Farewell Eli

By Lay of the Land cofounders David E. Kaplan, Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche.

The cruel murder in the Old City of Jerusalem of Eliyahu (“Eli”) Kay, a young man and recent immigrant from South Africa has shocked the nation as it has the South African community in Israel and the Jewish community in South Africa.

Future cut Short. Raised in Johannesburg and moving to Israel on his own in 2017,  Eliyahu David Kay was shot while heading to prayer at the Western Wall and died of his wounds in  hospital.

Who it has not shocked  – which is shocking – is the political leadership in South Africa!

It was a brutal gunning down in cold blood of the 25-year-old former South African and the devastating news sent shockwaves of grief from Modiin in Israel to Johannesburg, London and around the world. What is astounding, not to mention hurtful, is that this brutal murder was met neither with comment nor any wishes of condolence or offers of assistance to the Kay family from the ANC government or from the official opposition party – the Democratic Alliance.

Their collective silence was and remains deafening!

Only last week, Lay of the Land published an article on the hysterical response of the ANC government in its vehement opposition of South Africa participating in the 2021 Miss Universe pageant next month in Eilat, Israel.

It appears the ANC has plenty of time to bully a young woman about participation in a beauty pageant – but no time for outrage or to offer condolences to a grieving family.

While the issue of a beauty competition riled up the South African government to take a highly-publicised position as it were of major national importance, the brutal murder of a South African on the other hand was met with only official silence. The common denominator or explanation to both sets of bizarre behaviour by the South African ANC government – the hysterical response to a South African participating in a beauty pageant and the silence following the murder of a South African by a terrorist – was Israel, the national homeland of the Jewish People.

Eli’s Final Journey.  The young man, Eliyahu David Kay, who was to be married in a few months,  on his way to his final resting place in Jerusalem, the city he loved, studied and worked as a tour guide at the Western Wall.

After 2000 years of exile and horrendous persecution, Jews have a name for this – ANTISEMITISM.

Compare the reticence of the South African government with the choice words of the representative of the Israeli government at the funeral of Eli in Jerusalem. Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, MK Nachman Shai – who in 2017 led a 5-member delegation of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) to South Africa “to promote dialogue, understanding and cooperation between Israel and South Africa” – spoke of strangers to the Kay family who at the funeral, felt like family:

So many people came today to say goodbye to you. Many  never had the opportunity to meet you, who only learned your name yesterday and decided they wanted to be with you to say goodbye.”

In sad contrast, the only “goodbye” the South African government would be happy to say would be as a final farewell to the State of Israel! After all compare South Africa’s ANC government downgrading its diplomatic relations with Israel – with no ambassador since 2018 – while in 2015, it welcomed to South Africa a Hamas delegation, even hosting it in the South African Parliament in Cape Town. This is the same Hamas that is committed to the destruction of Israel and who only this week was designated a terrorist organization by the UK, joining the US, the EU and other powers.

Laying Eli to Rest. Israelis far and wide, join family and friends attending the funeral at Har HaMenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem on November 22, 2021of 25-year-old Eliyahu Kay from South Africa who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack the day before in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

This is also the same Hamas that praised and took credit for the murder of Eli Kay. Official Hamas media identified the assailant Fadi Abu Shkhaydam as a “leader of the Hamas movement  in East Jerusalem” saying “the operation” was designed to be a warning to Israel, which it said would “pay for the inequities” at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Writing in the South African national daily, Business Day, Kenneth Mokgatlhe of Zeerust makes the observation before posing the astute question:

A hysterical SA government withdraws its support for a young woman to participate in the Miss Universe contest in Israel, but doesn’t say a word about a South African Jew killed by terrorists. Surely there is something wrong with this?”

Is this  the direction South Africa is morally heading – associating and identifying with the murderers of Jews?

Clearly concerned at the government’s silence of a  murder of a fellow South African by a Hamas gunman, the South African Zionist Federation released the following statement on the 22 November 2021:

It has been over 24 hours since Eliyahu David Kay, a Jewish South African national who emigrated to Israel, was murdered in an act of terrorism in Jerusalem by a Palestinian gunman affiliated with Hamas. The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) condemns the deafening silence from the South African Government and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on this issue. There has been no message of condolence to the family of the deceased, nor any public condemnation of this attack. DIRCO has in the past issued statements against terrorist attacks in the City of Jerusalem, and it is appropriate for them to do so now in respect of a South African national. 

Grief Stricken. Mourners react to a young life so senselessly snatched away by mindless terror. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

Hamas is an extremist organisation, as recently confirmed by the United Kingdom which designated Hamas as a terrorist organisation and has outlawed support for the group. This antisemitic and anti-Israel hate group gladly claimed responsibility for the killing of an innocent civilian and injuring others as the gunman opened fire in the Old City of Jerusalem.

We call on the South African Government to publicly condemn this heinous incident and to offer support and assistance to the family of the deceased.”

To date, this appeal from the SAZF to the SA government has been met with silence. Despite its citizen being caught up in a bloody terror attack that also left three people injured, the SA government’s silence paradoxically speaks volumes. Murder of Jews by terrorists, when carried out by Palestinians is perfectly acceptable to the ANC.

It’s not – it is gross, disgusting, flagrant antisemitism.

The SA government is sending a chilling message to its Jewish community and it’s a message that’s being read loud and clear and may well explain why this year there will be more olim (immigrants) to Israel from South Africa in 25 years.

