Swimmer Yakov Toumarkin failed to win Israel’s first ever Olympic medal in swimming but finished a creditable seventh in the finals of the 200 meter backstroke on Thursday.
Toumarkin, who clocked in at 1:57:62, is only the second Israeli swimmer to ever compete in an Olympics final. Eithan Urbach finished eighth overall in the 100 meter backstroke at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia.
Meanwhile, Israel’s two former Olympic medalists had disappointing performances on Thursday.
In a stunning defeat, Arik Zeevi, Israel’s top judoka, was eliminated from competition in less than a minute, quashing his hopes for a second Olympic medal.
Zeevi managed only 43 seconds against Dimitri Peters of Germany, before signaling that he could not continue. “I made a mistake and paid the price,” he told Army Radio, in tears.
Zeevi was forced to tap out after Peters managed to get him in a deadlock. He walked off the mat with his head bowed and eyes filled with tears.
“I had prepared for many scenarios,” Zeevi told reporters shortly after the match ended. The way this fight unfolded “wasn’t one of them. I need to watch the replay to understand what happened.”
The four-time European champion won a bronze medal at the Athens Games in 2004, and at age 35 the 2012 Games were most likely his last major international competition. Yet he refused to announce his retirement.
Zeevi was one of Israel’s few medal hopes, and said he was disappointed for himself and also “for the many fans” who supported him and bought tickets to see him.
President Shimon Peres called Zeevi to console him. Peres entreated Zeevi to not lose his spirit over the loss. “The one who wins sometimes also takes a blow,” the president said. “The real test is not to lose hope, even when taking those blows.”
Minister of Culture and Sports Limor Livnat also called Zeevi, telling him that his defeat did not change the fact that he is one of the greatest athletes ever to come out of Israel.
Windsurfer Shahar Tzuberi, a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was disqualified in Race 5, and finished 12th in Race 6 on Thursday, thus making his chances for a medal extremely thin.
Tzuberi was one of four windsurfers who crossed the starting line before the horn was sounded to begin the fifth of 10 races in the windsurfing competition. As a result, he received a black flag disqualification, and an automatic share of last place for the race. He finished the sixth race a disappointing 12th, and at the end of the day his overall ranking in the competition was 10th.
With two days and four races remaining, only consistent first place finishes by Tzuberi, combined with a complete collapse of the top seven windsurfers in the competition, can earn him a medal.
Israel’s quest for gold took an additional hit when the tennis duo of Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich were eliminated in straight sets by American brothers Mike and Bob Bryan.
Ram and Ehrlich’s match with the Bryan brothers was interrupted by rain with their American opponents holding on to a 1-0 set lead. After the players returned to the court the Israelis dropped the second set, 7-6.
On the court at Wimbledon, the Bryan brothers — the world’s number one tennis duo — won the first set in a tie break 7-6, after the Israelis failed to capitalize on three set points. The second set also went to a tie break, which ended 12-10, as the Israelis double faulted out of the match.
Israel still has hopes for an Olympic medal with windsurfer Lee Kurzits, who is currently ranked third in the overall women’s windsurfing.
Source: Times of Israel
Special Consultative Status provides non-governmental organizations with access to ECOSOC and its many subsidiary bodies. This status provides select civil society organizations with the opportunity to participate in nearly all inter-governmental processes at the UN dealing with economic and social development.
Of 624 applications for Special Consultative Status in 2012, Jewish Heart for Africa was one of 241 applicants selected. The decision was adopted unanimously by all members of the Council.
Jewish Heart for Africa will have access to all meetings of ECOSOC as well as other UN bodies, agencies and special events organized by the President and Secretary General. Seven representatives of Jewish Heart for Africa will be granted annual passes for access to UN premises; short-term and group passes for the organization’s supporters will be available as well.
Some 1,500 people gathered in Jerusalem’s Independence Park, Gan Ha’atzmaut, on Thursday afternoon ahead of Jerusalem’s 10th annual Gay Pride Parade. On Thursday morning, unknown activists painted Jerusalem’s welcome sign with the colors of the gay pride rainbow flag.
Throughout the years, parading through the streets of Jerusalem has become a battlefront between seculars and the ultra-Orthodox community. Ahead of this year’s parade, a group of right-wing extremists protested against Thursday’s event.
Police prepared for Thursday’s event with large forces, although since 2005, when three participants were stabbed by an ultra-Orthodox man, Yishai Shlisel, the annual events have been relatively quiet.
In July 2006, the gay pride parade planned for Jerusalem aroused opposition, and many warnings received by police led to the parade being postponed to November.
Marking a decade of gay pride parades in the capital, the organizers at Jerusalem’s Open House decided to walk the original route, from Gan Ha’atzmaut to Gan Hapa’amon.
“We will return to the area where three people were stabbed and we will also mark three years of the murder in Tel Aviv’s Bar Noar” gay center,” said Elinor Sidi, executive director of Jerusalem Open House.
“Jerusalem has changed a lot in the past ten years, following a decade of repeated petitions,” Sidi said, adding that it seems that Jerusalem has accepted its gay community members.
* To be eligible for the draw, entrants must follow @SDoesntMatter on Twitter. Three trivia questions will be tweeted from @SDoesntMatter on Wednesday, August 8th. Entrants must correctly answer all three questions along with the hashtag “#SDMcontest” to qualify for the Grand Prize. Answers must be received on or before 5:00 p.m. EST on August 8th, at which point a random draw will select the winner. Two pairs of tickets to the WEMF will be awarded, a total retail value of $522.00 CND/per pair. The selected entrant will be notified on Twitter. This contest is open to all individuals who have reached the age of majority. Contest rules
Ahead of the upcoming Jewish holiday of Tu B’Av (similar to Valentine’s Day), the Central Bureau of Statistics released a study of demographic changes in Israel indicating that the number of single men and women in their late 20s has drastically increased over the past forty years.
According to the recently released information, some 65% of men between the ages of 25 and 29 are single, compared to a mere 28% in 1970. Meanwhile, the percentage of single women between the ages of 25 and 29 has hiked over the past forty years from 13% to 46%.
Statistics show that in 2010, some 47,855 of couples got married through authorities with jurisdiction over marriage ceremonies; 35,588 of the couples were Jewish and 10,220 of the couples were Arab; 782 of the couples were Christian while 894 of the couples were Druze.
In 2010, the average age of marriage among men was 27.6 and the average age for women was 24.8, as opposed to 1970 when the average age for women was 21.7.
The average age gap between Jewish men and women in 2010 was 2.1 years, while in other religions the age gap was higher and stood at 5 years.
Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem
Statistics further showed that Tel Aviv has the highest percentage of single men (83%) and women (71%). In Haifa, 74% of men are single as opposed to 55% of women, while in Israel’s capital, 50% of the men are single and 38% of women are single.
Generally speaking, the data showed that most married respondents are satisfied with their lives, more than single and divorced respondents. Some 41% of married respondents claim that they are extremely satisfied with their lives compared with 19% of the divorced respondents.
Amongst younger respondents aged 20-39, 49% of the married respondents said that they were extremely satisfied with their lives, compared with 44% of single respondents and 22% of the divorced respondents.
Between the ages of 40 and 59, only 38% of married respondents said that they were extremely satisfied with their lives, compared with 23% of single respondents and 20% of the divorced respondents. Over the age of 60, 33% of married respondents said that they were extremely satisfied with their lives, compared with 16% of the divorced respondents.