Lay of the Land Weekly Newsletter- 21 February 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

Home

New Developments in Social Media

To lower the political temperature, Facebook is restricting exposure of content it deems “political” including – Zionism and anti-Semitism. To ensure LOTL’S  voice is heard, visit and/or subscribe to our platforms for unbiased coverage and please share our content.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

To subscribe via email please send a mail noting your request to: layotland@gmail.com 

Please visit/ join/follow our social media platforms: Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LotLSite/

Twitter: Lay Of The Land – @layoftheland5

Also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.



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What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  YouTube   by seasoned TV & radio broadcaster, every Monday to Thursday and on our Facebook page. 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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Articles

(1)

The Magnificent Seven

A peek into G-d’s ‘Cook Book’ for healthier living

By David E. Kaplan

Produce of the Promised Land. Considered as gifts from G-d to His people, but what are their health value?

While studies have revealed that the ‘Seven Species’ from the Bible carried unique health benefits for the Jews in the ancient land of Israel, is there any scientific evidence today that they are beneficial for us in the modern era?

The Magnificent Seven

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(2)

Casualties of Conflict

The frightening phenomenon of Palestinian Child Soldiers

By Rolene Marks

Stollen Summers. A summer camp in Gaza where kids are dressed in military fatigues with toy firearms.

While the world commemorated February 14-19 as Childs Soldiers Week, it went by largely unnoticed, a world preoccupied by other priorities. The writer explores why Palestinian children are being forced to become child soldiers by terror groups herding them into the frontlines – a flagrant abuse of their personal and human rights, not to mention their safety!

Casualties of Conflict

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(3)

New Land, New Life

Making it in Modiin

 Part II

By Shelley Berman

Certified Israelis. The Bermans from South African proudly display their new Israeli ID documents.

Aliyah – immigrating to Israel –  is increasingly  on the radar of Jews around the world. In this second of a  2-part “Aliyah on the Agenda?” series, the writer  relates her experiences in the transition from Glenhazel in South Africa to Modiin in Israel.

New Land, New Life

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(Part 1 : Aliyah on the agenda?)

LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com

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 February 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

Home

New Developments in Social Media

To lower the political temperature, Facebook is restricting exposure of content it deems “political” including – Zionism and antisemitism.

To ensure LOTL’S  voice is heard, visit and/or subscribe to our platforms for unbiased coverage and please share our content.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

To subscribe via email please send a mail noting your request to: layotland@gmail.com 

Please visit/ join/follow our social media platforms: Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LotLSite/

Twitter: Lay Of The Land – @layoftheland5

Also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.





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What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  YouTube   by seasoned TV & radio broadcaster, every Monday to Thursday and on our Facebook page. 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

(Click on the blue title)




Articles

(1)

Distorting the Truth

Struggling to face its country’s complicity in Shoah,  Lithuanian leader ‘Blames the Jews’!

By Dr. Efraim Zuroff

False Claims. Lithuania MP Valdas Rakutis  asserts on Remembrance Day that Jews share blame for Holocaust

The Nazis and local collaborators killed over 90 percent of Lithuania’s pre-war Jewish population of more than 200,000  yet on 2021 International Holocaust Remembrance Day,  Lithuanian lawmaker,  Valdas Rakutis, accuses its once Jewish community of alleged collaboration with Nazi and Soviet regimes.

Distorting the Truth

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(2)

Helping Hand into the Arms of All

Tel Aviv rolls out COVID vaccines for illegal foreign nationals and asylum seekers

By David E. Kaplan

Call to Arms. From French nuns to foreign workers, lining up in Tel Aviv for Covid vaccine.

Despite not having inoculated half Israel’s population, Tel Aviv has started administering vaccines free of charge to the city’s foreign nationals, many of whom are undocumented asylum seekers.  No borders or boundaries when it comes to a pandemic, Israel also sent vaccines to Ramallah for Palestinian healthcare workers.

Helping Hand into the Arms of All

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(3)

Aliyah on the Agenda?

Leaving South Africa for Israel

By Shelley Berman

“We are Home”. Ian and Shelley Berman are welcomed by their daughter and grandkids.

