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The Jewish Sport Report: A Jewish guide to the NFL playoffs

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(JTA) — Hi there! Before we get into this week’s news, a quick birthday shoutout is in order for Holocaust survivor and Olympic legend Agnes Keleti, who turned 103 (!!) on Tuesday.

Keleti is the oldest living Olympic gold medalist in the world and has the second-most Olympic medals of any Jewish athlete ever, second only to swimming icon Mark Spitz. Check out our 2019 interview with the gymnastics champion.

Your Jewish NFL playoffs preview

Running back A.J. Dillon of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after rushing for a first half touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Dec. 19, 2021. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The NFL playoffs kick off tomorrow, and two Jewish players remain standing as the wild card round begins: A.J. Dillon and Michael Dunn.

Dunn, the 315-pound guard, appeared in 12 games for the Cleveland Browns this season, starting two of them. He played 29% of offensive snaps for the Browns, roughly double his percentage over the previous two seasons, despite spending a month on the injured reserve.

The Browns (11-6) enter the playoffs as the AFC’s 5th seed, and face the Houston Texans (10-7) Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC/Peacock.

Dillon, who started six games for the Green Bay Packers during the regular season, set a career high with a 40-yard rush in November. Otherwise, he had a bit of a down year in terms of yards and touchdowns. Dillon has previously joked about missing Hebrew School for football practice when he was a kid.

The Packers (9-8), who snuck in as the NFC’s 7th seed, face the Dallas Cowboys (12-5) Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Read more about Dunn and Dillon — plus the league’s other Jewish players who didn’t make the postseason — here.

Halftime report

OUT OF BOUNDS. A New York high school fired its varsity girl’s basketball coach after players used antisemitic slurs during a game against a Jewish day school. The school district and the city’s mayor apologized and called the antisemitic epithets “painful and offensive.”

UNCAPPED. On the eve of the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup, David Teeger, a rising star on South Africa’s cricket scene, has been removed as the country’s team captain due to threats he and the team have faced over Israel’s war in Gaza.

CHAIM BLOOMS IN ST. LOUIS. Former Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has joined the St. Louis Cardinals front office as an advisor to the team’s president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak. Bloom was fired by the Red Sox in September as the team placed last in the AL East with a record of 78-84.

SURELY YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS. If you read this newsletter, chances are you’re probably familiar with that (in)famous joke about “Famous Jewish Sports Legends” in the 1980 comedy “Airplane!” In a book that explores the history of the cult classic, the movie’s three Jewish creators reminisce about how it got made — including the inspiration behind that sports reference.

STUDY BREAK? NFL star Aaron Rodgers appeared Thursday on “The Pat McAfee Show,” the popular ESPN talk show he had supposedly been suspended from earlier this week. During the program, Jewish fans immediately noticed something peculiar about Rodgers’ background: he appeared to be seated in front of a bookshelf full of Jewish books. We reached out to Rodgers’ agents to get to the bottom of this — stay tuned.

MAZELS. Congratulations to Andrea Kremer, Jayson Stark and the late Roger Kahn, who are all part of the National Sports Media Association’s 2024 Hall of Fame class; and Jeff Passan, who was named the NSMA’s 2023 National Sportswriter of the Year.

THE KING RETURNS. Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon is preparing to return to his Premier League Club Tottenham after being sidelined since October with a meniscus injury. The winger is aiming to return to training next week and could see playing time later this month.

LONG SHOT. Jewish golfer Max Homa, who is currently ranked No. 7 in the PGA Tour’s world rankings, made golf history last weekend with a 477-yard drive — the longest drive recorded in the PGA’s StatLink Era, which dates back to 2003, and possibly ever.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards face the Atlanta Hawks Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Wizards are having a rough season, but the Israeli forward is having a career year in just about every offensive category, including an average of 12 points per game. Domantas Sabonis, who is converting to Judaism, and his Sacramento Kings take on the Philadelphia 76ers tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET and the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. In the G League, Ryan Turell and the Motor City Cruise host the College Park Skyhawks Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, while Amari Bailey and the Greensboro Swarm host the Capital City Go-Go tonight at 7 p.m. ET and the Osceola Magic Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.