Following in his Footsteps. Eli Kay served as a role model for his family who followed him to Israel from South Africa. Eli,  is seen here assisting a soldier with tefillin. In response, a campaign called 25 days of Tefillin has been launched, encouraging men to lay Tefillin in his memory.

These Olim will be following in the heroic direction of Eli Kay and his family taking a journey that is securing the Jewish state for all eternity.

In the words of Dr. Nachman Shai (Minister of Diaspora Affairs) at the funeral, “Eli, you died a hero, an example to all.”







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

The Israel Brief- 22-25 November 2021

The Israel Brief – 22 November 2021 – Eliyahu Kay z”l laid to rest. UK proscribe all of Hamas as terror org. Shin Bet uncovers terror plot. President Herzog meets Prince Charles.



The Israel Brief – 23 November 2021 – South Africa silent on murder of Eli Kay. Lapid to Turkey – shutdown Hamas. $50 million allocated to fight domestic violence. Gantz in Morocco.



The Israel Brief – 24 November 2021 – Australia bans Hizbollah. Belgium moves to label Israeli products “not made in Israel”. Warming ties with Poland. Supporting Helen Mirren.



The Israel Brief – 24 November 2021 – Saudi Arabia presses UAE to cancel historic deal with Jordan and Israel. Malaysia refuses Israeli Squash players visas. Shocking allegations involving treatment of female soldiers. International Day of Elimination of Violence.







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

Finding Common Ground

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

By Fionn Grunspan

When India’s Narendra Modi on the final day of his historic visit to Israel in 2017 frolicked in the waves with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a visit to a Mobile Desalination Unit, it emblazoned to the world a visual affirmation of the relationship between the two countries having literally turned a tide.

If the Mediterranean water for the two leaders was warm, relations between Jerusalem and New Delhi had not always been similarly so.

Although Israel and India gained their independence from the United Kingdom within months of each other, they soon found themselves heading in different directions – India as a leader in the Non-Aligned Movement maintaining close relations to the Arab world and the Soviet Union, and Israel linking its future to closer ties with the United States and Western Europe. This lasted for nearly four decades until 1992 when India and Israel established full diplomatic relations  and since, then bilateral relationship between the two countries has blossomed.

Testing the Water. India’s Narendra Modi(left) with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during  his historic visit to Israel in 2017.

A major obstacle to building this warm relationship was India’s legitimate fear that close relations with the Jewish State might radicalize its Muslim citizens – numbering more than 100 million – and harm its relations with the Arab world.

Other than that, Hindus have never been a threat to the Jews, unless, as someone jokingly commented on social media:

 “Well, not unless you count competing for contracts in hi-tech.”

The Dawning of Relations

The relationship between the State of Israel and India goes back many millennia to abound 1,500 BCE when trade began between the two ancient kingdoms.

Excavations at Tel Megiddo in northern Israel  have revealed evidence of such trade proving the presence of turmeric, banana, sesame, all originating from south Asia. Further analysis suggests that the authors of the Old Testament were talking about India, when referencing the trade of animals such as monkeys and peacocks.

During Roman rule of Judea, expensive garments worn in the Temple are believed to have been imported from India via Alexandra.

Israelites in India. Arrival of Jewish pilgrims in Cochin, AD 68. The Cochin Jews who first arrived in the contemporary state of Kerala are dated to about 50 CE. The local legend states that they moved to the country after the first Temple was destroyed during the siege of Jerusalem and were warmly received by Cheraman Perumal, the ruler of the Chera dynasty.

Parallel Fight for Freedom

Jews lived in India among Hindus free of persecution and India periodically provided a refuge to Jews as they fled from persecution, genocide, and slavery. In the early-20th Century, both India and Israel, both under British rule, would fight for independence.

In 1919, British forces carried out the Jallianwala-Bagh Massacre where over 1000 peacefully protesting Indians were killed in Amritsar, India. Also known as the Amritsar Massacre

it caused fury among Indians, leading to the launch by Mahatma Gandhi of the Non-Cooperation Movement, where Indians demanded independence.

During the same period, the fight for independence by Jews in the British mandate was heating up as antisemitism across Europe and in the Arab world spiralled. While Britain had recognised Israel as the homeland for Jews in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, it nevertheless blockaded and imposed limits on Jews entering Palestine, including during the Holocaust.

Howzat! A Bene Israel family in Mumbai, (Bombay). The Bene Israeli, that numerically form the largest Jewish group in India are said to have descended form a group of Jews shipwrecked on the Indian coast in 500 A.D. From the establishment of the state until 1969, over 12,000 Bene Israel emigrated to Israel, settling mainly in Beersheba, Dimona, Ashdod, and Eilat. Some settled in kibbutzim and moshavim. They have contributed to the sort of cricket in Israel.

Jewish resistance took shape in the creation of defence groups such as HaShomer, Nili, Palmach and Haganah to resist attacks from the Arabs; as well as to fight for Independence.

While Britain imposed a brutal blockade on Jews fleeing Nazi persecution to Palestine, a half a world away, colonial Britain continued to commit further massacres in India, such as in 1930 at Qissa-Khwani now in Pakistan. As both India and the emerging Jewish state both fought for independence from Britain, the birth pains of both were agonising,  resulting in painful partitions.

Similarities in their shared history of shaking off the shackles of colonialism, it reached a crescendo in 1948 when both India and Israel gained independence from Britain. They would each – in different ways – have to confront the new independent state of   Pakistan that went to war against India and supported the Arab invasions of the newly established State of Israel.