What made the Bermans in Johannesburg who “had everything we needed” – close family, lovely home, good jobs, warm community and good friends, leave and resettle in Israel? In the first of a 2-part series, the writer recounts her journey from decision to “settling down” – adjusting to a new country and different culture.

Aliyah on the Agenda?

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LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com





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- 7 February 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

Home

Like this content? Please share and tweet it to your friends and followers.

To subscribe via email please send a mail noting your request to: layotland@gmail.com 

Please visit/ join/follow our social media platforms: Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LotLSite/

Twitter: Lay Of The Land – @layoftheland5

Also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.




Lay of the Land endeavours to be balancedunbiased and non-partisan. As social media platforms are now being censored of any content deemed “political” or “partisan”, we need you to please help ensure that our voice is consistently heard by visiting our platforms, sharing our content and subscribing.

Your support is greatly appreciated.



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What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  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

(Click on the blue title)

Articles

(1)

From Ben to Charlie

A saga of ships and the men who ‘sailed’ into modern day Israeli history

By David E. Kaplan

Men on a Mission. Fighters for Jewish statehood, American Ben Hecht (l)  and South African Charlie Mandelstam (r)

Listening this week to a webinar on Ben Hecht, the great US Jewish novelist, playwright and iconic screenwriter, instantly unlocked a historic gem revealing something in common with a volunteer from South Africa in Israel’s War of Independence. The gem? A ship – the S.S. Ben Hecht.

From Ben to Charlie

(Click on the blue title)



(2)

Jews who fought back during the Holocaust

By Gabriel  Groisman, Mayor of Bal Harbour, Florida.

Fighting Back. Jewish woman and children partisans in the forests near Pinsk.

Too often we hear people ask, “Why didn’t the Jews resist?” The response from the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laurette  Elie Wiesel is – “The question is not why all the Jews did not fight, but how so many of them did.” The writer  reveals some of the inspiring stories of those that fought back.

Jews who fought back during the Holocaust

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(3)

False Alarm

NGO sensationalizes false narrative of Israeli ‘Apartheid’ to keep donor taps running

By Shaun Sacks

Fingering Falsehood. Contrived B’Tselem poster portraying Israel as a nefarious superpower.

In a cycle of deceit, ‘information’ providers like the NGO B’Tselem spew out factually contrived Israeli ‘wrongdoings’, which the international media then presents in sensationalized reportage. The writer exposes this assault on Israel and the truth.

False Alarm

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LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com






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- 31 January 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

Home

Like this content? Please share and tweet it to your friends and followers.

To subscribe via email please send a mail noting your request to: layotland@gmail.com 

Please visit/ join/follow our social media platforms: Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LotLSite/

Twitter: Lay Of The Land – @layoftheland5

Also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.



Lay of the Land endeavours to be balancedunbiased and non-partisan. As social media platforms are now being censored of any content deemed “political” or “partisan”, we need you to please help ensure that our voice is consistently heard by visiting our platforms, sharing our content and subscribing.

Your support is greatly appreciated.



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“We Remember”

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Lay Of The Land’s  (l-r) Yair Chelouche, Rolene Marks & David Kaplan In accordance with the UN’s General Assembly designating January 27 as “the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau as International Holocaust Remembrance Day”, we Remember and Honour  “the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism.”



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What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  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

(Click on the blue title)



Articles

(1)

Surviving the Shoah

By David E. Kaplan

Wezembeek Children. Roni Wolf ( front row second from the left) with fellow orphans who luckily survived the Holocaust.

Every year on the 27th of January, the world commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust – one and a half million were children!  Lay Of The Land  talks to Roni Wolf from Ra’anana – who narrowly escaped deportation to Auschwitz while staying at the Wezembeek orphanage during the Nazi occupation of Belgium.

Surviving the Shoah

(Click on the blue title)



(2)

The Long-Term Impact of the Abraham Accords in Africa

By Ben Levitas

Footprints in Africa. While Trump failed to set foot in Africa during his presidency, Biden as VP  traveled thrice in one year.

With Israel’s increasing integration into a region commonly recognised as “a dangerous neighborhood” coupled with a new US administration promising to re-engage with the world and re-build alliances, appears as positive portends for a new enlightened Middle East with Israel as a major player.

