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July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

Jewish Athletes Return to Berlin 79 Years After Hitler’s Olympics

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

(JNi.media) From July 27 to August 5, the 14th European Maccabi Games will take place in Berlin. It’s Europe’s biggest Jewish sports event, and it will take place in Germany—for the first time in its history. As the event’s website puts it, “Jewish athletes were excluded from the Olympic Games in 1936,” but, this summer, “thousands will send a message for tolerance and openness and against anti-Semitism and racism.”

Actually, Jews were not officially excluded in 1936, although it was no fun being a Jew in Berlin back then, or being a Jewish athlete. Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler saw the Games as an opportunity to promote his idea of racial supremacy, and the official Nazi paper, the Völkischer Beobachter, wrote that Jews should not be allowed to participate, but when the games were threatened with a boycott by some nations, Hitler acquiesced and allowed every ethnic group to participate.

He regretted it when African American athlete Jesse Owens set the world record in the long jump with a leap of 26 ft 8 in. His record stood for 25 years, far outlasting the Third Reich. Hitler left the stadium in a huff.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told RBB radio: “This is the stadium where the Olympic games were exploited by Hitler. To hold on that spot a Jewish sporting event like the Maccabi Games, that is an important and nice message.”

“More than 2,000 Jewish sportswomen and sportsmen from more than 36 countries will compete against each other in 19 disciplines in Berlin’s Olympic Park,” declares the games’ website.

No place like Berlin for discipline…

President of Maccabi Germany Alon Meyer told AP the decision to host the Jewish Games in Berlin, although difficult, is a “signal of reconciliation” 70 years after the end of World War II.

“There were a lot of people who said that they would never in their lives step again on German soil and we have to respect that,” Meyer told foreign reporters on Monday.

However, he noted, “we are a new generation … and the question of guilt is long resolved.”

There you go.

The 13th European Maccabi Games were held in 2011 in Vienna, Austria, and it was the largest gathering of Jews in that city since the Holocaust.

We have to stop meeting like this…

Daniel Collins, head of the UK delegation to the Games, told The Guardian: “I doubt any games anywhere will be as emotionally charged as this one; thousands of Jewish people parading in the Olympic stadium, which houses such meaning, not only to the world’s Jewish community, but to the world’s sporting community.”

World Jewish Athletes to Gather in Hitler’s Stadium July 28

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

On July 28, Jewish athletes from around the world will demonstrate the power of generational victory as they gather to compete in the Berlin stadium built on Hitler’s orders for the 1936 Olympics.

In a stadium still haunted by images of swastika flags surrounding the Nazi salutes of the crowd in its stands, The Maccabi Games will be held in Berlin for the first time since the Holocaust.

It’s been 70 years since the fall of Nazi Germany. For the generations whose lives have been touched by the horror of Hitler’s hell, however, it will never be long enough.

“When I entered the stadium for the first time a year and a half ago, even I wondered if it’s right to host the games here,” admitted the president of Maccabi Germany, Alon Meyer.

“I still get goosebumps when I imagine what happened here, who stood here and what they were shouting. It’s unbelievable.

“But now we are returning to the very same place and saying, ‘You have failed; we are the ones who won.’”

The European Maccabi Games is an international Jewish sport event similiar to the Olympic Games. Some 2,000 Jewish athletes from all over Europe are expected to participate in The Maccabi Games.

Israeli Wins Gold Medal At European Judo Competition

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

An Israeli judo competitor, Sagi Muki, on Friday won the gold medal in the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, by defeating Georgian opponent Nugzari Tatalashvli in the 73-kilogram (161-pound) weight class. The win marks Israel’s first gold medal in that competition.

“I managed to grab the opponent after he made a mistake, and I scored an ippon (the highest score a competitor can achieve in a Japanese martial arts contest),” Muki told Sport TV. “I wasn’t in a rush, and I took advantage of the opportunity that I got. I’m ecstatic.”

Muki will be awarded $10,500 (40,000 shekels) from the Israeli Olympic Committee for his victory.

Qatar Buying Into Formula One

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Qatar is joining forces with a venture capital firm to buy in to famed race car sports venue, Formula One.

Qatar’s Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiya is a vice-president of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and the governing body for Formula One, the FIA.

RSE Ventures, which already owns the Miami Dolphins NFL team, is now joining forces with Doha to buy a controlling stake in F1. The deal for the 35.5 percent stake is allegedly worth $7 to $8 billion, according to a source quoted by Reuters on Tuesday.

The commercial side of F1 is run by 84-year-old British billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, a 40-year deal meister in the sport.

Israelis Follow David Blatt to Cleveland for NBA Finals

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

The people who sat in seats one and two of row 12, section 120 at Quicken Loans Arena during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night weren’t your ordinary Cleveland Cavaliers fans.

Tomer Hulli and his father, Eli, made the trip from Israel to attend games 3 and 4 in Cleveland. Tomer, who lives in Tzur Moshe, a 25-minute drive north of Tel Aviv, has been playing basketball since he was 5. Hulli said he didn’t plan this trip, but once the Cavaliers advanced to the finals, he decided he was all in.

