Archives For Ron Cantor

Arab teams and individual players have been known to forfeit their matches against Israelis in protest of the Jewish state while some countries have even banned Israeli players from participating tournaments hosted in their countries. 

But in an astounding bit of news, and thanks to coronavirus which forced most events to go online, Israeli chess players recently competed in a tournament against a team made up of Arab players including representatives of Syria, Algeria and Tunisia — countries that have no diplomatic ties with Israel.

This probably would not have happened had the tournament occurred on the soil of one of these countries, however, some 65 Israeli and Arab players competed against each other in what has been called a “historic occasion,” by an Israeli activist Lior Aizenberg, a chess player who has been battling these and boycotts in the chess world. 

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COVID-19 has made for some unlikely cooperation between Israel and Arab countries that have previously been antagonistic toward the Jewish state. 

According to media reports, three Gulf states have been actively seeking the expertise and technological advice of Israeli medical professionals regarding the latest pandemic. 

Yoel Hareven, head of the Sheba Medical Center international division, said the three countries — including Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — have been in contact with his hospital since before the coronavirus crisis. And in March, a high-ranking member of the Emirati royal family even visited the hospital in Ramat Gan, he said.

This is trend here in the Middle East. Natural enemies with Israel are beginning to see that they have more to gain from friendship with Israel, then from being her enemy.

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Remember the falafel shop owner we featured here who became the symbol of economic duress during shutdowns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic in Israel? Yuval Carmi was hospitalized this week due to a heart attack brought on by the stress of financial ruin.

But that is not all. Carmi, who was rushed into emergency treatment after experiencing chest pains, said people have been criticizing him since his April interview.

“I came to the ER. Someone came up to me, his wife recognized me and said ‘Hello.’ Her husband came up and asked her, ‘Do you know him?’ She said, ‘Yes, it’s the crybaby from the television,’” Carmi said. “It hurt me. My heart exploded.”

He said he had been subject to accusations on social media that he put on a show for the cameras to drum up business.

“My wife and children, every evening would come home and cry, and see everything that was written about us on Facebook, that we’re rich and that ‘he’s a liar and a cheater,’” Carmi said.

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas absolved the PA of all security agreements and understandings between Israel and the United States in a speech on Tuesday, preempting Israel’s expected annexation of portions of the West Bank.

In addition, Abbas said he will now hold Israel — as the “occupying power” — responsible for civilians in the West Bank.

“The Israeli occupation authority, as of today, has to shoulder all responsibilities and obligations in front of the international community as an occupying power over the territory of the occupied state of Palestine,” Abbas said.

This includes international law, protection of the two million civilians and their property. In addition, Abbas holds America responsible “for the oppression befalling the Palestinian people and we consider it a primary partner with the Israeli occupation government in all its aggressive and unfair decisions and measures against our people.”

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This is the day for which we have all been waiting, for 18 months. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Benny Gantz will be both sworn in today as Prime Minister. Bibi will serve for 18 months and then they will switch roles. 

Not many believe that Netanyahu, considered one of the greatest political tacticians ever, will actually allow Gantz to serve as PM, which is why ] Gantz included many conditions in fine print—such as, that they would be sworn in together. 

The breakthrough came when Gantz bolted from his partners Yair Lapid and Boogie Ayalon, who swore that they would never serve with an indicted Prime Minister (Bibi is set to go on trial for corruption charges). Gantz said he did so because of the virus, however we had only 15 new cases two days ago. Gantz will assume the new role of “alternate prime minister”, where he gets all the perks of being prime minister.  

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