Devon Levi and the Buffalo Sabres host Quinn Hughes and the Vancouver Canucks Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. Zach Hyman and the Edmonton Oilers face the Montreal Canadiens Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Adam Fox and the New York Rangers take on the Washington Capitals Saturday and Sunday, both at 1 p.m. ET.


David Lipsky is competing at the Sony Open in Hawaii this weekend.

The Pittsburgh Steelers give tzedakah

L-R: Pittsburgh Steelers long snapper Christian Kuntz, Repair the World Pittsburgh Executive Director Jules Mallis and Steelers owner Art Rooney II holding a check on the Steelers indoor training field. (Courtesy of Repair the World).

The Pittsburgh Steelers are supporting the local chapter of the Jewish social justice nonprofit Repair the World as part of the team’s Social Justice Matching Fund, in which they donated nearly $500,000 to 35 community organizations. The Pittsburgh chapter of Repair the World, a national group with a presence in 13 cities nationwide, received $2,000 from the team.

The post The Jewish Sport Report: A Jewish guide to the NFL playoffs appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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US ‘Strongly Opposes’ China-Brokered Deal to Form Palestinian Unity Government With Terrorist Groups

Mahmoud al-Aloul, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of Palestinian organization and political party Fatah, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Mussa Abu Marzuk, senior member of the Palestinian terror movement Hamas, attend an event at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on July 23, 2024. Photo: Pedro Pardo/Pool via REUTERS

The US on Tuesday said it “strongly opposes” a Beijing-brokered declaration signed earlier in the day by the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah movement and the Hamas terror group, aimed at reconciling their longstanding divisions and establishing a unity government to manage Gaza after the war.

The declaration, which was also signed by more than a dozen other Palestinian factions, is seen as a symbolic win for China’s role as a global mediator, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi describing it as a “historic moment for the cause of Palestine’s liberation.” However, doubts linger about its effectiveness in addressing the years-long rift between the groups.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller responded to the announcement, saying Hamas had “blood on its hands, of Israelis and of Palestinians,” and could not be in any leadership role.

“When it comes to governance of Gaza at the end of the conflict, there can’t be a role for a terrorist organization,” Miller said.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) — which currently exercises limited self-governance in the West and has long been riddled with allegations of corruption and authoritarianism — should be in control of both the West Bank and Gaza, Miller said, adding that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), unlike Hamas, had renounced terrorism.

The PLO is a coalition of Palestinian factions, including Fatah.

“If you look at the death and destruction that Hamas’ decision to launch the attacks of Oct. 7 has brought on Gaza, they have — there’s no one that has brought more pain and suffering to the people in Gaza than Hamas through their decisions — first to launch the attacks of Oct. 7, and then their ongoing decision, which continues today, to hide among civilian communities and use civilians as human shields.”

Miller also addressed China’s role in the mediation, saying that the US has generally encouraged China to leverage its influence with regional countries, especially those where the US has less sway, to prevent conflict escalation. One example was the Chinese-mediated deal last year restoring ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The US also urged China to discourage both Iran from financing proxies attacking Israel and the Houthis from targeting commercial shipping. “We have asked China to use its influence to try to bring those attacks to an end, and we’ll continue to do that,” Miller said.

Tuvia Gering, a China and Middle East analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies, said the move is part of China’s effort to rival the US by building alliances with developing nations as well as the Arab and Muslim world to prioritize its interests and stifle Western dominance.

China is “challenging America in every space possible as a new type of major power that takes in the considerations of the Global South and the coalitions of those oppressed by imperialism and Western hegemony” to create “a new global order,” he told The Algemeiner.

