Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter-29 August 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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Striking Gold

Swimming Against The Current

In historic firsts, Lay Of The Land salutes Paralympic swimmers Iyad Shalabi who took gold in the 100m backstroke and Mark Malyar in the 200-meter medley. Born deaf-mute to a Muslim family from Shefara’am and paralyzed in all four limbs following an accident at age 13, Iyad is Israel’s first Arab Olympic medalist, while Haifa-born Mark with Cerebral Palsy, set in the medley a new world record.



Poles Apart

Cordial, if never sweet, Polish-Israeli relations have  assuredly soured

By Dr. Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Poland vs Israel. Not seeing eye-to-eye, Polish President Andrzej Duda (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Despite impassioned appeals from Israel, Poland persistently proceeded with a statute restricting Jews from recovering their rightfully-owned property looted in World War II. With Israel responding by labelling the decision “unethical and antisemitic”, the writer and internationally renowned Holocaust historian, peels off the layers of a complicated relationship whose future now lies uncertain.

Poles Apart

(Click on the blue title)


Sweet Surrender

Israelis get their just desserts

By David E. Kaplan

Taste of Israel. Tempting, tantalising and tasty, Israeli desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

From the 19th century to the present, enjoy an illuminating and mouthwatering tour, sampling some of Israel’s most irresistible dessert treats from Baklava to Knafeh and discover the sweet side of Israeli cuisine.

Sweet Surrender

(Click on the blue title)


Ruth’s Roots Revealed

By Adv. Craig Snoyman

Homeward Bound. A woman’s journey across land and time.

In 2016 a solitary, single, slightly tired woman arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa from Zimbabwe with no family or friends and no more than a suitcase, a small amount of money and gaps in her past that she was determined to fill. This is her journey of personal discovery.

Ruth’s Roots Revealed

(Click on the blue title)

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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