The Long-Term Impact of the Abraham Accords in Africa

(Click on the blue title)



(3)

Nhonho and Nomsa

By Martine Alperstein

Cultural Connections. Enriching conversations revisiting yesterday, exploring tomorrow.

Away from her native South Africa for close to a quarter century, the writer living in Israel  revisits her past by engaging in weekly conversations with  those that were so dear to her then and forging fresh relationships that are emerging as new friends dear to her now.

Nhonho and Nomsa

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LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com







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)

Surviving the Shoah

Every year on the 27th of January, the world commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Of the six million Jews murdered in the Shoah (Holocaust) – one and a half million were children!

By David E. Kaplan

Entering  the Children’s Memorial at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem  – World Holocaust Remembrance Center – one is engulfed by darkness until one turns a corner and then suddenly overwhelmed by tiny flames from candles – a Jewish tradition to remember the dead –  that appear to reach out into eternity. Apparently, it might be one candle and through skillful mirror positioning, a single flame becomes many emerging endless. This is the point of the Memorial – that if the murder of ONE child is unbearable to bear then the innumerable flames help try apply the mind to the UNTHINKABLEone and a half million children snuffed out in cold blood!

Lives Lost. Each flame signifying a young Jewish child murdered in the Shoah at the Children’s Memorial at Yad Vashem  in Jerusalem.

The names of murdered children, their ages and countries of origin can be solemnly heard in the background – a roll call of the dead.

Visitors are left speechless; their only response – tears running down cheeks!

One child that survived that horror – though not her parents  –  was Roni Wolf from the city of Ra’anana in Israel. Her story of survival was revealed this month in an emotionally-charged global Zoom meeting together with her fellow survivors who had found themselves at an orphanage outside Brussels in Belgium during World War II. They had not seen each other since they were all young children together – in that  fateful orphanage where death stalked them!

The Zoom reunion on January 17, 2021, came about because of the research of a Jewish Dutch 24-year-old law student, Reinier Heinsman. While studying, Heinsman opted to volunteer at the Kazerne Dossin – a Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights established within the former Mechelen transit camp from which in German-occupied Belgium, arrested Jews and Roma and sent them to concentration camps.

There, Heinsman became fascinated with the amazing rescue of some 60 orphaned Jewish children having been captured by the Nazis to be transported to Auschwitz on October 30th,1942. From photographs of the children he found at the Museum, he set about in tracing any surviving orphans. Over a period of eight months starting his research in May 2020, the intrepid investigator  reveals “I located five children in the photo who are still alive. The other six who participated in the Zoom reunion were from this orphanage but do not appear in the photo.”

All had been snatched at the eleventh hour from certain death.

The last ‘child’ he found was Reizel Warman, today Roni Wolf from Ra’anana, the only one living in Israel.

Dinner Time. Roni is bowing her head on the left during meal time at the orphanage.

On Sunday night, the 17th of January, the young law student welcomed the eleven Holocaust survivors on Zoom who last saw each other over seven decades earlier. Most of them today are living in the USA. Each of the former ‘children’ re-introduced themselves as ‘adults’ and told their life’s story. Each were truly indebted to Reinier who reveals he is unsure what drove him to tackle with such passion such a deep study of this magnitude that will soon appear in his soon to be published book, Jewish Orphans from Belgium in the Holocaust-Testimonies. Born to a Jewish mother and Christian father, Heinsman has never even visited Israel.

When Roni’s parents were herded onto the train for Auschwitz, they departed not from Antwerp but Brussels, where they had been  in hiding on Rue des Fleuristes. They had shortly before moved to the Belgium capital, “because it had a smaller Jewish population and they thought they could blend in and escape attention,” explains Roni. This proved to be true only temporary. Soon the roundups began in Brussels, and only days before the German’s came, Roni’s parents  Zalman and Malka, took their two baby daughters to their non-Jewish neighbours. Roni would later learn that her mother was murdered on the first day she arrived in Auschwitz; her father would succumb later from illness. “We only spent a few days with this family, who were terrified of the danger we placed them in. They then took us to Wezembeek, an orphanage for abandoned children outside Brussels.”

For a while, the children were safe.  

Wezembeek Children. Roni is in the front row second from the left with the white hood.

