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July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘football’

FIFA Pres. to Bibi: No Reason to Suspend Israel, But That Might Not Help

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

The head of FIFA, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the European football (soccer) league, Seppp Blatter, told Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday, that he sees no reason that Israel should be suspended from the FIFA as it hasn’t violated any FIFA statutes.

Terrorist leader Jibril Rajoub, who is also president of the Palestinian Authority Football Association has been working hard to get Israel kicked out.

FIFA is actually set to meet on May 29 to debate Rajoub’s motion among its 209 members. It’s needs a three-quarter majority to pass. If it passes, Israel will be banned from international competitions.

Rajoub has rejected an Israeli request for a Peace Game between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, the PA’s partner. Hamas, has hidden underground missile launchers in its soccer fields, and has used them to launch rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. If anyone should be kicked out of FIFA, it is the Palestinian Authority.

In 1970, Rajoub threw a grenade at an IDF bus. He’s been arrested numerous times for other terrorist activities, and was allegedly involved in a plot to assassinate Ariel Sharon in 1992.

Remembering Myra Kraft on Super Bowl Sunday

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I am a Dallas Cowboys fan still recovering from our playoff defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, or should I say, the instant replay booth.

Still, football is like life—not always fair. And even the lead-up to Sunday’s Super Bowl has lacked fairness, as the media is obsessed with deflated footballs. Fans of the sport are not enjoy-ing the sidebar stories that always accompany the lead-up to the big game.

When the Patriots and the Seahawks took to the field on Sunday, the conversation before, during, and after the game still involves “Deflategate” or “Ballghazi” (pick your media label). What will be missing for the second time in recent New England Patriots’ Super Bowl memory is Myra Kraft sitting with her husband, team owner Robert Kraft. She left us in 2011 after a battle with cancer.

Myra Kraft was a mensch is every sense of the word. It’s a sad disservice to her memory that the ebullience of viewers across the globe—not just Patriots and football fans—will be dampened because of a victimless and irresolvable non-scandal.

Stories about the Kraft family, especially Myra and her global philanthropic impact, would have made for informative and inspiring television.

With the Super Bowl having taken place during the same week as the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, it was beshert for Myra’s team to be playing in front of the world.

The granddaughter of Lithuanian Jews who perished in the Holocaust, her life serves as a re-minder that Hitler failed in his bid to exterminate the Jews. A mother of four and grandparent to eight, she and Robert Kraft have already contributed greatly to the survival of the Jewish people. But it’s their contribution to humanity that should inspire us to honor Myra’s memory as the world is watching her team play in the world’s greatest sports spectacle.

I’m sure Robert will tell you that making his wife president and director of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation was a no-brainer. She was all about community and volunteerism. When he bought the team in 1994, she feared it would interfere with their charitable giving. He allayed her fears by explaining, “We will do more for the community if we run this franchise correctly.”

A year later, she began serving a seven-year stunt as the first woman chairperson of the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. Myra’s name was synonymous with charity in the Boston community. She served on the board of the American Repertory Theatre, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Brandeis University, from where she graduated in 1964.

Robert and Myra have donated more than $100 million to charity. But their most important con-tribution will ultimately be to the Jewish people and Israel.

Understanding that “the next generation deserves a strong connection to Israel,” the Kraft family established The Myra and Robert Kraft Passport to Israel program.

Described as “a unique savings plan to help parents send their children on a life-changing teen Israel experience, the program is designed so that the community, the synagogue and CJP (Bos-ton-based Combined Jewish Philanthropies) help families make a trip to Israel during the high school years a reality.”

Robert and Myra also support American football in Israel—and yes, there was a big party planned for football fans in the Jewish state. It’s a safe bet to say that the overwhelming number of American football fans in Israel cheered on the Patriots, since the Kraft family is responsible for the sport’s growing popularity there.

