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July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Israeli Gymnasts Win Gold in Baku Just Before Olympic Games in Rio

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

The Israeli team brought home several medals from the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) World Cup Final in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Baku, Azerbaijan on Sunday just two weeks before flying to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The competition ended today with an impressive gold medal for the Israeli team at the ribbons event. The judges awarded the girls 18.500 points, putting them ahead of the Russian team by just 0.15 points.

Israel also took the gold for this event at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships earlier this month.

In addition, the team won a silver medal on July 17 in the group all-around category, which is one of the important categories in the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio.

Veteran gymnast Neta Rivkin won the bronze medal during the individual ball event earlier on Sunday.

Rivkin was selected to hold the Israeli flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The 2016 games will be her third as she competed at both the London and Beijing Olympic Games.

“My ambition is to win an Olympic medal. All my efforts are currently focused on the Rio de Janeiro Olympics; I am putting in doing my absolute utmost to do the very best at the Olympics,” said Rivkin.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Exclusive: ‘Trump Will Stay 100% True to Israel’

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

A prominent Jewish New York attorney and member of the American Jews for Trump organization says the GOP candidate for president, Donald J. Trump, will stay true to the support he has expressed for the State of Israel.

In an exclusive email interview with JewishPress.com, New York-based attorney Mark E. Langfan maintained Thursday evening that Trump will “stay 100% true to Israel even though 85% of the Jews will insanely vote for Hillary who will push Israel to national suicide.”

Langfan, a member of the American Jews for Trump, owns a commercial real estate agency in the Big Apple. But he is also well known for his topographical maps of Israel and his lectures on how the regional topography and local geopolitics impact on Israel’s security.

One of the litmus tests of an American president’s views on Israel is the issue of whether he is willing to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem.

Most presidents have vowed during their presidential campaigns to do so — but once in office, all have invoked their right to use the six-month “deferment” included in the original language of the promise to delay that move. They renew it every six months. Repeatedly, like clockwork.

Would Trump do the same? On this score, Langfan was more cautious: “He will have a ton of other emergencies because of the catastrophe Obama has left,” he said.

However, Langfan is certain that Trump “absolutely will not put any pressure on Israel” to give away land in Judea and Samaria as part of any ‘swap deal’ in order to reach a final status arrangement with the Palestinian Authority.

That is a view that does not seem to be shared by most American Jews, a fact Langfan himself acknowledged. Many believe that once in the process of trying to ‘make a deal’ between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Trump may be inclined to force the Jewish State into even more concessions than it has yet had to give. In some cases, Israel has paid a price for those compromises in Jewish blood.

Trump will have to work hard to raise his credibility in the Jewish community if he is to win votes in that sector.

Nevertheless, Trump vowed in his acceptance speech Thursday night to maintain America’s strong bond with its “greatest ally in the region, Israel” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

It’s not a real surprise. The man he chose as his vice presidential pick, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, is a strong pro-Israel politician, with a long track record dating back to more than a decade as a member of Congress.

Trump’s running mate signed a bill this year divesting Indiana from local businesses that participate in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Pence told the crowd Wednesday night that “if the world knows nothing else, it will know this: America stands with Israel.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Flag Burns Again in Cairo, But El-Sisi Limits Protest

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Egyptian journalists burned Israeli flags and shouted anti-Israel slogans in Cairo last week on the steps of the Syndicate of Journalists building.

The demonstration was held July 13 by Egyptian journalists to protest the visit to Israel and meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri on July 10.

It was the first such visit in nine years and a basic act of normalization for most countries. But in Egypt, it sparked outrage. Rumors that the two government leaders had enjoyed their time together only added fuel to the fire, so to speak.

Irate journalists were doubly upset that security forces from the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had not allowed their demonstration to get out of hand. Moreover, mention of the protest didn’t even make it to the media until a week had gone by.

Protesters at the time complained bitterly about the “many people who were going to participate” but who had not been allowed to “pass the barriers” because “they lacked press credentials to join the Syndicate event.” All were blocked, they said, by government security forces. Nevertheless, the demonstrators carried on.

“We came … to burn this despicable flag, the flag of the apes and pigs,” said the leader of the irate protesters. “Today we will burn a picture of the one called the ‘Prime Minister of the Zionists’ and that of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, and we will burn the Israeli flag.'”