Explains Roni:

The orphanage was protected property as part of an understanding reached when Belgium capitulated in 1940, that the Nation’s children would not be harmed. This was insisted upon by the Queen. The Nazis adhered to this policy until one day in 1942, the trains bound for Auschwitz fell short of their quota. Precise by nature, the Germans would not countenance empty coaches. And if they could not meet their quota with adults, they knew where to find last minute substitutes the children at Wezembeek.”

Roni, who was 2-years-old at the time and her older sister Regina were amongst those herded onto the trucks and driven to the station. Luckily, the orphanage was run by a cool head in Madame Marie Blum!

The Wezembeek Orphanage where Roni and her older sister Regina Warman spent four years following their parents deportation to Auschwitz.

Marie had been assigned the post of manager of the Wezembeek Home when she was only 26 years old. On Friday afternoon the 30th of October 1942  – less than two months after Roni and Regina arrived at the home – the SS raided Wezembeek. As related by Marie later, the SS headed by a Dr. Holm, burst in with their firearms in their hands screaming and shouting orders. “Their aim was to frighten all into immediate obedience.” The men rushed into Madame Marie office and started ripping up the wires to the phone, breaking all telephonic contact with the outside world. Two staff members, Julia and Livine Kumps, were washing the corridor at the time.

The Wezembeek staff and boarders.

Dr Holm barked at Marie, “Are these two women Jewish?”

No,” replied Madame Marie, “they are outsiders employed on an hourly basis.”

Pay and get rid of them,” ordered an impatient Holm.

The Germans wanted little interference with what they were doing. After all, they were reneging on the deal with the Belgian royalty not to harm the country’s children!

All this was going through the mind of Dame Marie, who while drawing the money from a drawer in her desk, also managed to write something down on the two pieces of paper in which she wrapped the wages. The clock was ticking, and all she had time to quickly scribble was one word “PREVENT” and a phone number.  She hoped at least one of the messages would find its way to the Queen of Belgium and be understood.

It was not only a long shot  but the only shot!

For the plan to have any chance of success, Dame Marie also needed to buy time – to cause as much delay as she could.

This would prove tricky and dangerous.

She guided  Holm to the infirmary room where she said there were two boys with “contagious diphtheria” germs. Unfortunately when 13-year old Michel Goldberg and 7-year-old Jacob Gebotzreiber were asked by Holm if they were indeed ill, they truthfully answered:

No, we are not sick.”

An irritated, impatient and much angered Holm then proceeded to move all of the children out towards the large canvas covered truck. Holm was meticulous in going through the entire home so as to be certain that everyone was accounted for.

Seven of the staff members were forced to board the truck together with the children. At that moment, a staff member – a Mrs. Gold – fainted which gave Marie time to run back for water, clothing and medical supplies for the journey.

Valuable time was bought.

Marie sat in front with the driver and Roni on her lap. She struck a conversation with the driver who looked at Roni and said:

 “I have a daughter of the same age.”

Tedious conversation passed the time away and helped eased the tension.

The truck arrived in the Mechelen town centre where the children were offloaded into a large courtyard in front of the Dossin military barracks where many other deportees were gathered awaiting deportation to Auschwitz.

Again, Marie needed to play for more time and pulled the same stunt she had failed earlier with Holm. She convince the Commander of the Barracks, an officer Steckman, that there were two children that were taken from an infirmary having contagious diseases. Steckman ordered the boys to be separated from the rest of the children and began phoning awaiting further instructions.

Finally after all the delays, Steckman was ordered by his superiors to release the children, which he did  that included Dame Marie and the orphanage staff.

The drive back to the orphanage was harrowing, afraid that they would be stopped at any moment and sent back to the deportations.

They returned safely back to the orphanage and survived the Shoah!

Marie would later discover that Julia Dehaes, the cleaner, had taken her scribbled note and had run to the hardware store in the village, where a telephone was available and called the number that Marie had written on her paper. One thing led to another and a message got through quickly to Queen Elizabeth of Belgium who contacted the military governor of Belgium, General Alexander Von Falkenhausen. He complied with her pleading and ordered the return of the children to Wezembeek. That order came through while the children were disembarking from the trucks and being marched towards the train.

A short while later the train left for Auschwitz with a few empty carriages, while the truck returned to the orphanage full –  with the children!