In 2005, the Kraft Family Israel Football League was established under the umbrella of the American Football in Israel non-profit organization. Beginning in 2000, and with a renovation in 2005, the Kraft Family Stadium became the only football arena in Israel.

Muslim Player’s Prayerful Gesture of Thanks Punished by NFL

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Capricious discrimination can be found even on an American football field these days, apparently.

A Muslim football player was penalized Monday night for offering a quick prayerful gesture of thanks after scoring a touchdown for his team in Kansas City.

NFL defensive back Husain Abdullah, who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, had intercepted a pass thrown by Tom Brady of New England, and returned it to the end zone for a touchdown, bringing his team to victory.

Right after scoring, Abdullah kneeled briefly and touched his head to the turf in a manner that imitated Muslim worship.

Referees who were officiating at the game punished the player with a 15-yard penalty for the move, calling it “unsportsmanlike conduct.”

British Soccer Group Says Ban on Anelka Should Be Universal

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The British Football Association will request that Nicolas Anelka serve his entire suspension for performing the quenelle salute regardless of the soccer team he joins.

Anelka was fired by British West Bromwich Albion on Friday for “gross misconduct” for making the salute, seen by many as being anti-Semitic, on the field during a December match and refusing to apologize for it.

The Football Association last month imposed a five-match ban on Anelka, and the organization told the British Press Association that it will ask the world soccer association FIFA to impose the ban on whatever team he moves to. He has yet to start the suspension.

Anelka said in December that he performed the quenelle as a gesture to his friend Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the French comedian who popularized the quasi-Nazi salute. Dieudonne, who has been fined repeatedly for making anti-Semitic remarks, says the quenelle is neither anti-Semitic nor Nazi but merely anti-establishment.

Meanwhile, the Football Association on Monday launched the Reporting Discrimination campaign, a series of short films that instruct soccer fans on what to do if they see discrimination — including racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism — at a match.

PA Soccer Teams’ Honoring Terrorists Illustrate Culture of Terror

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Two recent Palestinian Authority soccer tournaments included four teams named after terrorists who were behind some of the most lethal attacks that murdered Israeli civilians, Palestinian Media Watch reported Wednesday.

The games were not played in official Palestinian Authority tournaments, but the official PA daily’s reportage of the tournament’s “success to the souls of…martyrs” illustrates a culture of terror that has permeated the Palestinian Authority in education, politics and sports ever since the era of Yasser Arafat, who was a Palestinian as much as you and your mother-in-law. He was born in Egypt.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented after Wednesday’s fatal terrorist stabbing of a soldier by a terrorist from Jenin that “the incitement through official channels of the Palestinian Authority and schools must stop.”

It is too late.

The United States for more than two decades has turned two blind eyes and two deaf ears to constant incitement in which an entire generation has been brainwashed into thinking that life is a lot nicer when you can kill Jews and know.

The Oslo Accords of 1993 committed the Palestinian Authority to halt all incitement. The Bush Administration ignored official PA encouragement to murder Israelis, and the Obama administration has done worse be publicly stating it does not exist. President Barack Obama has said on a number of occasions that Mahmoud Abbas has stopped incitement.

Official PA incitement has been documented hundreds of times on these pages and in other media, ranging from official PA documents and maps showing the Palestinian Authority flag to wave over all of Israel to Abbas’ praise for terrorists, including honors in public squares.

With the adoption of the populist term of “resistance,” terror has officially been eliminated. Simply don’t say the word and it does not exist.

That is the only way to explain U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry remarkably stupid remark last week that Israel faces a third intifada because of its refusal to hand over most of Israel to Abbas on a silver platter.

When soccer teams are named after murderers, Abbas does not have to incite, but the fact that he allows soccer teams to be named after Yahya Ayyash, Dalal Mughrabi, and Ghassan Kanafan reflects tacit enthusiasm for their barbaric acts.

PMW reminds us that Ayyash was the first Hamas suicide bomb builder and planner, known as “the Engineer,” and is considered the founder of Palestinian suicide terror. He was behind attacks killing dozens of Israelis and injuring hundreds. Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history in 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus on the Coastal Road and killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children.