The group of demonstrators is seen in a brief video of the protest posted on YouTube by Daily News Egypt newspaper, chanting and using a cigarette lighter to set fire to a bed sheet transformed into a crude effigy of an Israeli flag, and a few pictures, each with a big red “X.”

Their anger and frustration is clear, as is their hate, which seems directed nearly as much at their own president as it is at his Jewish northern neighbor.

Hana Levi Julian

Religious Zionist Rabbi Offers Homosexuals Alternative Approaches

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – While controversy has been brewing over several prominent rabbis’ comments on homosexuality and the Jerusalem gay pride parade, a well known religious-Zionist rabbi has been quietly setting up Orthodox gay men with lesbian women to be married, an idea that is considered revolutionary in the religious-Zionist world.

The Anachnu (“we” in Hebrew) organization is an NGO founded in 2011 by Rabbi Areleh Harel and is associated with Kamoha, a support organization for religious homosexuals who wish to have a conventional marriage.

As a resident of Shiloh and a teacher at the Elon Moreh Yeshiva, which is commonly associated with the ultra-Orthodox stream of religious-Zionism, Rabbi Harel does not seem a likely candidate to run a matchmaking service for homosexuals yet he began taking interest in the matter 12 years ago.

“Women were coming to me and telling me that after 10 or 15 years of marriage, they realized that their husband was gay and was seeing other men,” he said. “I understood the tremendous pain felt by many religious homosexuals and I felt that I had to do something.”

“A religious homosexual is stuck,” he continued. “I don’t have any way to solve this problem. Perhaps one tried to change and failed, but the question is what do we do now? If a gay man and a lesbian woman can marry each other without expecting love and sexuality, they can still build a traditional family.”

After six years of independently setting up religious gays and lesbians, Rabbi Harel was approached by Kamoha with an offer to formally expand his activities.

“Our NGO received many requests from gay men asking to be set up with lesbian women,” said Amit, the spokesman for Kamoha, who preferred not to disclose his full name. “Since so many people have turned to us, we decided to set up an initiative to match gays with lesbians. All of the rabbis we spoke to sent us to Rabbi Harel who had already been doing it privately and we decided to turn it into something official as part of our NGO, which became Anachnu.”

Anachnu recommends using their services only after having already seen a therapist and having accepted that a change to one’s sexual orientation would be impossible. “Those suitable for this project are those who are not in the process of trying out a new sexual orientation, but rather for those who have accepted themselves as being gay or lesbian,” states their website.

Amit claims that Anachnu is not being used exclusively by religious Jews. “The majority are religious,” he admits. “However, there have also been traditional people and even secular people who have reached out to us. All of them are closeted.”

Kamoha’s efforts are not without controversy within the religious community. Chavruta is an organization that supports religious homosexuals and is often considered a more liberal alternative to Kamoha. Daniel Jonas, a Chavruta spokesperson, offered lukewarm praise for the initiative. “We think that everyone has a right to choose their own path,” he said. “It makes no difference whether that means to live in the closet while married to a woman and pretending everything is normal or to live as you are.”

He warned against using groups like Anachnu to further hurt the LGBT community. “We reject any initiative that tells us ‘this is how you need to be’. If a person chooses to marry a woman and build a house with her, that is fine and there is a place for them. However, we in no way, shape, or form accept someone saying that this is the only solution and that this is what everyone needs to do.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Liberman Reads Riot Act to Army Radio Chief Despite AG’s Objections

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

New Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) has spent his first month in office directing the military apparatus in substantially different directions, most notably his order for the generals to come up with a concrete plan to remove the Hamas government in Gaza — it turned out they hadn’t thought it would be useful to have one. And as the defense ministry and the army are starting to sound and act in a different manner than they did under Liberman’s predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), the new defense boss is mending the more ideological aspects of the military system. He has added his support to the chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot’s call to shut down the left-leaning Army Radio station, and on Thursday he became directly involved in the same station’s programming.