Close Encounter. Roni (Reizel Warman) soon after her narrow escape of being deported on a transportation to Auschwitz.

In 1992 Madame Marie Blum was honoured by the US Senate for being “a true heroine”.

When the war ended, only Roni and Regina of the Warman family in Belgium had survived but so had her aunt Rachel, who was living in London.

When Rachel was given the names in 1945 of all the deportees in Belgium she noticed that her brother’s children Regina and Rosa (Roni) were not listed. “It meant they had survived,” thought Rachel. She had lost in the Shoah her parents, two brothers, a sister, a sister-in-law, aunts, uncles and cousins, “but I had two nieces and we were going to find them.”

The Marvelous Madame Marie. Roni with the ‘children’s saviour’ Madame Marie Blum (left) at Wezembeek orphanage.

After months of investigation, we learnt that one was living with a devout Catholic family and the other in a Jewish children’s home.” Rachel travelled to Brussels, brought them back to England where she and her husband Jack adopted them.

Surviving to Thriving. A jovial Roni (left)  and her friend Pearl during basic training in the Israeli Defence Force.

At the age of eighteen, Roni left for Israel on a year’s educational programme. Instead of returning to the UK after the year, she joined the army where she met her future husband, South African Ivor Wolf.

Young Country, Young Lovers. From surviving the Holocaust and brought up in London, Roni meets Ivor Wolf from South Africa to forge a life together in the young State of Israel.

Epilogue

On Yom Hashoah in 2009, Yediot Achronot ran an article on the Holocaust with an appeal from a woman working at Yad Vashem to identify any of the children in the six photographs she had randomly selected from some 130,000.  The caption read:

Lost Youth

Shortly before midnight, one young reader of the Hebrew paper was about to retire to bed when she glanced at one of the photos. The next thing she did was call her parents in Ra’anana and said:

 “Don’t go to bed, I’m coming over right now.”

Roni and Teddy. A picture of innocence removed from the horror gripping all of Europe.

A short while later, Yaella arrived, finding her parents, Ivor and Roni Wolf anxiously drinking coffee. She dropped the newspaper on the kitchen table and pointed to a photo of a little girl clutching her teddy bear.

 “Mommy, it’s you, it’s you,” she tearfully repeated.

The following day Roni contacted Yad Vashem. The photo was taken when Roni had been staying at Wezembeek, the orphanage outside Brussels.

Horrors from the Holocaust. A 2009 article in Yediot Achranot of Roni Wolf pointing to herself in the paper’s earlier article with a photograph of herself holding a teddy bear taken at Wezembeek Orphanage.

Now twelve years later, Roni has again reunited with the past, meeting on Zoom all those fellow children who narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Nazis.

“Living in our Jewish state with my husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchild instills in me hope for a brighter future” says Roni.




Survivors Reunite. The young Dutch law student Reinier Heinsman who tracked down Jewish Holocaust survivors from a Belgium orphanage and brought them together for a Zoom reunion.





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- 24 January 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

Home

Like this content? Please share and tweet it to your friends and followers.

To subscribe via email please send a mail noting your request to: layotland@gmail.com 

Please visit/ join/follow our social media platforms: Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LotLSite/

Twitter: Lay Of The Land – @layoftheland5

Also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.



Lay of the Land endeavours to be balancedunbiased and non-partisan. As social media platforms are now being censored of any content deemed “political” or “partisan”, we need you to please help ensure that our voice is consistently heard by visiting our platforms, sharing our content and subscribing.

Your support is greatly appreciated.



What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  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

(Click on the blue title)






Articles

(1)

The Man who said “Yes”

A man who shied away from the spotlight all his life but spent a life never shying away from helping others

By David E. Kaplan

Visionary. Steel magnate Eric Samson addressing a Keren Hayesod fundraiser at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The passing of Eric Samson  – South Africa’s “Man of Steel’ and philanthropist – has left a void but also a lasting legacy. Lay Of The Land pays tribute to this icon whose vision and support impacted on the lives of many across continents.

The Man who said “Yes”

(Click on the blue title)



(2)

Vaccination Controversy

A response to false accusations in top British tabloid

By Rolene Marks

Racist Reportage. The UK’s Daily Mail besmirches Israel with false narrative relating to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Following the UK’s popular Daily Mail publishing a statement by Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister accusing Israel of racism regarding its vaccination roll out, Lay Of The Land responds in an Open Letter taking issue with this defamatory position to tarnish the Jewish State.

