiery Debate. Rolene Marks vs Naeem Jeenah on South Africa’s Islamic TV station.

With the backdrop of unprecedented  levels of rampant global antisemitism, the stage was set on South Africa’s Islam TV (ITV), between Afro-Middle East Centre head, Na’eem Jeenah , who accuses Israel of behaving like Nazis and Lay Of The Land’s cofounder, Rolene Marks, for a fierce showdown.

Showdown on Islam TV

(Click on the blue title)


(3)

Sheikh Jarrah – On a wing and a missile

By Craig Snoyman

Hot Property. A piece of real estate in Sheikh Jarrah  in Jerusalem inflames passions and  ignites a war.

Counsel in the first land invasion case in South Africa, the writer – a practicing advocate – analyses the legalities and politics of Sheikh Jarrah and whether it’s really about a case of evicting  Palestinians through the courts or evicting Jews from the land of Israel through the court of world opinion.

Sheikh Jarrah – On a wing and a missile

(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)

The Israel Brief- 31 May- 03 June 2021

The Israel Brief – 31 May 2021 – Is Israel closer to a government? Egyptian shuttle diplomacy. Has Israel seen the end of masks?




The Israel Brief – 01 June 2021 – Israel inches close to a government. Hamas – Israel mega deal? Is Nasrallah still alive?




The Israel Brief – 02 June 2021 – Hertzog elected President. One last obstacle to negotiate for a coalition. Gantz in the USA to restock Iron Domes.











The Israel Brief – 03 June 2021 – Coalition signed! UNRWA Director recalled. Pride march in Jerusalem.



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).