Gering condemned Beijing’s move, saying it “normalized terrorism” and will embolden the Palestinians into further intransigence in talks for any future peace accord.

“Until today, China failed to criticize [the Palestinians] and put all the onus onto Israel. This means effectively that the Palestinians will only adhere to the most maximalist positions in negotiations for the two state solution [which] will become even more of a distant reality,” Gering told The Algemeiner.

Gering also predicted that the “golden age” of China-Israel relations, which burgeoned over the last decade with the inking of major bilateral deals, was over because of China’s decision to “legitimize terror” since Oct. 7. Gering warned that moving forward, Israeli strategy in the region must also take China into account.

Gering expressed doubts that the declaration signed on Tuesday would lead to any major developments, noting “a large amount of skepticism” in the Arab world.

Indeed, the declaration gave no outline for how or when a new unity Palestinian government would be formed.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, which was also a signatory on the declaration, issued a statement later in the day outlining its demand for all factions in any future unity government to reject recognition of Israel.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz blasted the agreement, saying it underscored Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ embrace of “the murderers and rapists” of Hamas, which rules Gaza.

“In reality, this won’t happen because Hamas’ rule will be crushed, and Abbas will be watching Gaza from afar. Israel’s security will remain solely in Israel’s hands,” Katz said.

In his statement, Wang reiterated China’s commitment to a “comprehensive, lasting, and sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza and advocated for an “international peace conference” aimed at pursuing a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Dina Lisnyansky, an expert in Middle East affairs and Islam, warned that while the deal may not come to fruition, China’s role is of growing concern for Israel. Egypt and Algeria — both mediators in failed past attempts at rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas — were far weaker than China as regional actors. “When China sets its sights on something it usually achieves its goals, so it should worry us greatly,” Lisnyansky told The Algemeiner.

Lisnyansky also said that Israel should sanction the PA for signing the declaration. “Israel should negate any entity that has any ties at all to Hamas, which needs to lose both its authority and legitimacy.”

The post US ‘Strongly Opposes’ China-Brokered Deal to Form Palestinian Unity Government With Terrorist Groups first appeared on

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Here’s every Jewish athlete competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics

And who has the best chance of medalling in Paris.

The post Here’s every Jewish athlete competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Kamala Harris’s Record on Israel Raises Questions About Support for Jewish State if Elected US President

US Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo: Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS

Following US President Joe Biden’s stunning exit from the 2024 presidential race, allies of Israel are looking for clues as to how Vice President Kamala Harris, the new presumptive Democratic nominee, could approach issues affecting the Jewish state if she were to win the White House in November.

Harris’s previous statements reveal a mixed record on Israel, offering signs of both optimism and pessimism to pro-Israel advocates.

Though Harris has voiced support for the Jewish state’s right to existence and self defense, she has also expressed sympathy for far-left narratives that brand Israel as “genocidal.” The vice president has additionally often criticized Israel’s war effort against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

In 2017, while giving a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), then-Senator Harris delivered a 19-minute speech in which she showered praise on Israel, stating that she supports “the United States’ commitment to provide Israel with $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade.” Harris stated that America has “shared values” with Israel and that the bond between the two nations is “unbreakable.”

In 2020, while giving another speech to AIPAC, Harris emphasized that US support for Israel must remain “rock solid” and noted that Hamas “maintains its control of Gaza and fires rockets.”

Despite such statements of support, however, Harris has previously exhibited a degree of patience for those who make baseless smears against Israel. 

In October 2021, when confronted by a George Mason University student who angrily accused Israel of committing “ethnic genocide” against Palestinians, Harris quietly nodded along and then praised the student. 

“And again, this is about the fact that your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth cannot be suppressed, and it must be heard,” Harris told the student. 