Vaccination Controversy

(Click on the blue title)

(3)

Seeing is Believing

Israeli innovative medical science restoring sight to the blind

By David E. Kaplan

Sight to Behold. Blind Jamal Furani reading a vision chart a day after receiving artificial corneas at Israeli hospital.

Never thinking he would ever properly see again, Jamal Furani, an Arab from Haifa opened his eyes and saw his youngest grandchild. Following the success in Israel of this first ever operation, KPro artificial corneas from CorNeat Vision based in  Ra’anana, offers hope of sight to the inoperative blind.

Seeing is Believing

(Click on the blue title)

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LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com

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- 18 January 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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Also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.



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What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  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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Articles


(1)

Time to Tell the Truth

Lithuania is adept as passing over its nefarious past

By David E. Kaplan

Guardians of Death. Lithuanian civilians, leading Jews in 1941 to the Seventh Fort in Kovno, Lithuania.

While Lithuania commemorated in 2020 the 300th anniversary of the Vilna Gaon and the enriching legacy of its once vibrant Jewish community and is commendable, less commendable is its governmental  suppression of the TRUTH –  the complicity then in the murder of its Jewish citizens and now in the ‘murder’ of that truth!

Time to Tell the Truth

(Click on the blue title)



(2)

Kristallnacht Comparisons

By Rolene Marks

Amanpour Uproar. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour regrets equating President Trump’s tenure to Kristallnacht.

A precursor to the destruction of two thirds of European Jewry in the Holocaust,  Kristallnacht stands alone as a singular horrific historical event. Why then do commentators on either end of the political spectrum see the need to compare riots in the US Capitol building and de-platforming of right wing commentators from social media platforms with the “Night of Broken Glass” synonymous  with the mass murder of Jews?

Kristallnacht Comparisons

(Click on the blue title)


(3)

Hot Air to Hot Stuff

Back to the Polls in Israel as Voters Wade through the Waffle

By David E. Kaplan

Shifting his Sights. Aspiring to national politics, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai standing at Dizengoff Square.

Israeli elections are like repeatedly hearing the same bad joke with the known punchline! Going into its 4th election in two years,  the writer explores the welcome entry into the ‘bruising’ bout of enterprising Tel Aviv Mayor, Ron Huldai.

Hot Air to Hot Stuff

(Click on the blue title)




LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com




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- 10 January 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

Home

Like this content? Please share and tweet it to your friends and followers.

To subscribe via email please send a mail noting your request to: layotland@gmail.com 

Please visit/ join/follow our social media platforms: Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LotLSite/

Twitter: Lay Of The Land – @layoftheland5

Also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is The-Israel-Brief-Logo-for-NL.jpg

What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  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

(Click on the blue title)





Articles

(1)

Under Lockdown, Israeli University Unlocks Ingenuity

Educating through a Global Pandemic, IDC Herzliya turns Challenge into Opportunity

By David E. Kaplan

Corona Connectivity. A IDC Herzliya Zoom meeting connecting students from all over the world.

With over 800 foreign students from over 90 countries studying at Israel’s first private university, the IDC Herzliya responded to the global pandemic showcasing its entrepreneurial talent by adjusting and providing ongoing online enriching education while easing the concerns of anxious parents.

Under Lockdown, Israeli College Unlocks Ingenuity

(Click on the blue title)


(2)

Vaccination Nation

Leading  the world in vaccinating her  citizens – Is Israel responsible for the Palestinians as well?

By Rolene Marks

Million Shot Man. Israel’s million  vaccination recipient is Muhammad Jabarin from the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm.

While vaccinating its ONE millionth citizen ranking Israel the world’s No.1 country in global immunisation was “good news”, not so for The  Guardian and other media that presented a calculating poisonous narrative of Israel denying vaccine shots to Palestinians. Why the nefarious obsession of influential media platforms to falsely present Israel’s positives as negatives?

Vaccination Nation

(Click on the blue title)




(3)

The Arab Voice

Arab writers opine on issues ranging from the divisive damage of the Trump legacy on  sustaining democracy and unity in America to the prospects of Israeli generals salvaging the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and President Macron of France’s frustration with Lebanon’s ruling elite.

