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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Olympic Games’

Sports Minister Employed Kabbalist to Secure Yarden Gerbi’s Medal

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Shortly before the start of Tuesday night’s round that ended in Israeli Judoka Yarden Gerbi’s victory in the Rio Olympic Games, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) who is present at the games, sent an SMS to “the kabbalist from Netivot,” Rabbi Netanel Shriki, a.k.a. “the tunnel collapser,” asking for his help.

One of the people close to the mystic disseminated a screenshot of his cell phone with the message from Regev: “Dear Rabbi, how are you? We here hope and pray that we’ll get a bronze medal. Yarden Gerbi’s bout is in halaf an hour, we deserve to get a medal and hear the national anthem.”

Rabbi Shriki praying at the Gaza border fence / Source: Facebook

Rabbi Shriki praying at the Gaza border fence / Source: Facebook

Rabbi Shriki’s followers believe that he has been bringing down the Hamas tunnels with the power of his prayers. During the two-month period last spring, when about ten Hamas tunnels collapsed, some burying Hamas terrorists under the rubble, the students of Rabbi Shriki from Netivot, near the Gaza border, were certain their rabbi was the cause. In early 2016, he began praying at the border fence, exposed to sniper fire from the other side, asking God to help Israel. His students have no doubt that his prayers were being answered (On Tuesday this week, just before Gerbi earned her bronze medal, yet another tunnel collapsed, burying alive the Islamic Jihad terrorists inside).

The students told website Haredi 10 they saw the rabbi go out to the fields to pray for the tunnels to collapse, and each time, a tunnel collapse was reported shortly thereafter.

“This is already not a case of a string of circumstantial events,” the students insisted. “Five times in a row he went out to pray for the tunnels to collapse, and each time it happened.”


Yad Vashem Marks Rio Olympics with Exhibitions on Jewish and Righteous Gentile Athletes

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

In the spirit of the upcoming Olympic Games set to open Saturday afternoon in Rio de Janeiro, Yad Vashem is dedicating two online exhibitions to commemorate Jewish and non-Jewish athletes. One Exhibition, “Jews and Sports before the Holocaust: A Visual Retrospective,” utilizes images and artifacts to portray different sporting events and competitions in which Jews participated. The exhibition features photos of Jewish athletes, including champion boxer Victor Perez, the Hapoel Football team from Poland, and the HaKoach Vienna Hockey team, competing at the Bar-Kochba International Sports Games in 1937.

Berlin, Germany, 1937, Hakoach Vienna in a soccer match at the Bar-Kochba international sports games. / Courtesy Juedischen Museum Im Stadtmuseum, Berlin; Yad Vashem Photo Archives

Berlin, Germany, 1937, Hakoach Vienna in a soccer match at the Bar-Kochba international sports games. / Courtesy Juedischen Museum Im Stadtmuseum, Berlin; Yad Vashem Photo Archives

The other online exhibition, “The Game of their Lives,” tells the stories of non-Jewish athletes who have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. The exhibition highlights the inspiring accounts of a dozen brave men and women – most notably the rescue stories of world-renowned Italian cyclist champion Gino Bartali, Slovenian Olympian swimmer Margit Eugénie Mallász, and Czechoslovakian soccer player Martin Uher – which truly embody the Olympics spirit of “social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”

Jews in prewar Europe excelled in practically every part of society, and not only as scholars and teachers, doctors and lawyers: many were renowned athletes, too. Jews competed in the most coveted sporting competitions throughout Europe, including the Olympics.

Czechoslovakian Jewish girls’ soccer team and their coach, circa 1930. / Yad Vashem Photo Archives

Czechoslovakian Jewish girls’ soccer team and their coach, 1930. / Yad Vashem Photo Archives

Sports often served as a bridge between the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds. Friendships and comradely were formed between athletes from these two societies. During the Holocaust, some of these bonds would help save Jews, when non-Jewish athletes bravely risked their own lives to rescue their Jewish compatriots from Nazi persecution. These brave individuals, who stood up against the evil that prevailed at risk to their own lives, would later go on to be recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.


Olympic Committee Rejects Media Watchdog’s Call to Ban Palestine Olympic Committee Head Rajoub

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Palestinian Media Watch has called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, from all activities and events related to the Olympics, and demanded his removal from his position in the Olympic organization. In a comprehensive report, PMW has documented that Rajoub has consistently supported terror and even incited to murder. The report includes documentation of Rajoub’s support for attacks during the recent terror wave (2015-2016); his use of his title as Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee when glorifying terror; and his prohibiting of Palestinians from participating in peace building sports activities with Israelis.

“As an overt supporter of Palestinian terrorism, Rajoub represents the antithesis of Olympic values,” PMW argues. “At a time when terror is being fought throughout the world, permitting Rajoub to participate in Olympic Committee activities and events disgraces the International Olympic Committee and the entire Olympics community.”

“Rajoub’s statements and activities are diametrically opposed to the positive values that the Olympic Games stand for, among them ‘to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace,'” PMW added, suggesting that “as the 2016 Olympic Games approach, it is unthinkable that a person who glorifies and encourages murder of civilians should disgrace the Olympics by serving as a recognized Olympic official.”

The Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of the International Olympic Committee, Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, wrote in a response to the complaint that Rajoub is acceptable to the International Olympic Committee because the complaint was based on documentation that was two years old or more, and because Rajoub had not used his title as Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee when glorifying terror. He stated further that the International Olympic Committee “understood” that the Palestine Olympic Committee, headed by Rajoub, is working to “improve relations between the two countries [PA and Israel] through sport.”

On October 3, 2015, Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi attacked an Israeli family on their way to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Halabi first stabbed the father to death and then stabbed and killed another Israeli man who tried to help the family. Halabi then stabbed and injured the mother and the two-year-old baby before he was shot and killed by police.

Just a month later, Jibril Rajoub, in his capacity of Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, decided to honor Halabi’s act of murder by naming a sporting event after him. The text on the banner of the event, which also showed two pictures of the murderer Halabi, displayed Rajoub’s decision to endorse the brutal killing:

“Under patronage of the leader Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestine Olympic Committee. Palestine Cup – Martyr Muhannad Halabi Table Tennis Tournament 2015.”

Rajoub’s decision to honor this terrorist murderer was not an exception but is typical of Rajoub, who is an outspoken terror supporter, even while using his title as Palestine Olympic Committee Chairman, PMW insists, noting that during the wave of Palestinian terror attacks in 2015-2016, which was characterized by hundreds of terrorist stabbings, shootings and car rammings, Rajoub was a leading supporter of the terror, publicly blessing terrorist murderers on TV and encouraging them to kill more Israelis.

PMW states in a press release that Rajoub’s incitement to murder was calculated and precise, defining some targets while rejecting others. For example, he rejected suicide bombings on buses in Tel Aviv because “the international community does not agree to a bus exploding in Tel Aviv,” and explicitly stated that “we want to fight in a way that the world and the international community will remain by our side.” He urged the terrorists to Kill Israelis in a politically acceptable fashion, so that the “international community will remain by our side.”

In addition to his role as chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Rajoub holds the titles of Deputy Secretary of the PLO Central Committee (headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas), Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, and Head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth. In these roles, Rajoub not only supports terror and murder of civilians, he actively counters the spirit of Olympic sports by prohibiting peacebuilding sports activities between Arabs and Israelis. Following the 2014 Gaza War, Rajoub condemned a successful peacebuilding event between Israeli and Arab youth sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace as a “crime against humanity.”


Brazil Arrests Terror Cell Linked to ISIS

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Security personnel in Brazil have arrested 12 suspects in connection with their alleged pledge of allegiance to the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization via social media.

The cell also reportedly discussed the use of weapons, guerrilla tactics and possible attacks during the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to a report Thursday by ABC News.

Brazil’s Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes told reporters in Brasilia, the nation’s capital, that one of the suspects is a minor.

“They were complete amateurs and ill-prepared” to actually pursue their goals, he added, noting that the suspects had said a few days prior “they should start practicing martial arts, for example.”

But even disorganized groups — for example, the suspects in this group were arrested in 10 different states, including Sao Paulo, and had not yet specified a target — needed to be taken seriously, Moraes said.

Brazil has raised security in the country to “a higher level” due to concerns over terrorism following the attack in the southern French city of Nice.

The Olympic Games begin August 5.

Hana Levi Julian

New Torah Scroll for Sochi Synagogue ahead of Winter Olympics

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

The synagogue in Sochi in Russia has been renovated and a new Torah scroll acquired ahead of the city’s hosting of the Winter Olympics next year.

Rabbi Ari Edelkopf, director of the Jewish Community of Sochi, told JTA the renovation was completed this month and “will help our synagogue serve not only thousands of local Jews, but also Jews from around the world who come to Sochi for business and the thousands expected during the Winter Olympics.”

The previous Winter Olympics, held in 2010 in Vancouver, drew in thousands of athletes from dozens of countries and tens of thousands of spectators.

The new Torah scroll was brought to Sochi’s synagogue, housed in the local Jewish Community Center, after a colorful procession earlier this month through the main streets of the resort city of 500,000 on the eastern shores of the Black Sea.

The Kaganovich family in St. Petersburg paid for the Torah. Berel Lazar, a chief rabbi of Russia, and rabbis from the Jewish community of St. Petersburg led a ceremony marking its arrival.


Olympic Gold Medal for Lying and Sanctimony Goes to…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Europe has temporarily forgotten its financial problems. This is the summer of sports. In June the European football (soccer) championships are being held in Poland and Ukraine. In July, there will be three weeks of the Tour de France, the world’s most famous cycling race. And by August, Europeans will be watching this year’s Summer Olympics in London.

As usual, however, the Olympics are tarnished by ugly politics. Forty years ago, the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich were marred by the murder of eleven Israeli athletes by the Palestinian terror group Black September. As the London Olympics are the tenth Olympic games since the Munich Olympics, relatives of the murdered Israeli athletes believe it would be appropriate if, during the ceremonies in London, a moment of silence were held for the eleven athletes massacred in Munich. Up till now the Olympic Games have never officially commemorated the murdered athletes with such a moment.

