Israel Wins First Olympic Medal Since 2008 Games
(JNS.org) Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi has become the first Israeli to win a medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Gerbi, 27, who also became the first Israeli to win a medal at the Olympics since the 2008 games in Beijing, defeated Japan’s Miku Tashiru to earn the bronze medal in the under-73kg judo competition.
Israeli leaders were quick to congratulate Gerbi, with President Reuven Rivlin phoning her to say that she is a “champion” and that “today, you are our hero.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also tweeted: “Yarden, you did it. We’re all proud of you.”
Following her victory, Gerbi told reporters that she feels like she is still dreaming.
“I’m here to win, to give my heart and soul, and I still can’t believe it. Someone wake me up, I can’t believe it.
“My dream has come true. They say Israelis don’t have the character (to succeed in sports on the world stage), but we do have the character. I gave my life. It paid off. Whoever says Israelis can’t succeed is wrong. It does happen. It does happen,” she added.
Overall, Gerbi became the seventh Israeli athlete to win a medal at the Olympics and the second woman to do so after Yael Arad took home a silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Jewish Gymnast Aly Raisman Captains Team USA to Olympic Gold
(Arutz Sheva) The US women’s gymnastics team won the gold medal at the Team All-Around final on Tuesday in absolutely dominant fashion, winning by a final margin of over 8.2 points, an enormous gap in gymnastics terms.
The team consisted of Olympic newcomers Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian, Simone Biles, the most dominant gymnast in the world, also in her first Olympics, 2012 individual all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas, and captain Aly Raisman. The gymnasts from around the world compete on four apparatus in the event: the balance beam, the vault, the uneven bars, and the floor exercise.
The Jewish Raisman is nicknamed “grandma” by her teammates because of her comparatively “advanced” age (she is 22, ancient by gymnastics standards) and her fondness for taking naps. Her strongest apparatus is the floor, in which she won the gold medal in the individual competition in 2012 with a routine performed to “Hava Nagila,” a wink to her Jewish roots.
After Team USA’s resounding success, prompting some analysts to call it the greatest gymnastics team of all time, the Olympics gymnastics competition now turns to the individual events, with all eyes on Simone Biles, who is threatening the legendary Nadia Comaneci for the crown of greatest gymnast ever.
Raisman qualified for the finals at the individual all-around event, in which the athletes perform on every apparatus, in 2nd place, behind teammate Biles. She will be hard-pressed to beat out the imperious and dominant Biles for the gold in the all-around, but may be able to give her more of a run for her money in the floor exercise individual event, where Raisman’s experience and comfort level are sure to serve her well.
Initial Talks Begin Over Releasing Body of ‘Symbol of Intifada’
(Elior Levy and Roi Yanovsky/Ynetnews) The family of Baha Aliyan, a terrorist who became a symbol of the recent wave of terror, almost secured the release of their dead son being held by Israeli authorities but refused to abide by the funeral terms, according to the Jerusalem Police.
Alyan, from Jabel Mukaber in the capital, was one of the terrorists who murdered three Israelis in a deadly attack on the 78 bus in the Jerusalem last October. He boarded the bus with fellow terrorist Bilal Abu Ghanem, armed with guns and axes, and was killed during the attack by security forces. Ghanem is currently standing trial.
Since the attack, which claimed the lives of Haviv Haim, 78, Richard Lakin, 76, and Alon Andrei Govberg, 51—and wounded several others—Alyan became one of the more prominent symbols of the escalation of violence. His legacy became one to which other like-minded Palestinians aspired and his actions transformed him into a role model worthy of emulation.
At the beginning of the week, Alyan’s family reportedly reached an agreement with senior officials in the Jerusalem Police regarding the return of the terrorist’s body. According to the agreement, only 30 people would be permitted to participate in the funeral, and the burial site would be in one of the cemeteries in the Old City. The family also agreed to deposit a financial guarantee to ensure that it abided by the terms.
Palestinian Who Rescued Terror Victims Fired for Helping Jews; Settler Leader Pledges Help
(TheTower.org Staff) A Palestinian man who intervened to save children from a terror attack has been fired from his job due to local opposition to his actions, The Times of Israel reported Monday.
In response, Yochai Damari, the head of the Har Hevron Regional Council, the local government for Jews living in that area of the West Bank, has sent a letter to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman requesting a work permit for the rescuer and his wife so that they can find employment within Israel.
The unidentified Arab man and his wife, who is a doctor, drove by the area where Rabbi Miki Mark was killed while driving his family in his car. The couple helped Rabbi Mark’s injured wife and children escape from their overturned vehicle and administered first aid, despite being threatened by passersby not to help the Jews.
Hamas member Mohammed Jabarah al-Fakih, the suspect in the terror attack, was killed in a shootout with Israeli security forces two weeks ago.
UN-Siphoned Funds Pay for Hamas Commando Marina
(Yoav Zitun/Ynetnews) The IDF published an aerial photograph via Twitter on Tuesday, detailing a marina built by Hamas’s military wing in the northern Gaza Strip, which was financed with funds siphoned from the United Nations Development Agency (UNDP).
The aerial photograph depicts the marina extending into the sea, not far from Zikim beach in Ashkelon, as well as a command and observation tower.
According to the indictment filed following an investigation by the Shin Bet,Waheed Borsh, a 38-year-old engineer from Jabalia, north of Gaza City, funneled aid resources from the UNDP to the construction of the marina, which the Hamas naval commando unit can use for future operations and training.
Borsh’s interrogation also yielded further information that Hamas exploited UN aid for its own purposes. For example, when weapons caches or tunnel entrances were discovered in homes being restored by the UNDP, Hamas would take control of the job site and the materials discovered. This is in contradiction to UN policies that clearly dictate that weapons discovered are to be reported and destroyed.
Hamas has denied the accusations, claiming: “These allegations are false and baseless. These accusations are part of the Israeli plan to tighten the siege on the Gaza Strip by going after the international aid organizations operating in Gaza and putting pressure on them. We are warning the Israeli occupation against the continuation of this policy, and call on the international community to shoulder its responsibility for these Israeli measures, which will lead to serious consequences if they continue.”
The Foreign Ministry said that Borsh’s arrest should send a message to the UN Secretary General and its aid agency heads. “We expect the UN, and especially the aid organizations, to unequivocally condemn Hamas for abusing aid mechanisms and to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those who really need it, and not Hamas terrorist leaders.”
ISIS-Affiliated Islamic Group Hizbut Tahrir to Be Outlawed in Israel
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel is pursuing legislation to outlaw Hizbut Tahrir, a radical, international, pan-Islamic organization affiliated with Islamic State, Channel 10 reported Monday.
The group has been outlawed in several European countries, including Turkey, Russia and Germany, over its radical ideology and support of terrorism.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the decision followed clear evidence implicating Hizbut Tahrir in a series of terrorist attacks across Israel in 2015, originally attributed to Hamas.
“It makes no sense to allow a group whose ideology is similar to that of Islamic State to operate in Israel. I intend to do everything in my power to outlaw this organization,” Erdan told Channel 10.
A Public Security Ministry statement said: “Given the intelligence presented to Minister Erdan, he decided to pursue outlawing Hizbut Tahrir, a group that rejects Israel’s right to exist and seeks to replace it with an Islamic caliphate.”
Hizbut Tahrir’s activities in Israel are focused on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, “where its leaders spread their radical teachings and incite terrorism,” the statement said.
Outlawing the group will afford authorities a wider scope of legal tools to use against Hizbut Tahrir operatives in Israel, the ministry’s statement said.