Macabiah: The Zionist Olympics

maccabiah 2017 logoIn 1912, during the Olympic Games in Stockholm, the adolescent Yosef Yekutieli, of Belarusian origin but emigrated to Palestine, had a vision: Jews needed their own Olympics. For years it called innumerable doors and collided with so many obstacles. In 1921 he created the Macabi International Union, a sports organization that pays homage to Judas Macabeo and his brothers, the national heroes who in the second century BC. C. proclaimed the first independent Jewish kingdom, in whose memory Hanukkah is celebrated every year. Two expeditions of young people on motorcycles toured Europe, from Tel Aviv to Antwerp in 1930 and London in 1931, announcing the celebration of the first Macabiada in 1932. It was 5692 of the Hebrew calendar. It was inaugurated in March and participated athletes of 17 nationalities. Since then, it is a timely appointment: every four years in Israel and every other year in other countries. Swimmer Mark Spitz and NBA coach Larry Brown are some of his old glories. These days, the 20th edition of the Jewish ‘Olympiads’ brings together 10,000 athletes from 80 nations in Jerusalem. Forty sports modalities are disputed in 68 sports complexes by all the country.

Fifty of them are Spanish Jews. “It is the third most important sporting event in the world because of the number of people who move after the Olympics and the Universiade, but in Spain it is still very unknown,” laments Kevin Estiz, president of the organization in our country. Perhaps because the Hebrew community in Spain, about 45,000 people, is relatively small compared to the United States, 5 million, or France, about 500,000. “In other countries the participants receive more support from the state and sports federations,” says Estiz. We hope that, little by little, the Macabiada will become more popular. After all, we represent Spain in an international event. “

Zionist Macabiada

Apart from reaffirming its national identity through sport, it was a reaction to anti-Semitism in the years leading up to World War II.

Veto in Berlin 1936

The fencer Helene Mayer, exiled in the USA by its Jewish origin, competed for the Nazi Germany and, when collecting its silver, greeted to Hitler arm raised. Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, Jews and members of the American relay team, were replaced at the last minute.

Blood in Munich 1972

On September 5, eleven Israeli athletes were killed in the assault on the nine-member Olympic Village of Black September, a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Competitions continued and several Arab countries complained that the flags waved at half-mast. In the memorial for the deceased, the IOC president did not mention the victims, who were not honored until the Rio 2016 Games. London 2012 refused to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the massacre with a minute of silence.

The truth is that since the opening of the games at Teddy Stadium on July 6, with more than 30,000 spectator enthusiasts in the stands, Jerusalem is a party. The city, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of its reunification this year, is a hive of young people who speak different languages ​​but have “one heart”, as the motto of the meeting says. Apart from competing, contestants take advantage of Israel’s main tourist attractions and live with other athletes who share their religion, although they come from the most diverse cultures. “Sport, respect, tolerance and positive values ​​are breathed”, says the representative of the Spanish delegation. And security? “Everything is very careful. You do not realize it, but you know that you are always protected, “adds Estiz.

Ronaldo’s son
Although the essential condition for participating in games is to be a follower of the Torah, each country has its own selection criteria. Brazilian laxity, for example, has allowed the U-18 soccer team to play Ronald, the son of former star Ronaldo Luís Nazario de Lima. The boy and his mother belong to the Hebraica club in Sao Paolo and “have been getting closer to Judaism more and more”, justifies Avi Gelberg, president of Macabi Brazil.

Barcelona: young anti-Semite condemned to visit a synagogue

sinagogabalmes3A judge in Barcelona has sentenced a young man of 22 years to four months in prison, special disqualification for the right of suffrage and about 500 euros fine for having painted a Nazi swastika at the door of a synagogue in the Catalan capital. The sentence nevertheless agrees to suspend the sentence of deprivation of liberty, if the defendant complies with a series of rules of conduct. The first: not to commit crime for two years. And the second, more in the way of education, condemns the young anti-Semite to participate in a human rights course aimed at full respect for equality and non-discrimination of people, especially for anti-Semitic reasons, and to be taught By the Department of Justice of the Generalitat. These courses should include visits to the synagogue, to know the reality of the Jewish people and “break prejudices and anti-Semitic stereotypes,” according to the ruling issued by the TSJC.

The events occurred on December 28, 2016. The young man who has been convicted acted with a woman “unidentified” according to the sentence, “moved by their animosity and willingness to humiliate the Jewish people.” They approached a synagogue in Barcelona and with a spray, while the young man carried out surveillance work, the woman drew a swastika at the door of the temple and sprinkled with red the mezuza, the small receptacle located on the right side of the entrances of all House that professes the Jewish religion. The young man has been convicted of an offense committed on the occasion of the exercise of fundamental rights in his way of injuring the dignity of people for anti-Semitic reasons.

