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The Jewish Sport Report: An unauthorized moment of silence for Israel

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(JTA) — Good afternoon! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. And happy Black Friday to all who celebrate.

For sports fans, Thanksgiving is about football (plus, you know, family and food). A.J. Dillon and the Green Bay Packers upset their rivals, the Detroit Lions, 29-22 in their annual holiday matchup yesterday. And Jake Curhan and the Seattle Seahawks hosted the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football, losing 31-13.

But for many, no Thanksgiving game will top the 2012 “butt fumble” game, when the New England Patriots embarrassed the New York Jets 49-19 and Jets QB Mark Sanchez fumbled the ball after running into his own teammate’s behind. The Pats recovered said butt fumble and returned it for a touchdown.

That play is, understandably, what people remember. But the bad luck didn’t stop there. After the Patriots’ extra point, the Jets immediately fumbled the ball again on the kickoff return — and none other than Julian Edelman returned it 22 yards for another touchdown.

Pats fans were definitely saying dayenu that day!

An unauthorized display of solidarity with Israel

The Israeli and Polish under-21 national soccer teams hold an unofficial moment of silence during their Nov. 17 match in Lodz, Poland. (Screenshot from X/Julien Bahloul)

During a European qualifying match last Friday, the Israeli and Polish under-21 national teams held a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Oct. 7 attack in Israel.

The gesture would have been powerful on its own. But it was even more notable because European soccer’s governing body had reportedly denied the teams’ request to hold a moment of silence. The teams did it anyway — remaining in their starting formations for the first minute of the game, standing still as the clock began to run.

The war has impacted all Israeli sports, but perhaps soccer most of all. Numerous national teams are in the midst of qualifying matches for upcoming international tournaments, including the under-21 and senior teams, both of which have had to move games that were originally set to be played in Israel.

Read more here.

Halftime report

HOT STOVE UPDATES. The MLB offseason is off to a slow start, but there are some Jewish storylines to watch. Rowdy Tellez is now a free agent after being non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers. Jared Shuster was traded to the Chicago White Sox as part of a big deal with the Atlanta Braves last week. Shuster should have a better chance to compete for a rotation spot with his new club. Philadelphia Phillies general manager Sam Fuld executed the first big free agent signing of the winter, keeping ace Aaron Nola in Philly with a 7-year, $172 million deal. And former Team Israel coach Brad Ausmus was hired to be the new bench coach of the New York Yankees.

SOLD! A couple weeks ago, we shared an auction with a couple rare Jewish baseball items: a 1870s photo of Lipman Pike and a game-worn hat from Sandy Koufax’s 1965 Cy Young season. The photo sold for $131,971, while Koufax’s cap got $39,137. But don’t worry — if you missed your chance at that auction, there’s another Koufax keepsake up for grabs. You can now bid on a game-used glove from 1956.

COMEBACK. Gabrielle Rose, who competed in the 2000 Olympics with the U.S. team, just became the oldest swimmer to clinch a spot in the Olympic Trials, at 46 years old. Rose’s father was Mike Rose, the longtime CEO of Holiday Inn.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards — who are off to a rough 2-12 start this season — host the Milwaukee Bucks in the in-season tournament tonight at 8 p.m. and face the Atlanta Hawks tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings play the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday at 8 p.m. ET. In the G League, Ryan Turell and the Motor City Cruise host the Cleveland Charge tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Amari Bailey and the Greensboro Swarm host the Maine Celtics today at 2 p.m. ET and the Westchester Knicks tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET.


Superstar Jack Hughes returned last weekend after missing five games with an upper-body injury. He, his brother Luke and the New Jersey Devils host Devon Levi’s Buffalo Sabres tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. Quinn Hughes and the Vancouver Canucks face Luke Kunin and the San Jose Sharks Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. Zach Hyman and the Edmonton Oilers match up against the Anaheim Ducks Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.


Greg Joseph and the Minnesota Vikings host the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET.


After helping the U.S. Men’s National Team punch its ticket to the next round in the Nations League tournament, goalkeeper Matt Turner will be back with his Premier League team Nottingham Forest tomorrow, when they face Brighton at 10 a.m. ET.


The Formula One season comes to an end this weekend with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sunday at 8 a.m. ET. Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll came in fifth place in last weekend’s Las Vegas race and currently sits at 10th place in the standings.

Friendly fire

Last week we told you that Scott Schoeneweis had the most appearances of any Jewish pitcher, with 577. The 12-year MLB veteran, who played from 1999 to 2010, holds another Jewish record: he has given up the most home runs against opposing Jewish batters, with five. And all five were hit by the same two players. Can you name them? Send your answers to Good luck!

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Gallant: Seizing Internal Hamas Documents Brings Hostage Deal Closer

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meeting with IDF commanders, including members of the elite Shayetet 13 marine commando unit, in Atlit, Israel, Jan. 17, 2023. Photo: Ariel Hermoni (Israel’s Ministry of Defense)

i24 NewsIsraeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant provided a review to fellow ministers of weapons and documents belonging to Hamas, which were collected by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Document and Technical Means Collection Unit (Amshat) operating in the Gaza Strip.

“This morning we are hosting the government meeting at the IDF, in the defense establishment, to show the ministers exactly how we are achieving and deepening our achievements and what is coming out of the Gaza Strip,” Gallant explained.

