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(JTA) — Hello and happy New Year! I think we’re still allowed to say that, right, Larry David?
This is sure to be an exciting year in the world of sports, from the Pan American Maccabi Games this week to the Paris Olympics this summer and beyond. What sports happenings are you most looking forward to in 2024? Let us know by dropping us a line at email@example.com!
Chabad rabbis in Utah brought Jewish pride signs to an NBA game. Kyrie Irving (allegedly) didn’t appreciate it.
Rabbi Avremi Zippel, who works at the Chabad Hasidic movement’s Salt Lake City outpost, is a big Utah Jazz fan. When the Dallas Mavericks and their controversial star Kyrie Irving came to town on Monday, Zippel wanted to be there.
Zippel and three other rabbis — including his brother and father — brought signs reading “I’m a Jew and I’m proud” to the game, where they sat courtside.
When Irving saw the signs, according to Zippel, he pointed out his Star of David tattoo and told the rabbis he was Jewish, too. But then a few minutes later, arena security told the group they had to remove the signs, citing a complaint from Irving.
Irving disputes that any of this happened. Zippel told me Irving’s denial is “a lie.” The Jazz issued a statement saying the issue was “the disruptive interaction caused by usage of the signs, not the content of the signs.” When reached by JTA, the Mavericks declined to comment.
NOT A GAME. Police in Argentina arrested three men on suspicion of planning a terror attack amid the Maccabi Games, which have brought more than 4,000 Jewish athletes to Buenos Aires. Argentine President Javier Milei spoke at the tournament’s opening ceremony last week.
BRONX → QUEENS. Jewish outfielder and defensive whiz Harrison Bader has signed a one-year, $10.5 million contract with the New York Mets. Bader, who had committed to playing for Team Israel in the 2023 World Baseball Classic before an injury derailed his plans, joins the Mets after spending most of the last two seasons with the Yankees.
A PIECE OF PEACE. A new mural was painted this week in Brooklyn depicting an Israeli and a Palestinian boy with their arms wrapped around each other, accompanied by the message, “Love’s resilience can rebuild bridges that war has burned.” They’re dressed in the soccer jerseys of global stars Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, whose numbers are 10 and 7 — an unintended reference to Oct. 7.
DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper was fined $300,000 this week after he was caught on camera throwing his drink on fans at last week’s game between the Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tepper, whose net worth is north of $20 billion, said he regretted his actions and accepted the league’s disciplinary measure.
Jews in sports to watch this weekend
Deni Avdija, who turned 23 on Wednesday, and his Washington Wizards face the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, and host the New York Knicks Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Domantas Sabonis, who is converting to Judaism, and the Sacramento Kings host the Toronto Raptors tonight at 10 p.m. ET, and the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. In the G League, Ryan Turell and the Motor City Cruise play the Texas Legends tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. ET, while Amari Bailey and the Greensboro Swarm take on the Wisconsin Herd today and tomorrow, both at 8 p.m. ET. Despite Bailey’s 27 points, Turell and the Cruise defeated the Swarm 127-109 on Tuesday.
Jack and Luke Hughes and the New Jersey Devils host Cole Guttman and the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Tomorrow at the same time, in a repeat of last month’s so-called “Hughes Bowl,” the Devils face Quinn Hughes and his Vancouver Canucks. Jack and Quinn were just named All-Stars for this season. Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, Zach Hyman and the Edmonton Oilers host Jakob Chychrun and the Ottawa Senators.
It’s the final week of the NFL regular season, and it’s coming down to the wire. Michael Dunn’s Cleveland Browns have clinched a playoff berth, while A.J. Dillon’s Green Bay Packers, Greg Joseph’s Minnesota Vikings and Jake Curhan’s Seattle Seahawks are all fighting to make the postseason. Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, the Vikings play the Detroit Lions and the Browns play the Cincinnati Bengals. Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET, the Packers host the Chicago Bears while the Seahawks take on the Arizona Cardinals.
Goalkeeper Matt Turner and his Premier League club Nottingham Forest face Blackpool F.C. Sunday at 9 a.m. ET in the third round of the annual British FA Cup tournament. Blackpool play in the third tier of English football.
