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Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon joins Tottenham, Premier League club with Jewish history

(JTA) — Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon is finalizing a five-year contract with the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the London-based Premier League team with a rich and at times controversial Jewish history.

In his first season in the prestigious Premier League this year, the 23-year-old winger broke onto the international scene as a member of Fulham FC, scoring in five straight games from Feb. 11 through March 6. He was the first Israeli player to ever accomplish that feat.

Solomon’s play drew interest from powerhouse clubs across Europe, including Spain’s FC Barcelona, England’s Arsenal and Germany’s RB Leipzig.

But in the end, pending the results of a physical, Solomon is joining one of the top Premier League teams, known for its sizable Jewish fanbase. Tottenham fans have for decades called themselves “Yids” and the “Yid army” in an affectionate way, but last year, the club asked fans to stop using the term, which is considered by many to be an antisemitic slur.

The Athletic reported that London’s Jewish community was a plus for Solomon and that Tottenham has a following in Israel.

Solomon, who hails from Kfar Saba in central Israel, played professionally for the Maccabi Petah Tikva team in Israel before joining the Ukrainian soccer club Shakhtar Donetsk in 2019. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Solomon recounted waking up “to the sound of explosions and sirens.”

Solomon left Ukraine, making the 17-hour journey to the Polish border. After a 10-hour wait in the freezing cold, Solomon returned to Israel. “I feel lucky I got out,” he said at the time.

Thanks to a FIFA rule permitting non-Ukrainian players on Ukrainian clubs to suspend their contracts after the start of the war, Solomon joined Fulham last summer. His Sephardic heritage allowed him to obtain a Portuguese passport, which helped facilitate his travel throughout the European Union.

Following his success as a rare Jewish star in the Premier League, Solomon became an icon in Israel, where fans refer to him as “King Solomon,” The Athletic reported in March.

“Everyone has their eyes on the TV to see what Manor is going to do,” sports writer Josh Halickman, who runs the Sports Rabbi website, told The Athletic. “That’s across the country. Any time that Manor is on TV now, you can guarantee the viewers are through the roof.”

Shakhtar Donetsk is trying to negotiate with Tottenham over a fee for losing Solomon to the Premier League, something the Ukrainian team would have received before FIFA, the global soccer body, instituted wartime rules.

“We are sure Tottenham executives understand that Shakhtar invested significant money in the Solomon transfer, investment that Ukrainian clubs in our difficult position simply cannot afford to lose,” Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin told The Athletic.

Solomon is also a member of Israel’s national soccer team, which just qualified for the Olympics for the first time since 1976. Israel will be one of 16 teams competing in Paris in 2024.

Soccer at the Olympics is an under-23 sport, but each country is allowed three roster spots for players over 23. Solomon is 23 now and will be 24 by the Paris Games.


The post Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon joins Tottenham, Premier League club with Jewish history appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle

In this pamphlet, the country of Jordan is billed as the “The Holy Land”. This material introduced visitors to the Kingdom of Jordan pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Ironically, the motto of the fair was “Peace Through Understanding”.  It describes a pavilion that includes a “photographic survey of the Holy […]

The post Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police

Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School, located near the Finch and Dufferin intersection in Toronto, had shots fired in its direction Saturday at 4:52 a.m. The incident was captured on a security video. The suspects can be seen getting out of a dark-coloured vehicle and opening fire on the school, which serves the Hasidic community with […]

The post A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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At Cannes, Iranian Director Rasoulof Recalls Difficult Exile Decision

FILE PHOTO: Cast member Setareh Maleki and director Mohammad Rasoulof attend a press conference for “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” (Les Graines du figuier sauvage) in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 25, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof recalled how he had to decide within hours whether to go into exile or serve a prison sentence, saying it was still difficult to talk about it during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Rasoulof was in the French Riviera town for the premiere of his new drama “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” almost two weeks after announcing he had fled Iran and entered into exile in the wake of his sentencing to eight years in jail and flogging.

After he learned that he had a week left before his sentence would be implemented, things moved quickly, he said, especially as authorities had caught wind of the existence of his new film.

“I had to say to myself, well, do I want to be in prison, or should I leave Iran, geographic Iran, and join the cultural Iran that exists beyond its borders?” recalled the director.

“It took me two hours to make the decision. I walked around, I paced around my house. I said goodbye to my plants that I love, and I have many, many plants in my house,” he added.

Then, Rasoulof left all his belongings and walked out of the house. “It’s not an easy decision to take. It still isn’t easy even to talk about it today with you,” he told journalists.

Iran‘s culture minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili told state media this month that Rasoulof’s film had been made illegally and there would be a crackdown on movies without permits.

“The Seed of the Sacred Fig” is about a court official who grows increasingly controlling of his family during the 2022 protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman arrested by the morality police for allegedly flouting dress codes.

The film drew the longest standing ovation at the festival after its premiere on Friday night and was well received by critics who called it “mesmerizingly gripping” and “shattering.”

The director, who has been arrested and detained several times for charges ranging from filming without a permit to “collusion against national security,” said that the idea for the film came from years of confrontation with secret services.

“All these characters were inspired by real people, all the scenes come from real situations,” he said, adding that experience has also made him adept at avoiding secret services.

“Our life is fairly similar to that of gangsters, except we are gangsters of the cinema,” he joked at the news conference.

The post At Cannes, Iranian Director Rasoulof Recalls Difficult Exile Decision first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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