One eye on Rio: Russia ban could pave Israel’s way

One eye on Rio: Russia ban could pave Israel’s way

Brazil's Rio de Janeiro
Brazil's Rio de Janeiro

There are some who say politics should never get mixed up with sport, but when there’s a ticket to the World Cup Finals in Rio up for grabs, who are we to be dogmatic? We’ve got that, plus all the other news, gossip and tit-bits from around the Jewish world.


Officials have confirmed that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam to highlight the ‘lasting and profound friendship between Japan and the Jewish people. It comes after hundreds of copies of the diaries were vandalised in Tokyo’s public libraries over recent months.


Israeli eyes were fleetingly on Rio de Janeiro this week, after suggestions that Russia could be banned from participating following its annexation of Crimea. A ban would hand Israel a ticket to the finals, as American senators urge football’s governing body to punish Moscow for its actions in the south of Ukraine.


Norway’s union of nurses has urged the government to ban non-medical circumcision of boys under the age of 15 ‘so the boy himself can decide’. It comes as the health ministry unveiled new regulations that will see all circumcisions performed in hospitals. Health advisors in several Scandinavian countries favour a ban.


A Berlin publisher from Berlin will next month launch the first German-language children’s edition of the Torah since 1964. The previous edition is out of print and there are not enough old volumes for all the children. Publisher Myriam Halberstam said the lack of books ‘has felt more painfully in the last few years’.


An Italian Jewish leader has joined the chorus of disapproval after a bakery posted a sign in its window banning entry to Roma, or Gypsies. Renzo Gattegna said it was ‘shameful and unacceptable’ and recalled Holocaust-era anti-Jewish discrimination, adding: ‘We cannot, as Jews, remain silent in the face of this racism.’


A presenter on Russian state TV has said that Jews helped contributed the Holocaust. Evelyn Zakamskaya was responding to a guest who suggested that by supporting the new government, Ukraine’s Jews were moving closer to another Holocaust. ‘And they advanced the first [Holocaust],’ replied Zakamskaya.

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