Kanafani was a writer and a leader of the terror organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP has planned and carried out numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians since its founding in 1967.

All three teams bearing the names of these terrorist played in a tournament at Al Quds University in Shechem.

A fourth team that played in another tournament was named after terrorist Ziyad Da’as, a commander of the Tanzim, a faction of Abbas’ Fatah party,

Da’as planned the attack at a Bat-Mitzvah celebration in Hadera on Jan. 17, 2002, in which a terrorist gunman killed six and wounded dozens. He  also participated in the kidnapping and murder of Etgar Zeituni and Motti Dayan in Tulkarm in January 2001. Israeli military police killed him killed during a clash in 2002.

Although the Palestinian Authority did not run the tournaments, PMW translated and published a report by the PA official daily.

“At the end of the special tournament, the heroic martyrs who fulfilled their duty to the homeland were honored,” the newspaper wrote. “Mohammed Tamouni, the martyr’s brother, dedicated the big win and the tournament’s success to the souls of his brother and all of Palestine’s martyrs, who are more honorable than all of us. Tamouni said that this tournament will continue to take place annually in order to remember the heroes whom we will never forget.”

Other teams were named after more “minor” terrorists, such as Amer Nassar, killed in 2013 by the Israeli army after throwing a Molotov cocktail at a military post.

Only the ADL Could Turn the ‘Redskins’ Name into a Jewish Issue

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

President Barack Obama finally has given Americans a fun issue to debate so they can take their minds off Iranian nukes, Syrian chemical weapons and the zillion dollar debt, but the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is playing party pooper by turning it into a Jewish issue.

If the Washington Redskins’ football club owner Dan Snyder were not Jewish, would the name “Redskins” make such a difference to the ADL?

Other teams have also come under fire, including the Cleveland Indians, whose hook-nosed, red-faced mascot Chief Wahoo has been called racist and offensive, the JTA reported. The Atlanta Braves baseball team also is in the same club of offending an ethnic group.

“Tradition matters, but tradition should not justify the perpetuation of such names and mascots,” said ADL national director Abraham Foxman. “A name change will not impact how a team fares on the field, or in the standings.”

Snyder is sticking to his guns, or bow and arrow, and the Washington Post reported that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “It would be a real mistake – a real mistake – to think that Dan, who is Jewish, has a lack of sensitivity regarding somebody’s feelings. I promise you that.”

President Obama has turned the issue into a national debate, not the most burning issue for the great American empire but at least one that is a bit lighter than all of the burdens Americans carry because of an increasingly deaf and dumb government.

“I’ve got to say that if I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team, even if it had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” President Barack Obama said.

Not to many years ago, any ethnic group would have been proud to have a baseball or football team named after them. The “Baltimore Jews” or the “Brooklyn Blacks” would not have been offensive. It would have been badge of honor.

Even today, Walt “Red Hawk” Brown, the chief of Virginia’s Cheroenhaka Nottoway Tribe that was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly in 2010 but is not federally recognized , told a Richmond, Virginia television station that it’s “a great honor” when Native American words are used in popular culture.

“Why would my president says [Redskins is] is offensive to him?” Brown asked. “What’s offensive to me is this: we have 11 state recognized tribes, and he hasn’t done one thing to get those tribes federally recognized.”

But his voice is drowned out by the Melting Pot culture that not too many decades ago decided that Negro was too close to “nigger” and had to be replaced with “black,” which was not ethnic enough and had to be replaced with “Afro-Americans.”

But a Jew still is a Jew.

Or as Tom Lehrer once sang, “During National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week, “It’s fun to eulogize/The people you despise… Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics/And the Catholics hate the Protestants/And the Hindus hate the Muslims/And everybody hates the Jews.”