“A day after the Cavs made it to the finals I decided to come,” said Hulli, who lives just five minutes from Cavaliers head coach David Blatt’s home in Israel. “I paid $850 for tickets to Game 3 in the lower section and $600 for tickets to Game 4 in the upper deck.”

Hulli said he purchased the tickets on vividtickets.com on the night after the Cavaliers defeated the Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals.

“The tickets are expensive, but you only live once,” said Hulli, who claims he’s a fan of the game, not just of the Cavaliers.

This isn’t the first time Hulli and his father have traveled to the United States.

“I’ve made about 10 trips to America,” said Hulli, who last visited in 2014, when he caught two NBA games in New York and Brooklyn. “We have a big family in Cleveland and also family in New York,” he said.

Hulli said many people in Israel have been waking up at the crack of dawn to watch Blatt lead the Cavaliers.

“Only the real sports fans wake up at four in the morning,” said Hulli, who frequently wakes up at that hour to watch the Cavaliers. “For Finals, I believe nearly everybody will wake up.”

Hulli said Blatt’s Cavaliers have the support of all of Israel, and the Cavaliers are a topic on nearly every Israeli‘s lips.

“Blatt and the Cavs are a huge deal here,” said Hulli, who plans to shop for his wife and kids during his down time in Cleveland. “The people of Israel love basketball. Blatt and Cleveland are all over the news in Israel. We are very proud that an Israeli coach is one of the best in the world.”

Despite that, Hulli said that if the Cavaliers win the NBA championship, the celebration in Israel wouldn’t compare to the one in Cleveland.

“For us coach Blatt is Israeli,” said Hulli, who believes the NBA Finals is the biggest stage in sports. “We hope he will help the team win. People in the USA must understand that there is basketball in other parts of the world and it’s not just the NBA. I see some coaches in the NBA who just stand and do nothing. That is not coach Blatt. Coach Blatt will teach them a lot.”

Hulli said he doesn’t know Blatt, and Blatt doesn’t know he’s attending the games in Cleveland. But he’s sure Blatt would welcome any Israelis into Quicken Loans Arena with open arms.

Hulli had a basketball career in Israel. He started playing professionally at age 18.

“Basketball is my life,” said Hulli, who lives in Tzur Moshe with his wife, Inbal, and three kids, Zoe, Romi, and Yanai. “I coach 200 kids here in two different clubs. I couldn’t survive without basketball because of how great of a game it is.

“I played 13 seasons professionally in two different divisions here,” said Hulli, adding his professional career came to an end when he discovered one of his daughters had a medical problem. “I’ve been a part of three teams that were promoted to Division One. Haifa, Netanya, and Lev HaSharon were the teams I enjoyed playing for the most.”

Gaza Dedicates Football Teams to Kidnapping of Killed IDF Soldiers, No FIFA Officials in Sight

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Do you wonder why Israelis are moving politically rightward, and see no prospects for peace on the horizon with their depraved neighbors?

The answer, in part, has to do with the self-inflicted daily decline of humanity of the Gazans.

While terror chief and local PA soccer representative Jibril Rajoub was trying to stick Israel in the dock at FIFA, as usual no one was checking out what’s really going on in the “Palestinian” sports scene.

To help boost attendance at the Sunday game, the Gazans decided to link the game to their only “victories” in the war they initiated last summer.

On Sunday, in the final Gaza Cup soccer game, the two city’s teams, Team Itchiad Shujaiyeh and Team Khadmat Rafiach morbidly represented themselves based on the two dead Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped in their respective cities and whose remains Hamas still hold on to.

Team Itchiad Shujaiyeh is now “represented” by the capture of First Sergeant Oron Shaul who was killed in the APC attack near Shujaiyeh and his dead body then stolen by Hamas.

Team Khadmat Rafiach is “represented” by the capture of Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin who was killed when Hamas attacked IDF troops during a “cease fire.” Hamas then dragged his body into a terror tunnel underneath Rafiach.

The Gazans say the team’s cities are the backbone which allowed for the kidnapping of the bodies of the soldiers.

But hey, not a FIFA official is in sight.

Which team won? They both lost.

Will it ever be possible to rehabilitate the Gazans and restore them to the ranks of humanity?

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Resigns Amid Corruption Scandal

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has resigned amid the growing scandal over massive arrests of top international soccer federation officials on charges of corruption and racketeering.

Blatter, 79, stepped down from his post just four days after being elected to a fifth term. He announced his decision at a news conference in Zurich after several more FIFA officials were arrested by the FBI at a hotel in the Swiss city six days ago.

Blatter has been at FIFA for 40 years, and served as president for 17 years; the third longest to head the sports group.

Last Wednesday, The New York Times reported U.S. authorities were preparing to charge FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, Blatter’s second-in-command, in connection with a questionable transfer of $10 million.

The money was allegedly paid to “a high-ranking FIFA official” from the South African Football Association in 2008 as that country was bidding to host the 2010 World Cup. One of the top officials named in the U.S. Justice Department indictment a week ago voted in favor of South Africa at the time.

FIFA had denied that both Valcke and Blatter knew anything about the transaction – but as investigations by the U.S. government and Swiss officials move closer to the top, Blatter appears to be growing more uneasy.

New elections are to be called to choose a new leader.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/fifa-president-sepp-blatter-resigns-amid-corruption-scandal/2015/06/02/

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