Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 27 August 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 Africaand millions of American listeners to the News/Talk/Sports radio station WINA, broadcasting out of Virginia, USA.

The Israel Brief

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Apples and


Mayors of ‘The Big Apple’ and ‘The Big Orange’ enjoy a fruit’ful meeting in Tel Aviv

Heartwarming“New York City is the Tel Aviv of America, and Tel Aviv is the New York of Israel,”said Mayor NYC Eric Adams.

Visiting Israel, New York City Mayor Eric Adams met on August 23 with the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai at his office, where they discussed deepening collaboration between the two cities, especially in the hi-tech sector. “Thank you to my friend and colleague, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, for hosting us. I’m proud that this trip deepens the long-standing friendship between our two cities. The exchange of knowledge and solutions for our cities with common challenges is critical.” In reply, Huldai said:  “New York and Tel Aviv are cities with pulsating hearts, which have led to collaborations on various issues over the years. Our partnership reflects our shared values in democracy, pluralism, diversity and equality.”




Where is the one in Netanyahu’s coalition who is going to finally stand up and say – “enough”?

By David E. Kaplan

Riding on the back of Bibi. From being leader to being led

After eight months in power, this government has little to show for itself besides showing contempt for protestors. Who in Netanyahu’s governing coalition will not only be a ‘shining light’ but a ‘guiding light’, and speak up and try stop Israel’s ‘March of Folly”?


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Enticing invitations often result in whitewashing local complicity in Holocaust crimes

By Dr. Efraim Zuroff

Proud of the Past. Latvians in annual Riga march honour troops who fought alongside Nazis.

In a recent travel article in “The Jerusalem Post” on Lativia’s capital Riga, while there is mention of the Holocaust, there is no mention of the highly significant role played by Latvians in the implementation of the Final Solution. With the two travel writers from Israel being invited as guests to visit, is it a case – to paraphrase –  “Beware of Latvians bearing gifts.”


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Israelis respond to mobs burning Christian churches and homes in Pakistan after blasphemy allegations

By Jonathan Feldstein

Ablaze with Hate. People gather at a church vandalised by protesters in Jaranwala, Pakistan.

Following a devastating attack on Christians in Pakistan, Christian friends in this Islamic republic turned to the writer in Israel “for prayers and support.” This was a brave thing to do. Having been violently attacked for blasphemy, to then reach out to a religious Jew in Israel, “could trigger more violence, even lynching.” Nevertheless, a campaign in Israel has been launched to help.


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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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