After independence, India would remain overtly cold to Israel with a hard-line ‘non-aligned’ and pro-Arab policy, as India refused to engage with Israel until the early 1990s. Pakistan would again support further invasions and attacks on Israel in 1967 and 1973, while in 1971, Israel supported India in the Indo-Pakistani War. It proved a breakthrough in the countries relations. Even though India did not have diplomatic ties with Israel in 1971, New Delhi secretly sought and received arms from Tel Aviv as it prepared to go to war with Pakistan, according to Srinath Raghavan’s book “1971”.

Sasoon and Sons. One of the most influential names in the history of Jewish presence in India is that of businessman Shaikh David Sasoon who arrived in Bombay in 1828. His arrival marked the beginning of the prosperity of Baghdadi Jews in India.

Although Israel was in middle of an arms shortage, Prime Minister, Golda Meir stepped in to divert arms meant for Iran to India. She sent a note to her Indian counterpart, Indira Gandhi through Shlomo Zabuldowicz, the director of the firm handling the secret transfers, with a request for diplomatic ties in return for arms. The diplomatic ties, however, would only be established twenty-one years later  in 1992.

Destiny & Détente

After decades of pro-Arab policy, India formally established relations with Israel when it opened an embassy in Tel Aviv in January 1992. Relations continued to warm and in 1999, Israel supported India in the deadly Kargil War, in which Pakistan invaded India. India soon became Israel’s largest buyer of arms and would increase trade to Israel, as the relations continued to warm. India would become a much sought-after travel destination for Jews and Israelis, especially after IDF service, for relaxation and cultural exploration.

India and Israeli relations would continue to warm, strongly supported by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who welcomed Israel’s promotion of exchange student programmes.

Exiled in India. The Synagogue Judah Hyam Hall is the only place of worship in Delhi for Jews, a special minority group whose entry into the country can be traced two thousand years back. (Express Photo)

The Golden Age

In the 2019 British Election, British-Hindus had defended British-Jews, voting against antisemitism in an election, which around half of British-Jews indicated they would consider emigrating if Jeremy Corbyn would win. In 2021, Israeli Prime Minster Bennett and Indian Prime Minster Modi, stated they were close friends on Twitter and wanted to build relations between India and Israel, for future generations.

Bennet wrote:

Narendra, I want to thank you for your historic role in shaping the ties between our countries. Together, we can bring India-Israel relations to a whole new level and build a better & brighter future for our nations.”

Currently the Indian and Israeli Governments are negotiating for closer security agreements, as Israel faces aggression from the Iranian Regime and India confronts an insurgency in northern India.

Climate Change, Warming Ties. Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called PM Modi (right) “the most popular man in Israel” during an animated conversation with him at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Great Expectations

On Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the following appears:

 “While Israel and India established diplomatic ties in 1992, the Jewish and Indian people share a rich and deep relationship which dates back to ancient times. Jews were one of the first foreign groups in recorded history to arrive and settle in India and became an integral part of Indian society. Today, India boasts a vibrant Jewish community, which numbers close to 7,000, while Israel is home to 85,000 Jews of Indian origin. The warm ties between the Indian and Jewish people continue to enhance and influence the Indo-Israeli relationship today.”

While India today is Israel’s third largest trading partner in Asia and seventh largest globally with bilateral trade having expanded from being mostly dominated by diamonds and chemicals to areas such as electronic machinery and high-tech products, communications systems and medical equipment, the Indian export most emotionally appreciated in Israel, has been Zubin Mehta.

Maestro Mehta. Famed Indian conductor Zubin Mehta performing his final concert with the Israel Philharmonic on Saturday night, July 13, 2019 (Courtesy Hanoch Grizitzky)

Fondly referred to in Israel as the “Maestro”, in 1969 this illustrious conductor of Western classical music began his long tenure with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), serving as music adviser before becoming music director in 1977. Four years later the orchestra named him Music Director for life, and he held the post until retiring in 2019.

Two years after India and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1992, the IPO performed in India for the first time, and since then, has toured there periodically. Every few years it performs in Bombay. “Music has this transformative ability to bring people together,” says the Maestro.

When asked “why is Israel so important to you?”,  Mehta replied:

My association with Israel started even before 1969. I first went there in 1961 and immediately formed a bond with the people. This was later solidified through regular visits. Besides, it is also the only real democracy in the area, that values freedom of expression.”

And to the question “how was it during the years when India and Israel didn’t have diplomatic relations??, Mehta replied:

It was very frustrating for me personally. So as soon as relations were resumed, I got the IPO (in 1994) on an India tour. And they came and  performed absolutely free of charge. There is a lot of respect and interest for India in Israel.”

With the Indo-Israeli relationship continuing to reach new heights with growing ties between Israel and India, we can expect this trend to only strengthen into the future.



About the writer:

Fionn Grunspan is a sign language translator previously working for a number of charities. Since being a community teacher and activist within his Jewish community from his mid-twenties, Grunspan today, through  his “Clubhouse Page”, promotes news and information about the Jewish world, focusing on Israel.







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).

A Modern Miracle

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

By Rodney Mazinter

Today, of the three Abrahamic faiths, there are 120 countries in which the majority of the population is Christian. There are 57 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. There is only one Jewish state, a tiny country, one-quarter of one percent of the landmass of the Arab world.

