Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 12 December 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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Beautiful People Beautiful Country

For the first time in history, Israel hosts the Miss Universe pageant, taking place TODAY – 12 December – in Eilat on the Red Sea. Lay of the Land trusts the contestants will return to their countries inspired by the achievements and beauty of the Holy Land  and the warm hospitality of its people.



A South African Lunch at Israel’s Reichman University

It left much to chew on!

By David E. Kaplan

Bon Appétit! South African students at Israel’s prestigious Reichman University enjoy a Hanukkah ‘boerewors’ barbecue.

Built on an IDEA of one man – its inspirational founder Uriel Reichman – Reichman University is about promoting new IDEAS for a rapidly changing world. A lunch gathering serving good SA cuisine – “boerewors” – proved another good IDEA for the ever-increasing number of South African students at Reichman University.    

A South African Lunch at Israel’s Reichman University

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Tefillin against Terror

Jews around the world honour the memory of Eli Kay by doing good deeds in his name

By Michael Kransdorff

Eli’s Legacy. As was his practice and joy, Eli Kay (z’l) guides an Israeli soldier to put on Tefillin.

When 25-year-old Eli Kay – an immigrant from South Africa – was gunned down by a Hamas-affiliated terrorist in Jerusalem on his way to pray at the Western Wall with his Tefillin in his hand, it was that “Tefillin” that was retrieved from the murder scene that set in motion a way to honour Eli and share his legacy.

Tefillin against Terror

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Respect for Freedoms

Israel scores high on Freedom House Global Score

By Bev Goldman

Israel Illuminates. An Islamist party led by  Mansour Abbas, makes history by joining an all-Jewish governing coalition.

As authoritarian actors grow bolder and democracies around the world are undermined from within, most illuminating is the 2020 report on Israel by the independent Washington DC based organization, Freedom House  that tracks global trends of political rights and civil liberties. Analyzing the core components of Israeli society, the Jewish State scores high, a shining example to ALL its enemies, NONE of whom are ranked as “free countries”.

Respect for Freedoms

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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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