“You can see a small part of the things here – missiles, explosive charges, mines, a great many maps, means of communication, documents, computers, drives, all these things which the IDF uses now on as intelligence, and not only that,” the defense minister continued.

“These demonstrate that we penetrated into the heart of the most sensitive places of Hamas and use their intelligence against them,” Gallant described the process of attaining the documents and weapons, hinting at some of the locations from where it was found.

“We are using their weapons against them, detonating them in the field, all this leads to the consequence of deepening and penetrating the heart of Hamas’ capabilities,” the defense minister said.

“The more we deepen our operations, the closer we get to a realistic deal in order to return the hostages,” Gallant concluded.

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UNRWA Chief Urged to Resign After ‘Absurd’ Pledge of Ignorance

View of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90.

i24 NewsIsraeli diplomatic leaders called for the resignation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, following denial of knowing about a Hamas data center under the agency’s headquarters in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) revealed on Saturday night that Hamas built a vast network of tunnels under the UNRWA headquarters, with a base directly underneath that was even hooked up to its grid.

“The exposure of UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters’ deep involvement with Hamas, including its use for terror activities and as an access point to terror tunnels, requires immediate action,” the Israeli foreign minister, Israel Katz, posted on X.

“Philippe Lazzarini’s claim of unawareness is not only absurd but also an affront to common sense. His prompt resignation is imperative,” Katz concluded.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, also called for the UNRWA Commissioner-General to resign, responding “it’s not that you didn’t know, it’s that you didn’t WANT to know.”

“We exposed terror tunnels under UNRWA schools and supplied evidence that Hamas’ exploits UNRWA. We implored you to carry out a comprehensive search of all UNRWA facilities in Gaza. But not only did you refuse, you chose to stick your head in the sand,” Erdan added in a detailed post on X.

.@UNLazzarini it’s not that you didn’t know, it’s that you didn’t WANT to know. We exposed terror tunnels under UNRWA schools and supplied evidence that Hamas’ exploits UNRWA. We implored you to carry out a comprehensive search of all UNRWA facilities in Gaza. But not only did…

— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) February 10, 2024

“Take responsibility and resign today!” the Israeli ambassador said, “Every day we find more proof that in Gaza the UN=Hamas and vice versa. Anything the UN says or claims about Gaza cannot be trusted.”

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Preparing for the Next ICJ Debacle

The UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ). Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgIn the theater of the absurd commonly known as the International Court of Justice, judges are again preparing to ignore history and facts. Having weaponized the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against the Jewish state, the judges are now preparing to hear oral arguments on the next oxymoron: The “legal consequences” of the “Israeli occupation” of “Palestinian territory.”

The glaring problem with this is that there is no such entity as the “Palestinian territories.” The term is an invented one used to define areas allocated by the international community to the Jewish state, which were then illegally invaded by Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Any discussion anchored on this false terminology should immediately be ignored and scorned.

In December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly, prompted by the Palestinian Authority, adopted a resolution to request from the ICJ an advisory opinion on the following question:

“Considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the General Assembly, and the Human Rights Council, and the advisory opinion of the Court of July 9, 2004:

“a) What are the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement, and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures?

“b) How do the policies and practices of Israel referred to in paragraph 18 (a) above affect the legal status of the occupation, and what are the legal consequences that arise for all States and the United Nations from this status?”

Following the request, the ICJ set a July 25, 2023 deadline for initial written statements to be submitted, with responses to be submitted by Oct. 25, 2023 and oral arguments to be made starting Feb. 19, 2024.

The underlying assumption of this debacle is that Israel is in some way “occupying” “Palestinian territory.” But is that really the case?

In reality, never in history has an independent country called “Palestine” ever existed.

In reality, the area the UNGA claims and has asked the ICJ to consider as “Palestinian territory” was controlled for 400 years by the Ottoman Empire.

In reality, after World War I, the international community repeatedly allocated the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, from Lebanon to the Red Sea, for the sole purpose of reconstituting the Jewish homeland.

In reality, the 1923 division of the geographical area called “Palestine” into two separate areas, one to be called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the other remaining Jewish Palestine, was the real “two-state solution.”

In reality, in 1947, the United Nations offered the Arabs an opportunity to create another Arab country to the west of the Jordan River alongside Israel, but the Arabs refused. Instead, five Arab armies attacked the nascent Jewish state with the stated and express goal of throwing the Jews into the sea.

From 1948 to 1967, Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip and Jordan controlled Judea and Samaria, which it renamed “The West Bank.” During that time, no U.N. resolution of the General Assembly or the Security Council demanded that Egypt and Jordan retreat and desist from occupying those areas. No such request was made of Jordan since Jordan saw Palestine as an integral part of Jordan.

In reality, even U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, from November 1967, does not mention, even once, the notion of occupied “Palestinian” territory.

In fact, the idea that a State of Palestine ever existed and that Israel is occupying “Palestinian territory” seems to prove the billboard advertisement that “Palestine” is the only country in the world that did not exist before it was “occupied.”

Sadly, as the judges demonstrated with their shameful decision on the false claim of South Africa against Israel when it comes to the Jewish state, history, facts and the truth are just not relevant.

Originally published by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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