Israel is about the size of  my country, South Africa’s premier game reserve – the  Kruger National Park. Israel has done extraordinary things. It has absorbed immigrants from 103 countries, speaking 82 languages. It has turned a desolate landscape into a place of forests and fields. It has developed cutting-edge agricultural and medical techniques and created one of the world’s most advanced high-tech economies. It has produced great poets and novelists, dancers, artists and sculptors, symphony orchestras, universities, and research institutes.  As of 2021, it has also won 13 Nobel Prizes, with nine of the ten Israeli laureates since 2002, having been for either chemistry or economics. A pulsating powerhouse across so many fields, Israel punches way above its weight.

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

Wherever in the world there is a humanitarian disaster, Israel, if permitted, is one of the first to send aid. It has shared its technologies with other developing countries. Under constant threat, it has sustained a vibrant democracy, a free press, and an independent judiciary.

On the day of its birth, Israel was attacked by the armies of five states – Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. A country of a mere six hundred thousand people, many of whom were refugees or Holocaust survivors, faced the full force of nations whose population was 45 million.


Speaking of population displacement, at its founding – sometimes forgotten – is that at the same time some eight hundred thousand Jews were forced to leave Arab states, among them Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya. In many of them, they had lived for far longer than had the non-Jewish population of Palestine. The plight of the Arab and Jewish refugees was quite different. The Jewish refugees were absorbed immediately, most by Israel itself. The Arab refugees were denied citizenship by every Arab country except Jordan, to be used as pawns in the political battle against Israel.

Modern Day Exodus. A  Jewish Yemenite family walking through the desert towards Aden in their escape to the new state of Israel in the early 1950s.

The only nation ever to have offered the present Palestinians a state has been Israel. Prior to 1948, the Jews living in this region administered under the British Mandate were referred to as “Palestinians” and current The Jerusalem Post was called The Palestinian Post. Following Palestine renamed Israel in 1948, it was only in1964, that the term “Palestinian” was resurrected now referring to Arab residents with the growth of the pan-Arab movement.

Making History. David Ben-Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel in Tel Aviv on the 14 May 1948,  triggering a war of annihilation launched by five Arab states on the nascent Jewish state.

Every Israeli offer, every withdrawal, every hint at concessions has been interpreted by the Arabs as a sign of weakness and a victory for terror and has led to yet greater terror. If every Israeli gesture towards its neighbours is taken as an invitation to violence, then peace becomes impossible, not because Israel does not seek it, but because simply and quite explicitly,Hamas and Hezbollah do not seek peace with Israel but instead –  its destruction!

The Palestinians have blocked every Israeli move to establish peace:

  • The Oslo Accords led to suicide bombings
  • Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon led to the Katyusha rocket attacks by Hezbollah.
  • The 2005 withdrawal from Gaza led to the rise of power of Hamas and the sustained missile attacks on Sderot and surrounding towns

Israel has often been accused of being a threat to peace. It is an erroneous accusation! Of the many two state proposals between the Balfour Declaration and today – all crafted around compromise – the Jewish leadership accepted them all.

Although bitterly divided over the plan, the Zionist leadership nevertheless agreed in 1937 to the Peel Commission proposals. The Arabs on the other hand, opposed the partition plan and condemned it unanimously.

When the UN General Assembly voted on Resolution 181, adopting a plan to partition the British Mandate into two states -one Jewish, one Arab – the Jewish leadership agreed. Despite that the borders of the proposed state were far from what the Jewish side had hoped for and left the Jewish population without access to key areas of national historic and religious significance, the Jewish leadership nevertheless responded positively to the international proposal. In contrast, Resolution 181 was violently rejected by the local Arab population and the Arab States.  A wave of attacks were launched against the Jewish population and when Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, five Arab armies invaded the new state the same night, seeking its annihilation.

David Ben Gurion had called for peace; the Arab response was war.

In 1967, after the Six Day War, Israel made an offer to return territories in exchange for peace. The offer was conveyed on 16 June 1967. Two months later, the Arab League, meeting in Khartoum, gave its reply – the ‘Three No’s’:

no to peace, no to negotiation, no to recognition.

In 1969, Golda Meir became Prime Minister. Her first announcement was a call to Israel’s neighbours to begin peace negotiations. Within three days, Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser delivered his rejection with the words: “There is no call holier than war.” In June 1969, Mrs Meir offered to go personally to Egypt to negotiate an agreement.

Uncompromising in Defeat. The 1967 Arab League summit  held on August 29 in Khartoum  in the aftermath of the Arab defeat by Israel in the Six-Day War  is most remembered for its Khartoum Resolution  known as “The Three No’s” –  No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel. (left – right): Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Nasser of Egypt, Sallal of Yemen, Sabah of Kuwait and Arif of Iraq.

Between 1993 to 2001, during the Oslo Accords, Israel made its most generous offers yet, reaching the point at Taba of offering the Palestinians a state in all of Gaza, some 97% of the West Bank, with compensating border adjustments elsewhere, and with East Jerusalem as their capital. Again, the answer was ‘no’. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States and an active participant in the talks, said in December 2000, “If Arafat does not accept what is available now, it won’t be a tragedy, it will be a crime”. No Arab country except Jordan offered citizenship to Palestinian refugees. The only nation ever to have offered the Palestinians a state has been Israel.

Faulting Arafat’s Failures. Saudi Ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz was critical of Yasser Arafat for rejecting Israel’s overture towards achieving peace.

Every Israeli offer, every withdrawal, every hint at concessions has been interpreted by the Palestinians as a sign of weakness and a victory for terror and has led to yet greater terror. If every Israeli gesture towards its neighbours is taken as an invitation to violence, then peace becomes impossible, not because Israel does not seek it, but because, simply and quite explicitly, Hamas and Hezbollah do not seek peace with, but the destruction of, Israel.

