Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 28 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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The Maccabees. From ancient times to the present. Fallen warrior Eli Kay working on a kibbutz. (right)

As a nation mourned during the week before Hanukkah (“festival of lights”) the brutal killing of Eliyahu (“Eli”) David Kay who came to Israel from South Africa as a ‘lone soldier’; served in the IDF to defend the Jewish People and was later joined by his brothers who too served as ‘lone soldiers’,  and finally followed then by his parents and sister, we approach Hanukkah, where we celebrate the heroism of the ancient Maccabees who took on the might of Greece and honour this family leader who fell in Jerusalem like a modern Maccabee.

Lay of the Land  extends deepest sympathy and condolences to Avi, Devorah, Katriel, Hanan, Naama, grandparents and family.

May the memory of Eli be a blessing.



Farewell Eli

His passing reveals the best of a South African family and the worst of its government

By David E. Kaplan, Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche – Co-founders of  Lay of the Land

Life cut Short. An inspiration to family and friends, former South African, Eli Kay was shot while heading to pray at the Western Wall.

Murdered in the Old city of Jerusalem, former South African Eliyahu (“Eli”) David Kay was mourned universally but ignored initially by the government of the country in which he grew up. Loved and respected for following and living his dream, he was shunned in his native South Africa by a political leadership that resented  that dream because it was about – Israel.

Farewell Eli
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A Modern Miracle

In a hostile neighbourhood, Israel more than survives – it thrives

By Rodney Mazinter

The Magnificent  13. Israel has won 13 Nobel Prizes; nine since 2002 in the sciences and economics outperforming larger countries.

While Israel has revived a barren land and an ancient language, and achieved unimaginable success in so many diverse fields to emerge a world leader, an ultimate prize of a comprehensive peace still eludes her. The writer searches for answers.

A Modern Miracle
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Finding Common Ground

Far apart geographically, Jews and Hindus are closer than ever in shared history

Written by Lay of the Land UK correspondent

Climate Change, Warming Ties.  PM Bennett called PM Modi (right) “most popular man in Israel” at climate summit in Glasgow.

Similarities in their shared history of shaking off the shackles of colonialism reaching a crescendo in 1948 when both India and Israel gained independence from Britain, Israelis and Indians have come a long way in recognising and celebrating what they have in common.

Finding Common Ground

(Click on the blue title)

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LOTL Co-founders 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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