New year, new sports league
The Professional Women’s Hockey League officially launched its inaugural season this week with six teams: Boston, Minnesota, Montreal, New York, Ottawa and Toronto. The league has two known Jewish players: goaltenders Aerin Frankel, 24, who plays for Boston, and Abigail Levy, 23, who plays for New York
The post The Jewish Sport Report: Why Kyrie Irving is making Jewish headlines again appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
French Government Will Hold Commemoration for Victims of Hamas Pogrom Amid Disquiet Over Far Left Party’s Participation
French President Emmanuel Macron will preside over a special ceremony on Wednesday to commemorate the French victims of the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas pogrom in Israel as a row over the potential presence of far left parliamentarians continues to fester.
A statement from the Elysée Palace on Monday confirmed Macron’s presence at Wednesday’s event, which will take place at Les Invalides in Paris, where the French National Assembly and other leading national institutions are based.
A spokeswoman for Macron’s office pointed out that 42 French citizens were among the more than 1,200 people murdered during the Hamas assault, with a further three still being held hostage in Gaza.
Answering a question from a reporter about whether a similar event would be held for French citizens killed during the IDF bombing of Gaza that followed the assault, she added that a separate memorial ceremony would be held at a date yet to be determined. “It is obvious that we owe the same emotion and the same dignity to the French victims of the bombings in Gaza, and this tribute will be paid to them at another time,” she said. It is not clear how many French passport holders have actually been killed since the French government announced the deaths of two Palestinian children who were French citizens on Oct. 31.
Wednesday’s ceremony will unfold “under the universal sign of the fight against anti-Semitism and through it, all forms of hatred, racism and oppression against minorities,” the official statement from the presidency declared. Each of the murdered victims will be commemorated through the display of a photograph with their name attached. Families of the victims will be present, many of them being flown in from Israel on a special flight chartered by the French government.
The event is already mired in controversy due the announcement of parliamentarians from the far left La France Insoumise (LFI -“France Rising”) that they plan to attend. LFI has been vocal in its support of Palestinians in Gaza, frequently drawing accusations of antisemitism because of its harsh rhetoric. Earlier this month, the daughter of two LFI MPs was arrested for allegedly antisemitic social media posts in the weeks following the Hamas attack, while another LFI MP faced condemnation over a posting on social media that invoked a popular Japanese manga meme appropriated by antisemites.
In a letter to Macron, members of five of the victims families demanded a ban on the participation of LFI MPs.
“We, families of victims of Hamas terrorists, solemnly demand that any presence of LFI at the national tribute that will be paid to the 42 Franco-Israeli victims of 7/10 be prohibited,” the letter stated.
However, that request is unlikely to be granted. Pointing out that parliamentarians are automatically invited to state-organized ceremonies, Macron’s office stated that “It is up to everyone to assess the appropriateness or not of their presence since the families spoke out and expressed strong emotion,” but notably did not accede to the ban request.
Mathilde Panot, the head of the LFI deputies in the National Assembly, said last week that she planned to attend the ceremony.
“I will be present and I have asked that a tribute be paid to all the French victims of this war in the Middle East, including the Franco-Palestinians killed in Gaza by the Israeli army,” she said.
Montana Tucker “Bring Them Home” Grammy Tribute for Israeli Hostages Turns Heads
Jewish singer and songwriter Montana Tucker showed her support for Israelis still being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza at Sunday night’s 66th Annual Grammy Awards, an annual ceremony held to honor the record industry’s most critically acclaimed artists.
Posing for photographers, Tucker walked the red carpet clad in a beige, diaphanous corset gown ornamented with a yellow ribbon that said, “Bring Them Home.” She also wore a Star of David necklace.
136 Israeli hostages remain imprisoned by Hamas in Gaza. They have been there since Oct. 7, when the terrorist organization committed a massacre of Jews across the southern region of Israel, the deadliest mass killing of Jews since the Holocaust. Hamas’ fighters brutally murdered and rape hundreds, and according to numerous reports, more are being sexually abused in captivity.
Tucker’s wasn’t the only statement made about the Israel-Hamas war. Ann Lennox, Scottish vocalist of the popular 1980s band Eurythmics — most known for its No. 1 song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” — called for a ceasefire in Gaza in a speech delivered after she performed a tribute to Sinéad O’Connor.