Field of Dreams. Israeli pioneers transformed an arid land into fertile green farmlands and now Israelis are bringing the gift of water to nations around the world.

Israel has taken a barren land and made it bloom again. It has taken Hebrew,  an ancient language, and made it speak again. It has taken the West’s oldest faith and made it young again. It has taken a shattered nation and made it live again.

Not bad, I would say!



About the writer:

RODNEY MAZINTER, a Cape Town based writer, poet and author, who is involved in media activism on behalf of Israel. Past vice-chair of the South African Zionist Federation, Cape Council, he has held numerous leadership positions within a range of educational, sporting, secular and Jewish organisations. His novel “By A Mighty Hand” was favourably reviewed on Amazon. He has just finished writing the sequel called Ge’ula (Redemption).





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).

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.

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Articles

(1)

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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(2)

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

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(3)

Shades of Shylock

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

By Fionn Grunspan

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

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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).

The Israel Brief- 15-18 November 2021

The Israel Brief – 15 November 2021 – ANC boycotts Miss SA for Miss Universe in Israel participation. Lapid condemns Polish demonstration rhetoric. US and Israel partner to combat ransomware. Jewish journalist freed.



The Israel Brief – 16 November 2021 – Israel hosts US Ambassador to UN. Defense Minister Gantz off to Morocco. Israel pushes for PA funding. Antisemitism up by 59% UK campuses.




The Israel Brief – 17 November 2021 -UNRWA in crisis? Knesset Foreign and Defence committees say climate change is a security threat. Welfare Ministry releases stats on domestic violence. Miss Holocaust Survivor 2021.




The Israel Brief – 18 November 2021 – Gantz spied on? Israel couple in Turkey are freed. Palestinian opens case against Ben &Jerry’s. President Herzog to UK.






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).

Israel’s Image

New perspectives through Arab Eyes

By David E. Kaplan

Changes of mind often leads to change on the ground. With luck, it then presages peace.

Is this what is happening in the Middle East regarding Israel?

It appeared so to this writer when reading an article translated into English from the original Arabic by Ahmed Al-Sarraf, published on November 4, 2021, in Al-Qabas. This influential Kuwaiti daily has large bureaus in Washington, London, Beirut, Cairo, and Moscow.

Voice from the Gulf. The influential Kuwait daily, Al-Qabas with bureaus in Washington, London, Beirut, Cairo, and Moscow.

Israel and Kuwait do not have diplomatic relations. Kuwait refuses entry to anyone with a passport issued by Israel or documented travel to the State of Israel. Also, the Muslim Brotherhood  movement – hardly favourably disposed to Jews and Israel – is very strong in Kuwait. Disquieting quotes in the past from the Brotherhood’s luminaries include Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, who lamented “Jewish control……spreading of corruption on earth” and recommended “holy Jihad” as a remedy.

It thus was hardly surprising that days after Israel and the United Arab Emirates in 2020 announced that they would be normalizing diplomatic relations, and with other Arab countries making noises that they might follow in the Emirates’ footsteps, Kuwait doubled down on its anti-Israel stance.

In a formal announcement at the time to Al-Qabas newspaper, a senior Kuwaiti official expressed:

Our position toward Israel has not changed as a result of the deal to normalize relations with the UAE, and we will be the LAST to normalize ties.”

Well, Kuwait may be “the last” as other Arab nations in the Middle East draw closer to Israel but is their once hardline position to Israel  softening?

The same Kuwaiti Al-Qabas newspaper that only a little over a year ago published that Kuwait “will be the last to normalize ties,” with Israel, published on November 4, 2021, a refreshing new understanding on Israel under the pen of it its esteemed journalist Ahmed Al-Sarraf. Most telling was Al-Sharaff’s opening line which he clarifies in mid-sentence so there is no misunderstanding.

Illuminating Insights. Correspondent Ahmad-Al-Sarraf at the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas

There is a huge gap between the Jews and their enemies or more precisely, between Jews and the Arab world.”

Although in the wake of the Middle East’s changing political topography following the historic 2020 Abraham Accords, Al-Sarraf still identifies the entire Arab world as Israel’s enemy, he then proceeds to illuminate for his readership a new understanding of the Jewish State characterizing it more by it cultural than its military attributes. He also quashes any notion or fantasy that the Jewish state will one day disappear.

Fruits of changing Perceptions. Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid (left) visited Abu Dhabi in June to open the Jewish state’s first embassy in the Gulf. –(WAM/AFP/File)
 

“This gap is not only represented by Israel’s military superiority over its neighbours, but also in its more progressive culture and conscience. On the map, Israel looks as if it could easily be swallowed by its neighbours in a matter of seconds. However, it’s clear that it isn’t going anywhere. Although Arabs have lived in this region for thousands of years, what separated them has always been greater than what united them. In contrast, in Israel – where the overwhelming majority of the population immigrated from countless ethnic and cultural backgrounds – a unifying culture has been formed. Israelis were able, with limited resources and under the harshest conditions, to build up a national identity that is nothing short of a miracle. So, what is Israel’s secret?”

Al-Sarraf then draws an instructive comparison between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Zionist movement, both striving for a cohesive national identity but only one succeeds.

