Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 21 November 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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Israel’s Image
New perspectives through Arab Eyes

By David E. Kaplan

Bridging the Gulf. Forging friendships as Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid in Abu Dhabi opening Israel’s first embassy in the Gulf.

With an eye out to what Arab journalists in the Middle East are writing about Israel, this writer’s antennae picked up refreshing ‘signals’ in an illuminating piece by veteran Kuwaiti journalist that reveals a changing narrative of the Jewish state’s place in the region. 

Israel’s Image
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South African Government Boycotts Miss South Africa

Boycotting its own Miss Universe contestant because host country is Israel

By Rolene Marks

Hopes Halted. The crowning of Miss SA 2021 Lalela Mswane whose dreams were crushed by the bullying of her own government.

Endowed with beauty and brains, law-degree graduate and South Africa’s entry to the Miss Universe pageant to be held next month in Israel is not sitting well with her ANC government. Instead of trying run the country effectively – starting with providing basic electricity – South Africa’s ‘bright sparks’ prefers to ruin a beauty queen’s future because of its misguided perspective of the Jewish state.

South African Government Boycotts Miss South Africa

(Click on the blue title)


Shades of Shylock

Attack on Israel’s Ambassador at London university exposes imbedded British antisemitism

Written by Lay of the Land UK correspondent

Calm before the Storm. Israeli Ambassador Hotovely speaking at the LSE before she had to be “evacuated” to safety.

The complex character of Shylock crafted in Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ pervades the British perception of its Jews. After a millennium of demonising Jews as “money-grabbing, murderous and world-domineering”, there remains in British society, a persistence to silence their voice as tried at London university on Israel’s Ambassador to the UK.

Shades of Shylock

(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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