The Arab Voice

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LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com





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- 31 December 2020

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

Home

Like this content? Please share and tweet it to your friends and followers.

To subscribe via email please send a mail noting your request to: layotland@gmail.com 

Please visit/ join/follow our social media platforms: Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LotLSite/

Twitter: Lay Of The Land – @layoftheland5

Also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.





This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is The-Israel-Brief-Logo-for-NL.jpg

What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  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

(Click on the blue title)


Articles

(1)

A Shot in the Arm

A world knocked off its axis, vaccines arrive to set it straight

By David E. Kaplan

Thumbs Up. A jubilant Sidney and Irit Kaplan after receiving the vaccine at a clinic in  the Lower Galilee.

Almost 800,000 Israelis so far have been inoculated against the virus crossing the milestone in some 10 days after the start of the campaign. With figures showing the Jewish state leading the world in the immunization rate by a large margin, the writer taps into the joyful experiences of ordinary people across Israel receiving the Covid vaccinations.

A Shot in the Arm

(Click on the blue title)


(2)

Disproportionate Stupidity?

The International Committee of the Red Cross Ignores Murder and Rockets to Focus on “Fauda“

By Rolene Marks

Fed-up with Fauda. The Red Cross on Twitter ignores real terror for fiction on television’s “Fauda”.  

“Fauda” is an internationally acclaimed Israeli television series. But that is all it is – a popular TV drama! So why does the International Red Cross choose FACTS over FICTION by failing to condemn ‘actual terrorism’ instead accusing ‘fictional Fauda’ for its “violations of International Human Rights law”?

Disproportionate Stupidity?

(Click on the blue title)



(3)

Caveman vs Covid-man

By Justine Friedman

Early to Bed, Happy to Rise. Research shows people who retire to bed early arise in better moods.

Separated by millennia, Covid-man shares many of the core concerns with ancient caveman but equipped  with modern day knowledge, the writer offers tips of how in times of uncertainty, we can regain some small measures of control back in our daily lives?

Caveman vs Covid-man

(Click on the blue title)

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LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com








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- 20 December 2020

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

Home

Like this content? Please share and tweet it to your friends and followers.

Please visit/ join/follow our social media platforms: Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LotLSite/

Twitter: Lay Of The Land – @layoftheland5

also available on YouTube @The Israel Brief  – Simply click on the red subscribe button to receive alerts when a new report is posted.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is The-Israel-Brief-Logo-for-NL.jpg

What’s happening in Israel today?  See this week’s daily ‘The Israel Brief’ broadcasts on LOTL  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

(Click on the blue title)



Articles

(1)

A Brush with the Past

By David E. Kaplan

Dreaming on the Dunes. Founded on sand dunes, Gutman’s idealistic impression of a sun soaked Tel Aviv.

The brushstrokes of Nachum Gutman reveal Tel Aviv’s journey from “sleepy city” to the “city that never sleeps”. Through his paintings, sculpture and writings, we journey back in time to an early Tel Aviv and discover the settings and seeds of its transition.

A brush with the past

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(2)

Has the New York Times Been Captured?

By Rolene Marks

Admitting the Obvious. The NY Times later acknowledges anti-Semitism in publishing this “appalling” cartoon.

One of the world’s most respected news media publications, the writer explores how The New York Times  has gone from admired to derided. Has an obsession with Israel and American Jewry contributed to this once venerated bastion of global journalism becoming another casualty of ‘institution Capture’?

Has the New York Times Been Captured?

(Click on the blue title)



(3)

“Winter of Our Discontent”

By David E. Kaplan

Breaking News.  An  excited Israeli public process the news during Hanukkah seeing “light at the end of dark tunnel.

From a pessimistic Passover in 2020 when Israelis faced its first lockdown to an approaching promising Passover 2021, the writer reflects on the year that was to the year we welcome paying tribute to the way humanity has miraculously responded to this pandemic with rapid resourcefulness.

“Winter of Our Discontent”

(Click on the blue title)



LOTL Cofounders David E. Kaplan (Editor), Rolene Marks and Yair Chelouche

To unsubscribe, please reply to layotland@gmail.com



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 (O&EO).