The Arab journalist reveals why.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is considered by many to be the only ideological and political organization capable of uniting people across the Middle East under one joint identity, similar to what the Zionist movement sought to do in the first Zionist Congress held in Basel in 1897. In only half a century, the Zionist movement succeeded in realizing its dream and established a modern state capable of imposing itself on the whole world. As for the Brotherhood, it has been trying for more than ninety years to do the same, but has failed time and again. The success of the Zionist movement and the failure of the Brotherhood movement is due to several factors. First, the Zionists succeeded in recruiting the best scientific and political minds to serve and lead their cause, regardless of these individuals’ adherence to traditional Jewish thought. This is what the Brotherhood failed in, as its choices were miserable from the get-go. The very nature of the Brotherhood precludes anyone who doesn’t adhere to the group’s view of Islam to actively take part in its activity. Second, whereas the Zionist movement was open about its goals, the Brotherhood always suffered from a lack of transparency about its ideology. No one truly knows the group’s plan for governance or its ultimate plans. We saw this clearly during its rule in Egypt, Tunisia and Sudan.”

Finally, Al-Sarraf zones in on the Jewish passion for education particularly for the sciences and the Jewish penchant for setting up cultural institutions as an assured path to statehood.

Writes Al-Sarraf:

 Third, and most important, the historical interest of the Jews in science and their known passion for reading and academic inquiry allowed them to establish a state with strong educational and cultural institutions from day one.”

State in the Making – Emphasis on Education. Twenty-three years before independence, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was inaugurated in 1925. (left) Invitation to the celebration of the opening of the Hebrew University on April 1; (right) An original 1925 picture postcard from the dedication of Hebrew University.

The Kuwaiti journalist concludes by comparing what the Muslim Brotherhood failed over a century and what the Zionist movement succeeded in less than a half-century:

“As for the Brotherhood, it has proven its inability and failure, scientifically, politically and culturally, for nearly a century. Finally, allow me to end with the following parting thought:

A study conducted by the well-known American Pew Research Center in 2016 showed that the average Jew has 13.4 years of education, followed by Christians, with 9.3 years. I’ll spare you the embarrassment of knowing what the same rate stands at in our countries.”

No Wasting Time. Construction of the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) in 1912. Born 36 years before Israel declared independence, in that time the Technion educated the engineers and brought the expertise to literally lay the infrastructure for a modern state.

Go figure!

Well, the Gulf States were the first to – “go figure”  – and join Israel in transforming the landscape. It is only a little over one year ago since the sighing of the historic Abraham Accords paving the way for the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain charting a new course in the history of Arab-Israeli relations by recognizing the State of Israel and normalizing diplomatic relations.

Creators of Chaos. Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi throw stones during clashes with security forces in Cairo on August 14, 2013 that left over 600 dead. (Getty Images)

Later in 2020, two other Arab nations, Sudan and Morocco, followed suit and joined the Abraham Accords, raising the number of Arab States with formal diplomatic ties to Israel from two – Egypt and Jordan –  to six. Today, with the new coalition government in Israel led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, there are new political realities at play.

With more articles of understanding like Ahmed Al-Sarraf in Al-Qabas and maybe KuWAIT won’t wait so long!



Pulsating with Promise. A young country, Israel today is a world leader in the sciences.







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).

South African Government Boycotts Miss South Africa

The South African Ministry of Culture boycott the country’s representative to Miss Universe pageant because host country is Israel

By Rolene Marks

The stage is set, the sequins extra shiny, the sashes ironed and the tiara polished – Eilat is getting ready to host the Miss Universe 2021 pageant to be held on the December 12 and are looking forward to welcoming representatives from around the world to compete for the coveted title. For the first time, there will be representatives from the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. This is historic and fitting with the flourishing peace afforded by the signing of the Abraham Accords normalization and peace treaties. The symbolism of the two beauty queens competing for the first time on the international stage in Israel is highly symbolic of the seeds of peace bearing real fruits.

The Way Forward. Israel’s premier coastal resort, Eilat on the Red Sea, which will host the 2021 Miss Universe pageant is sandwiched between Egypt and Jordan, both countries which the Jewish state is at peace  with – a shining example to South Africa of the way forward.

While talking about beauty pageants is not my normal beat (having failed to place anywhere in Junior Miss Pears at the age of four, much to my mother’s chagrin), I find myself for the second time in a matter of weeks commenting on the Miss Universe pageant. Several weeks ago, Lay of the Land published an article explaining how Chief Mandla Mandela was calling for not just Miss South Africa; but other countries to boycott the Miss Universe pageant because it is being held in Israel.

With peacemaking clearly skipping Mandla in the Mandela gene pool, the former poster child for scandal, now turned BDS front man is going full throttle on his campaign and has roped in his cohorts-in-hate from the BDS movement to pressurize the new Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane to pull out. The beautiful and accomplished Miss South Africa, graduated with a degree in law and deserves every opportunity to not only achieve her dream but also the chance to proudly represent South Africa on the world stage, make lifelong friends and draw focus on the humanitarian causes that she champions.

With the pressure from hate groups like BDS mounting, the Miss South Africa on behalf of Lalela, released a statement that stated not only would she compete but Mswane has spoken out openly about being bullied as a child and she will not be bullied as an adult against fulfilling her ambition.

Dashed Hopes. The crowning of an excited Miss SA 2021 Lalela Mswane whose dreams of competing at the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Israel were subsequently crushed by the misguided bullying of her own government.

Miss SA CEO, Stephanie Weil said a “very, very small, but extremely vocal, group” had attempted, and failed, to derail Mswane’s chances at the prestigious international pageant.

Bullying is what BDS do best and artists like Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney and many others can attest to that – including having the lives of themselves and their bands threatened by BDS activists.