Raising a “Black Power” fist before a much larger audience than Tucker was accorded, Lennox proclaimed, “Artists for a ceasefire. Peace in the world.”
Lennox was alluding to “Artists4Ceasefire,” a small group of entertainers who issued a letter calling on President Joe Biden to “end the bombing of Gaza” that did not mention that Hamas started the war or condemn rising antisemitism. The letter’s signatories include, among other B-list celebrities, Adam Lambert — who in 2009 won second place in the now-discontinued television series American Idol — Jennifer Lopez, Rosie O’Donnell, and Alyssa Milano.
The Algemeiner honored Montana Tucker in 2022 for being one of 100 people recognized for positively influencing Jewish life. A granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Tucker was dogged all her life by assertions that she does not “look Jewish.” Undeterred by the remarks, she committed to proudly representing the Jewish community, and in 2022 produced “How To: Never Forget,” a ten-part docuseries about her grandparents lives in Poland before the Nazi invasion.
“This has been my responsibility to do this, for me and my grandparents and everyone else,” Tucker said at the time, during an interview. “People are used to seeing my very light-hearted, fun dance videos and me collaborating with a lot of different people…It’s rare for me and my content, and rare for the platform in general, to have a docuseries on the Holocaust.”
Other pro-Israel activists wore apparel to the Grammy awards to show. Orthodox Rabbi-Rapper Moshe Reuven, whose song “You Are Not Alone” has amassed over one million streams on Spotify, sported a “Never Is Now” shirt distributed through partnership between civil rights nonprofit StandWithUs and Perspective Fitwear. The shirt’s designer is Karen Margolis.
Taylor Swift’s 2022 record, titled Midnights, won “Album of the Year,” and rapper Jay-Z implied during a speech for accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award that his wife, multi-platinum artists and most-winning Grammy award winner ever Beyoncé, has never won “Album of the Year” because she is a Black woman. The moment was reminiscent of a 2009 incident in which Kanye West stormed the stage of the MTV Awards to denounce Swift’s winning “Best Video by a Female Artist.”
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.
The post Montana Tucker “Bring Them Home” Grammy Tribute for Israeli Hostages Turns Heads first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
Israeli Bank Shutter Accounts of Settlers Sanctioned By Biden
The Israeli bank accounts of two of the Israelis sanctioned by the United States government last week were closed on Sunday and Monday. Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich spoke out against the action, saying “I will take action as the finance minister and do what I must. If need be, we’ll advance legislation on the matter.” He further called the instance “unthinkable” that it occurred.
The two Israelis, Yinon Levi and David Chai Chasdai, had their personal and business accounts closed by Bank Leumi and Bank Hadoar, respectively. The other two settlers listed bank with Bank Hapoalim, who also said they would close the accounts, saying “Bank Hapoalim respects the international sanctions and will comply with any legal order.”
The Bank of Israel announced their support for the move, saying “Banking corporations, by necessity of their international activities, are required to establish policies and procedures for the use of international sanctions lists and national sanctions lists of foreign countries and for entering into or carrying out operations with parties declared on such lists. Circumvention of sanctions regimes as mentioned, has the effect of exposing the banking corporations to significant risks, among them, compliance risks, money laundering and terrorist financing risks, legal risks and reputational risks.”
Chasdai, who denies any wrongdoing, said “The fact that a government bank decides in the middle of a bright day to seize the bank accounts of settlers solely because of pressure from extreme leftist organizations and a hostile American government is unimaginable, but the fact that this is happening under the tenure of a right-wing government just after the greatest massacre in the country’s history is a national disgrace first class.”
“We have gone through many oppressors who harmed the people of Israel over the generations, we will also go through the persecution of Biden and his aides,” he added.
US President Joe Biden approved the sanctions last week, saying “The situation in the West Bank – in particular high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages, and property destruction – has reached intolerable levels and constitutes a serious threat to the peace, security and stability in the region.”
The post Israeli Bank Shutter Accounts of Settlers Sanctioned By Biden first appeared on Algemeiner.com.