Consider the recent poll that shows more and more Jews, especially those who might not be Jews according to Jewish law but like to consider themselves as Jewish, regard their religion as a culture. That way, maybe the Jews won’t be hated, except by God for rejecting the concept of The Chosen People, which is obvious racism to the politically correct.

A “stomach Jew” used to be one who did not observe much of the Torah but ate gefilte fish. Today a  “stomach Jew” is one who can eat shrimp while wearing an “I Love Israel” shirt.

If  the “Redskins” is so suggestive of racism, Obama and Foxman have the wrong reasons for being so sensitive. And where is  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when we need him to remind everyone of American history?

Doesn’t anyone remember that the  tiny U.S. government occupied the West Bank of the United States and put the Indians in refugee camps, called “reserves?”

There was no need for an Apartheid back then because the good Christian whites simply gunned down the Indians by the hundreds and by the thousands as part of the peace process.

Does pressing Snyder to bury the name “Redskins” cleanse the past and sterilize the present?

Learning Peace Through Soccer

Monday, May 27th, 2013

The Peres Center for Peace is a non-profit organization which was founded in 1996 with the goal of promoting peace between Palestinians and Israelis at the grassroots level, through people to people interactions. According to project manager Sivan Hendel,

The center is working through all sorts of aspects to bring Jews and Arabs together, in order to break down barriers and build a sustainable future.

One of the ways that the Peres Center for Peace is doing this is through having Palestinian and Israeli children regularly play sports together.

Hendel explained that the Peres Center for Peace twins one Israeli school or group with a Palestinian one through the “Twined Peace and Sports School Program,” which is taking place for its tenth year. Usually, both the Israeli and Palestinian children hail from underprivileged communities, where the children potentially may not have had the chance to partake on a sports team otherwise. The Israeli and Palestinian children train with a local coach within their community twice per week, and then the Israeli and Palestinian children come together once per month for a joint activity. She claims that the children don’t only play sports with one another, but also engage in cultural events and activities that promote peace education.

THE 2013 MINI-MONDIAL

Photo credit: Efrat Saar, Peres Center for Peace

Once per year both Israeli and Palestinian children look forward to Mini-Mondial event, a soccer tournament for children in the program. It includes one mini-mondial for boys and one for girls, with each group consisting of 250 Israeli and Palestinian children. During the mini-mondial, Palestinian and Israeli children are mixed together on the same team and then play against another group of Palestinian and Israeli children that are also part of the same team. However, Hendel explained that the children are not only judged on how well they play soccer. In fact, the largest trophy goes to the children that treat the other children in the group the most respectfully.

Hendel reported that this years’ 2013 Mini-Mondial was a success. Even though language barriers and cultural differences can make things challenging at times, the main thing is that the children enjoyed playing soccer together. Hendel explained, “Once they have one identity and flag they are cheering for, they are proud of this group.” In fact, friendships are forming among the Israeli and Palestinian children as a result of joint events like the 2013 Mini-Mondial.

PALESTINIAN AND ISRAELI REACTIONS

According to Hendel, although the situation varies from child to child, family to family, location to location, and based on the present political situation,

From the evaluating process inside our department, there is a change in the kids mind and their opinions about the other side. The most important result is the fear diminishing and they start to see the other side as human. That is really felt, even in our day to day activities. The biggest problem in our conflict is that people don’t know each other and they demonize the other side.”

Photo Credit: Efrat Saar. Peres Center for Peace.

The parents are also usually very supportive of the program. According to Hendel,

Usually there is no problem at all. Usually the parents want to see their kids play. It’s very nice for them to have a football framework for their kids, so most of them not only approve it, but really support it.

Additionally, the Peres Center for Peace set up a parents group and the parents of the children met together, independent from their children playing sports together.

When asked how sports can be utilized to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis, Hendel responded,

Sports is an international language. You don’t have to understand them verbally. The moment they go out to pitch; all of the differences disappear. It is very nice to see and feel how through sports they are able to communicate.

Visit United with Israel.

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