To be precise, earlier this week the Army Radio station devoted a program to the poetic works of Mahmoud Darwish (1941 – 2008), a member of the Israeli Communist party who is widely perceived as a “Palestinian symbol” and served as an artistic spokesman for Arab opposition to Israel. In 1988, one of his poems, “Those Who Pass Between Fleeting Words,” was cited in the Knesset by Yitzhak Shamir (Likud) for demanding that the Jews leave Israel:

“O those who pass between fleeting words / As bitter dust, go where you wish, but / Do not pass between us like flying insects / For we have work to do in our land,” Darwish called on Israel’s Jews, and concluded: “So leave our country / Our land, our sea / Our wheat, our salt, our wounds / Everything, and leave / The memories of memory / O those who pass between fleeting words!”

Following the broadcast on Army Radio, which included Darwish’s texts in its “Broadcast University” series on “Israeli founding texts,” Defense Minister Liberman summoned Army Radio commander Yaron Dekel to a disciplinary hearing Thursday at noon.

“On its face it appears to be a serious issue, whereby someone who wrote anti-Zionist texts that are still fueling acts of terrorism against the State of Israel merits to be included along with his texts by the military station in the foundation texts of Israeli society, together with Jerusalem of Gold and The Silver Tray (two popular and very beautiful song by Naomi Shemer and Natan Alterman respectively),” Liberman said. “Obviously this constitutes an [ideological] eclipse which cannot be ignored.”

On Wednesday night Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit phoned Liberman to inform him that he does not have the authority to intervene in the Army Station’s programming. Mandelblit based his warning on a 2015 opinion by Vice Counsel on Legislation Affairs Dina Zilber, that ruled against ministers intervening in the military station.

And now Liberman decided to ignore Zilber’s opinion, which is almost unheard of in Israeli governmental politics. In many ways this might prove to be Liberman’s bravest act so far, and he may live to pay for it as an irate judicial civil service could rise up against him.

Already the president of the Press Council, retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, told Israel Radio that the intervention by the Minister of Defense in Army Radio broadcasting was dangerous, and said that it frightened her. “I cannot believe this is happening,” she told left-leaning hot Aryeh Golan Thursday morning. Yes, the red wagons are being circled.

David Israel

Israel Uncensored: Getting to Know the Hosts on The Land of Israel Network [audio]

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Last Thursday most of the Land of Israel Network staff met at the organization’s future headquarters in the community of Ibei HaNahal, Gush Etzion. Josh used the opportunity high atop the Judean mountains with views of Biblical proportions to interview the network’s hosts on their hopes for the future of the network, but also their hopes for the future of the Land of Israel and the Jewish People. Tune in to listen to this rare personal look at some of these young leaders at the forefront of transmitting the true story of Israel to the world.

The Land of Israel

Kenyan-Born Lonah Chemtai to Represent Israel in Rio Marathon

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Lonah Chemtai, 26, member of the renowned Kenyan athletic tribe of Kalenjin, is Israel’s most accomplished female long-distance runner, and, having secured her Israeli citizenship just before the deadline, will represent Israel in the 3000 meter hurdles race and in the marathon competition at the Rio Olympic games this summer.

Chemtai arrived in Israel in late 2008, to work as an au pair for the children of Kenya’s consul to Israel. Eight years later she is married, to her Israeli trainer Dan Salpeter, and the couple has a six-months-old baby named Roy.

“I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters.

Chemtai’s personal best time of 2:40 for the marathon is relatively slow, compared with the world’s fastest runners — Paula Radcliffe ran the London Marathon in 2:15:25 on April 13, 2003. But in Salpeter’s view, “a personal best in Rio very much depends on the conditions, which can change from day to day, so it’s hard to know. … But Lonah still has tremendous potential to improve greatly over the next 10 years and even beyond.”

Chemtai is not worried about running the marathon, which she says “is not hard,” but after Rio she plans to focus on track events and hopes to represent Israel in the 10,000 meters race at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Israel’s team for the Rio games, with 47 athletes (there may be even more) is the largest-ever Olympic delegation to carry the blue and white flag. From 1992 to 2008 Israeli athletes have one medals in every Olympic, and then, at the London 2012 games, the Israeli team came home empty-handed, so hopes are naturally high for medals this time.

Chemtai grew up in a village in western Kenya, where she says the natural conditions for running are better than in Israel, with its heavy humidity in the summer. “I prefer training in Kenya but I have to follow what the coach says,” she relates. “In Kenya there are a lot of [running] partners and there is high altitude, not like here.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kenyan-born-lonah-chemtai-to-represent-israel-in-rio-marathon/2016/07/21/

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