Following Hamas’ slaughter of 1,200 people and kidnapping of 250 others across southern Israel on Oct. 7, Harris has shown inconsistent support for the Jewish state. Although she initially backed Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas’ terrorism, she has also levied sharp criticism against the Jewish state’s ensuing war effort in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

During a call with then-Israeli war cabinet leader Benny Gantz earlier this year, Harris suggested that the Jewish state has recklessly imperiled the lives of Palestinian civilians while targeting Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

“Far too many Palestinian civilians, innocent civilians have been killed,” Harris said. 

The same month, while delivering a speech commemorating the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama, Harris called the conditions in Gaza “devastating.”

“And given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks,” Harris said.

While speaking with Israeli President Isaac Herzog to mark the Jewish holiday of Passover in April, Harris shared “deep concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and discussed steps to increase the flow of life-saving humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians and ensure its safe distribution.”

Harris also pushed the unsubstantiated narrative that Israel has intentionally withheld aid from the people of Gaza, triggering a famine. 

“People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane. And our common humanity compels us to act,” Harris said. “The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid.”

The United Nations Famine Review Committee (FRC), a panel of experts in international food security and nutrition, released a report in June arguing that there is not enough “supporting evidence” to suggest that a famine has occurred in Gaza.

Harris has also expressed sympathy for anti-Israel protesters on US university campuses. In an interview published earlier this month, Harris said that college students protesting Israel’s defensive military efforts against Hamas are “showing exactly what the human emotion should be.”

“There are things some of the protesters are saying that I absolutely reject, so I don’t mean to wholesale endorse their points,” she added. “But we have to navigate it. I understand the emotion behind it.”

Some indicators suggest that Harris could adopt a more antagonistic approach to the Jewish state than Biden. For example, Harris urged the White House to be more “sympathetic” toward Palestinians and take a “tougher” stance against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a Politico report in December. In March, White House aides forced Harris to tone down a speech that was too tough on Israel, according to NBC News.

Later, she did not rule out “consequences” for Israel if it launched a large-scale military offensive to root out Hamas battalions in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, citing humanitarian concerns for the civilian population.

Harris initially called for an “immediate ceasefire” before Biden and has often used more pointed language when discussing the war, Israel, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. However, her advisers have sought to downplay the notion that she may be tougher on the Jewish state.

“The difference is not in substance but probably in tone,” one of Harris’s advisers told The Nation.

Meanwhile, Halie Soifer, who served as national security adviser to Harris during the then-senator’s first two years in Congress, said the current vice president’s support for Israel has been just as strong as Biden’s. “There really has been no daylight to be found” between the two, she told Reuters.

Still, Biden, 81, has a decades-long history of maintaining relationships with Israeli leaders and recently called himself a “Zionist.” Harris, 59, does not have such a connection to the Jewish state and maintains closer ties to Democratic progressives, many of whom have increasingly called for the US to turn away — or at least adopt a tougher approach toward — Israel

Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman suggested that Harris would be a far less reliable ally than Biden, pointing to her ideological alignment with the most progressive lawmakers in Congress. 

“Biden made many mistakes regarding Israel, but he is miles ahead of Harris in terms of support for Israel,” Friedman told The Jerusalem Post. “She is on the fringe of the progressive wing of the party, which sympathizes more with the Palestinian cause.”

“This will move Jewish voters to the Republican side,” the former ambassador argued. “Harris lacks any affinity for Israel, and the Democratic Convention will highlight this contrast. This could lead to a historic shift of Jewish voters to the Republican side.”

Meanwhile, J Street, a progressive Zionist organization, eagerly endorsed Harris the day after Biden dropped out of the presidential race, citing her “nuanced, balanced approach” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflictt.

“Kamala Harris has been a powerful advocate for J Street’s values in the White House, from the fight against antisemitism to the need for a nuanced, balanced approach on Israel-Palestine,” J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement. “She’s been a steadfast supporter of hostage families and Israel’s security, while also being a leading voice for the protection of Palestinian civilians and the need to secure an urgent ceasefire.”

The post Kamala Harris’s Record on Israel Raises Questions About Support for Jewish State if Elected US President first appeared on

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