Joining the BDS is the African National Congress (ANC) and this is an excerpt from their statement they released:

“Following unsuccessful consultations initiated by the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture, it has proven difficult to persuade the Miss SA pageant organisers to reconsider their decision to partake in the Miss Universe event scheduled to be held in Israel during the month of December 2021. What during initial consultations appeared like engaging, constructive and progressive discussions, was later met with an unpleasant demeanour that is intransigent and lacking appreciation of the potential negative impact of such a decision on the reputation and future of a young black woman.

 The atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians are well documented, and Government, as the legitimate representative of the people of South Africa, cannot in good conscience associate itself with such. In an attempt to demonstrate what partaking in Miss Universe means for South Africans and many others across the world, the Miss SA pageant organisers were referred to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s views following his visit to the area. Indicating that Israel was guilty of the apartheid treatment of Palestinians, he said, “Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

The South African Zionist Federation  (SAZF) as well as the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) have taken a strong position in support of Mswana.

The SAJBD said in a statement:

 “It is quite clear that Minister Mthethwa’s view is a minority one.  A poll conducted by Newzroom Afrika on Thursday night as to whether Miss SA should withdraw from the Miss Universe event in Israel showed a plurality of nearly 2:1 in favour of her competing. The PSA protest attracted a bare handful of activists.  This is despite the barrage of intimidation by groups such as Africa4Palestine and SA BDS in the media have resulted in comments calling for them to stop bullying Lalela and for her to participate in the event.

South Africa has diplomatic ties and extensive commercial trade relations with Israel.  It engages in events such as this one, such as hosting the Israeli Davis Cup team in 2018. The way we influence situations is to engage, not to withdraw.  The SAJBD believes that closing doors merely isolates us from contributing and any contribution we can make to finding peace in this country.  What better opportunity for a South African to be part of an event where she can connect with 70 countries around the world, including many Arab countries, in sharing our story of dialogue and peace-building?”

The SAZF added to that saying:

 “The SAZF is appalled that the South African government is self-sabotaging our country’s hopes and chances of participating and shining in an international event just because it happens to take place in Israel. Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa may think that South Africa is making a grand moral statement because the ruling party has been misled by a perversion of facts about Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, but in fact, our country is simply signalling its isolationism and irrelevance on the world stage. The government has been silent on actual and serious human rights abuses occurring in many other countries where we participate in sports and contests, but self-righteously reserves its opprobrium for the world’s only Jewish State.”

Perhaps South Africa is doing this to draw focus away from the myriad of problems plaguing the country. Extremely high levels of unemployment, government corruption, rolling electricity blackouts and many more issues are confronted by South Africans on a daily basis. Surely this is more important than sash-and-tiara wielding beauty queens? The ANC and BDS would have you believe that it is all about human rights but they remain resolutely silent on the genocide of the Uyghurs in China, the hanging of members of the LGBTQ community in Iran or the decimation of women’s rights in Afghanistan. Nothing like cosying up to some tin pot dictators to bring out the hypocrite in some folk!

It is interesting that another man has weighed on the Miss Universe pageant and the opportunity it brings to showcase young empowered, humanitarian driven women. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a strong advocate for BDS last visited Israel in 1989 and at Yad Vashem called on Jews around the world to “forgive the Nazis”.

I wonder if “The Arch” would pull this same stunt if the pageant was to be held in Venezuela, Cuba, China or any other country responsible for gross human rights violations? Probably not but this just exposes the hypocrisy and yes, antisemitism of BDS and its supporters.

It is a pity that the Miss Universe pageant which is non-political in nature but serves as a chance for women from different cultures and countries to build bridges has become the cause that  the ANC who fought so hard for equal rights for all, now chooses to boycott its country’s women.





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).

Shades of Shylock

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

By Fionn Grunspan

It says something about the UK today, that the Israeli Ambassador to the Court of St. James  cannot speak freely at one of the country’s most prestigious universities without coming under physical attack.

Trying to “tell Israel’s story” on the 9th November 2001 at the London School of Economic (LSE),  Tzipi Hotovely had to literally be “evacuated” by her security detail who were forced to defend her from students who assaulted her verbally at a speaking engagement.

In case there was any doubt the protestors were serious in their nefarious intent to intimidate, an Instagram account called “LSE Class War” posted ahead of the event with Hotovely the following:

Whoever smashes the Ambassador [sic] car window… gets pints. Let’s f***in frighten her.”

As it turned out, while the security guards were leading Ambassador Hotovely past the protesters, a man rushed at her and they had  to hurriedly push her into her car.

So, while freedom of speech is a fundamental right under UK law, it would appear not always the case when it comes to Jews!

Antisemitic violence has a history of periodically pouring out onto British streets from the Blackshirts (British fascists) in the Battle of Cable Street on October 4, 1936 to the cavalcade of cars on the 19 May 2021 where pro-Palestinian demonstrators were heard screaming antisemitic abuse such as “F*** their mothers, rape their daughters”, while driving through Jewish areas of north London.

Antisemitic Intimidation. Israeli Ambassador  to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely was subjected, in the words of Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi to “unacceptable intimidation. This is not disagreement or free speech – it is harassment and it will have deeply shaken Jewish students both at LSE and across the country”.

Hotovely is hardly the first Israeli diplomat to the UK who antisemites have tried to silence.

On June 3, 1982, Israel’s then Ambassador to the UK, Shlomo Argov was getting into his car after a banquet at the Dorchester hotel in Park lane when three gunmen from the Abu Nidal group appeared from nowhere and one of them, Hussein Ghassan Said, fired a single bullet straight through his head. The Ambassador fell into a three-month coma but somehow survived. He however was paralysed and required constant medical attention for the rest of his life.