Month of Israel in Andalusia

mes de israel en andaluciaThe Israeli Embassy in Spain, in collaboration with various institutions, has organized the month of Israel in Andalusia to be held the second fortnight of March in different cities of Andalusia.

The program includes various meetings, events and events of cultural, political, technological, gastronomic, etc. The main objectives of this initiative are to strengthen the ties between Israel and Andalusia and to contribute to a better understanding of the current Israeli situation.

In addition to the events included in the program, Israeli diplomats will hold meetings, meetings and interviews in the media, universities and political representatives.

Among the events that will take place include the presentation of the Israeli film The Women’s Balcony with the assistance of its director Emil Ben Shimon in the cinema Albéniz de Málaga (March 15); The two gastronomic events that will be carried out by Israeli chef Victor Gloger with chef Paco Morales at Noor restaurant in Cordoba (March 22) and with chefs Samuel Perea and Rafael Gutiérrez at El Pimpi restaurant in Malaga (March 24); Or the Seminar New frontiers in water technology in Seville and Almeria (27 and 28 March).

“The Spy”: the story of Eli Cohen on NETLIX series

ELI COHEN“The Spy”, produced by Alain Goldman (La Vie en Rose) and directed by Gideon Raff (Homeland), will tell the true and incredible story of Eli Cohen, a Jewish spy of Egyptian origin, who worked for Israel in the 60s, Syria, reports the French premiere cinema magazine. This new series will be co-produced by Netflix and Canal +.

The series, which will be shot in French, will soon be launched in France on Canal + and broadcast around the world on Netflix.

Eli Cohen, of his false identity Kamel Amin Thaabet, had managed to infiltrate all political and military levels of the country and reshaped the face of the Middle East.

Having played a major role in the Israeli victory over the Syrian forces during the Six-Day War, he is still considered one of the most effective spies in history.

At the beginning of January 1965, he was unmasked by Egyptian counter-espionage specialists, who, thanks to a new Soviet direction-finding system, had located radio waves of Morse-coded messages emitted from a miniature transmitter in his apartment.

Eli Cohen was arrested on 24 January 1965, when he was transmitting secret messages to Israel. In his latest encoded message, he announces to his Israeli counterparts that he is being unmasked. He is then tortured, held in closed session in Syria, and sentenced to death by hanging.

Eli Cohen is hanged in a public square in Damascus on May 18, 1965, despite the interventions of the French, Belgian and Canadian leaders, as well as Pope Paul VI, who asked the Syrian government to reverse the sentence.
At the end of the Six-Day War, despite many efforts, Damascus refused to transfer the body of Eli Cohen.

The Syrian authorities have always refused to return Cohen’s body to his family to be buried in Israel. The demands of his family are still ignored by the government

The end of Embassy”, the confectionery in Madrid that saved 30,000 Jews in IIWW

The depressive Madrid of the first 40 was also a Madrid of secrets and intrigues, spies with monocle and clandestine activities. Under its privileged geographical situation, holding the interests of Nazis and allies, stories of alternative diplomacy are hidden; Double side of the exclusive Embassy. This confectionery of the Paseo de la Castellana, which brought together aristocrats, ambassadors and intelligence agents around tea, pastries and surveillance, closed its doors 86 years later.

The distinguished and exclusive British appearance of the place, founded in 1931, colored the city’s leaden landscape. It was the obsession of Margarita Kearney Taylor, owner of the same, who from the beginning tried to turn the area into an approximation of the elegant neighborhoods of London, such as Mayfair or Belgravia. Then, with the outbreak of World War II, he strove to give refuge and departure to those fleeing from the German Gestapo and SS.

The confectionery, also converted into a restaurant, was named “Embassy” because of its proximity to several embassies, especially the British and German embassies, the latter located a few steps away, next to the “Friedenskirche” IBM building. Their interests converged on the exclusive premises, witnessing a tense and superficial calm.

The Nazi deployment, led by Paul Winzer, head of the Gestapo, and Hans Lazar, head of propaganda in Spain, increased control and pressure in the area with the connivance of Francisco Franco. Germany, in this sense, even came up with an invasion to satisfy its strategic pretensions in the conflict. Kearney Taylor, along with the British ambassador Sir Samuel Hoare, turned his place into a refuge to alleviate the persecution suffered by anyone who was against the interests of the Nazis.

Embassy’s basement, which housed an oven for confectionery cakes, housed thousands of undocumented immigrants who received food, attention, and some money. It is estimated that the British embassy spent more than 1,000 pounds a day to undertake such an undertaking, which was eventually interrupted by several closures of the premises. Marguerite’s mood, Irish of elegant but firm appearance, did not waver.

Regarding the Jews, Embassy was constituted as their salvation and opportunity of flight. Franco never undertook a policy of persecution against them, but anyone who entered illegally into Spain was subject to arrest and deportation. About 30,000 people were evacuated, despite the harassment of the German embassy.