Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 12 February 2023

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 Virginia, USA.

The Israel Brief

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Israel’s delegation arrives in Turkey with earthquake relief

Following Turkey’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake, Israel launched Operation ‘Olive Branch’ rapidly sending a large and fully trained and equipped delegation to save lives. It was the Israeli army’s 30th such mission in the past 41 years. Tears of relief followed reports of IDF teams rescuing 17 civilians and setting up field hospitals. Israel has also offered aid to victim of Syria, a country that remains a threat to Israel.




Brought together by a love for music, it was love for country that would tragically separate them

By David E. Kaplan

New State, Young Love, Future Uncertain. Max (Meir) and Jane Bineth’s marriage ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1950

At a café in Tel Aviv’s Shenkin Street in the late 1940’s, South African Jane met Hungarian Max (Meir), a cultured European who loved classical music, played a variety of musical instruments and who spoke six languages. They would marry and in the few years that they would share together, these young lovers would dwell in the furtive but dangerous world of ensuring a safer Israel.


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A good question for both Jews and Arabs in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem

By Jonathan Feldstein

Conversing over a Convertible. This car caught the attention of the writer to engage with Mohammed, its proud owner.

Despite the tensions and suspicions following deadly terror attacks in Jerusalem, ordinary citizens ‘brave’ to engage in ordinary situations. A local gas station provides a venue for two avid motorists – a Palestinian Arab and Israeli Jew – to ‘drive’ a path forward.


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SA Rugby Board withdraws invitation to Israeli team – the Tel Aviv Heat

Refusing to play Ball. Tel Aviv Heat (seen above) is disinvited to participate in rugby tournament in South Africa. 

The South African Rugby Union withdrew an invitation to an Israeli rugby team – Tel Aviv Heat – to play in the 2023 Mzansi Challenge tournament in South Africa due to pressure from ‘the usual suspects’. The end loser here is typically South Africa and its beloved sport – rugby!


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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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