Normally, when an athlete dies, the International Olympic Committee honors him with a minute of silence. Two years ago, the 21-year old Georgian athlete, the luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, suffered a fatal crash during a training run for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge expressed his condolences on behalf of the entire Olympic community during his opening speech, while the Canadian and Olympic flags were flown at half-staff.

The same Jacques Rogge, a Count from Belgium, refuses to include such a moment of remembrance for the eleven murdered Israeli athletes, despite the fact that Rogge himself was present at the Munich Olympics as a member of the Belgian sailing team.

In 2004, Ankie Rekhess, a Dutch-born Israeli journalist and the widow of Andrei Spitzer, one of the athletes murdered in Munich, confronted Rogge during a press conference in Athens. “You yourself are an Olympic athlete,” she said. “Hence, you are a brother of the eleven murdered athletes. Why don’t you remember them in front of all other athletes? This concerns the entire Olympic family.” Rekhess received a standing ovation from the 300 people present in the room. However, in his reply, Rogge rejected the request, referring instead to friendship, sportivity and the necessity to keep politics out of sports.

For forty years, Ankie Rekhess has been working her way through the hierarchy of the Olympic Games, seeking to obtain a moment of silence for her husband and his colleagues. In 1996, she was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times after the rejection of her request for a similar moment during the Atlanta Olympics, the first one in which Palestine took part. “I don’t want to condemn anyone,” she said. “I simply want recognition for 11 athletes who came home in coffins 24 years ago.” Today, another 16 years later, Rekhess still has has not managed to persuade the Olympic Committee to honor those who were killed because they believed in the Olympic ideals.

After the Munich massacre in 1972, Rekhess saw the room where the athletes had been tortured and mutilated. “I saw pictures of what they had done to them and vowed no one would ever forget. That is why I want the moment of silence… to remember them all.”

In Simon Reeve’s 2001 book One Day in September, Ankie Rekhess recalls her husband’s idealism and attitude towards the Olympics: “[While strolling in the Olympic Village] he spotted members of the Lebanese team, and told [me] he was going to go and say hello to them… I said to him, ‘Are you out of your mind? They’re from Lebanon!’ Israel was at war with Lebanon at the time. ‘Ankie,’ Andre said calmly, ‘that’s exactly what the Olympics are all about. Here I can go to them, I can talk to them, I can ask them how they are. That is exactly what the Olympics are all about.’ So he went… towards this Lebanese team, and… asked them, ‘How were the results? I’m from Israel and how did it go?’ And to my amazement, I saw that the [Lebanese] responded and they shook hands with him and they talked to him and they asked him about his results. I’ll never forget, when he turned around and came back towards me with this huge smile on his face. ‘You see!’ said Andre excitedly. ‘This is what I was dreaming about. I knew it was going to happen!'”

Peter Martino

Deputy FM: Intl Olympic Committee’s Rejection of Minute of Silence for Slain Athletes ‘Unacceptable’

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Thursday criticized the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to reject his request to hold a minute silence during the upcoming London Olympic Games, in memory of the 11 Israeli Olympic team members murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“Unfortunately, this response is unacceptable as it rejects the central principles of global fraternity on which the Olympic ideal is supposed to rest,” Ayalon said in a statement released. “The terrorist murders of the Israeli athletes were not just an attack on people because of their nationality and religion; it was an attack on the Olympic Games and the international community. Thus it is necessary for the Olympic Games as a whole to commemorate this event in the open rather than only in a side event.”

Ayalon had sent a letter to IOC President Jacque Rogge a few weeks ago, in support of the request by Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano (widows of two of the murdered athletes) for the minute silence. “Perhaps the darkest chapter in modern Olympic Games history,” Ayalon wrote in his letter to the IOC, “is the moment where eleven Israelis, who came to compete in the greatest global sporting event, were murdered simply because of their nationality. We must remain vigilant against acts of hate and intolerance that stand in contrast to the ideals of the international Olympics.” To this end, Ayalon wrote, he “fully supports” Mrs. Spitzer and Romano in their call for a moment of silence, and reiterated the call for the IOC to “grant this wish.”

Rogge, in his response, made no actual mention of the call for a minute of silence, sidestepping the issue by writing: “Traditionally, the Israeli NOC [National Olympic Committee] hosts a reception in memory of the victims during the Games period, and the IOC is always strongly represented. The upcoming Games in London will be no exception.”

Despite brushing off the request, Rogge said, “please be assured that, within the Olympic family, the memory of the victims of the terrible massacre in Munich in 1972 will never fade away.”

Ayalon lamented that “[t]his rejection told us as Israelis that this tragedy is yours alone and not a tragedy within the family of nations. This is a very disappointing approach and we hope that this decision will be overturned so the international community as one can remember, reflect and learn the appropriate lesson from this dark stain on Olympic history.”

Ayalon transmitted Rogge’s rejection to the families and widows of the murdered athletes, informing them that the Foreign Ministry will initiate a campaign in the coming weeks to encourage the IOC to reverse its decision.


Solomon Burke

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/deputy-fm-intl-olympic-committees-rejection-of-minute-of-silence-for-slain-athletes-unacceptable/2012/05/17/

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