Even during periods of intense peace-making, such  as on the 26 July 1994, one day after King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin met in Washington D.C. to discuss a Jordan-Israel peace treaty, a car bomb went off outside the London Israeli Embassy injuring 20 civilians. A second bomb exploded outside another Jewish institution, Balfour House, premises occupied by the UJIA in Finchley.  

The history of violence against high-profile Jews in the UK reveals its intent to harass them into silence.  Hotovely however would have none of it. “I had a great time at LSE and I will not be intimidated,” the Ambassador said on Twitter, saying she “would continue to share Israeli history and have an open dialogue with all parties of British society.”

Calm before the Storm. Ambassador Hotovely speaking at the LSE event before protesters surrounded her car. (photo: Israeli Embassy)

Nevertheless, the attack on Ambassador Hotovely, is an ominous message to British Jews, who are already beleaguered by antisemitism that took root to the highest echelons within the Labour Party, the reappearance of antisemitic violence on London’s streets and social-activism morphing against Jews. The result is that the Jewish community is feeling increasingly and deeply isolated, emphatically affirmed after Labour was found guilty of discriminating against British Jews by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

If social-activism continues to radicalise and manifest in violence against Jews, it could herald a damning situation for British-Jews, with about half of whom had revealed they were prepared to leave Britain if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minster in 2019.

Earlier this month,  the curtain  was literally  raised at the Royal Court Theatre exposing a cultural –  if albeit  – “unconscious bias”, when the main character – a power-hungry Silicon Valley billionaire – in the play, ‘Rare Earth Mettle’ by Al Smith had a Jewish surname, even though there was no Jewish context in the production. Following accusations from members of the Jewish community of promoting a negative Jewish stereotype., the Royal Court Theatre apologised and changed the script. Apparently, it was never realised that “Hershel Fink” was a Jewish name!

Chaos on Campus. Barricaded by student mob, Israeli envoy, Tzipy Hotovely, remains defiant.

There is something about the British love affair for the antisemitic stereotype of Shylock, of the ‘bad Jew, made acceptable’ – the one who can be told where to talk, how to speak and when to be heard. British Jews and Israelis can plead for their humanity just like in Shakespeare’s Shylock character in ‘The Merchant of Venice’, but to antisemites, Jews need to be demonised and then reformed. The repeated attempts to demonise Jews as money-grabbing, murderous, genocidal and world-domineering are common tropes and antisemites will always persist in trying to silence Jews.

Stirring Hatred. Imitating the Nazis, British politician Sir Oswald Mosley inspects members of his British Union of Fascists in Royal Mint Street, London sparking the riot known as the Battle of Cable Street. (PhotoCentral Press/Getty Images)

This threat to British Jews and British Israelis to silence their voices, should be a warning call to the threats to free-speech and political freedom. The British Government must intervene and mandate all universities and organisations to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and use effective sanctions against antisemites. Once the venomous hate against Israel can be exposed for what it really is – antisemitism – it will impact on reducing the spiralling antisemitism imbedded within British society – but only if the British Government acts.

Savagery on London Street. A convoy of cars filmed on London’s Finchley Road, with passengers yelling antisemitic obscenities abuse such as “F*** their mothers, rape their daughters”, on May 16, 2021. (Screenshot)

In conclusion, whether you agree or disagree with the Israeli Ambassador Hotovely’s views, her message  was exemplary when she said:

The State of Israel will send its representatives to every platform. We will not give in to bullying and violence.





About the writer:


Fionn Grunspan is a sign language translator previously working for a number of charities. Since being a community teacher and activist within his Jewish community from his mid-twenties, Grunspan today, through  his “Clubhouse Page”, promotes news and information about the Jewish world, focusing on Israel. For reasons of personal safety and security, the writer declined to  have his photograph appear.





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).

Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 14 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.

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Articles

(1)

Broken Glass, Shattered Lives

Commemorating the shrill sounds 83 years ago that heralded the destruction of European Jewry

By David E. Kaplan

Menacing Message. On Kristallnacht, the world ignored Jewish suffering and sent a message – you are alone.

The road to Auschwitz did not begin with the laying of train tracks  – there were  periodic warnings; mostly unheeded. The final and clearest warning occurred on the 9-10 November 1938 – but by then it was mostly too late. The first lesson of Kristallnacht is to take the warning signs of antisemitism seriously – Israel does!

Broken Glass, Shattered Lives
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(2)

Blue & White….and Green!

How the Innovation Nation pivots to focus on the fight against Climate Change

By Rolene Marks

Saving Our Planet. PM Bennett offers Israeli technology towards solutions in his address at COP26 in Glasgow.

Israel presented at the  2021 UN Climate Change Conference not only its dreams but the will to fulfill them. Poised to lead in finding sustainable solutions to Climate Change,  there are presently in Israel 637 start-ups and growth companies developing climate technologies.

Blue & White….and Green!

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(3)

A Close Shave

The Corbyn crisis that was, remains a warning to world Jewry

By Fionn Grunspan

Sounding Alarm. A panic appeal preceding the 2019 UK election that had Jews ready with bags packed.

Corbyn’s reshaping of the Labour Party energised latent antisemitism and came close to driving Jews from the UK. While disaster was averted by the British voter, the fight against Labour’s antisemitism, left deep scars and a warning to similar dangers globally.

A Close Shave

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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).