Israeli families of Munich Olympics massacre victims to boycott German 50th anniversary ceremony
All but one of the family members of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered during the 1972 Munich Olympics plan to boycott a ceremony marking the incident’s 50th anniversary, calling the financial compensation that the German government will offer them “a joke,” JTA reported on Aug. 11.
According to a German government memo obtained by The New York Times, various agencies have thus far paid $4.8 million to the families, and Germany is expected to offer an additional $5.6 million.
The families are reportedly asking for a sum about 20 times larger than that and are urging Israel’s government to join in boycotting the ceremony, saying that Germany’s actions before, during and after the incident were insufficient and left the Israeli athletes at risk. Details have emerged suggesting that Germany had advance notice of a threat of violence.
“The level of state responsibility of Germany, as we know it now, is far more extensive compared to the facts which were known in 1972-2020,” a lawyer representing the families told the Times. “Ample evidence was recently discovered which shows that the government not only failed in the protection of the athletes but was also instrumental in the cover-up of its failure.”
During the second week of the 1972 Games, in the incident now known as the Munich Massacre, the Palestinian terrorist group Black September held six coaches and five athletes from Israel’s team hostage in their Olympic village apartment before brutally killing them. A West German police officer was also killed.
Foreigners to be barred from studying medicine in Israel
The Israeli government is barring foreigners from studying medicine in the country as part of an effort to curb the “brain drain” caused by citizens becoming doctors abroad due to difficulties getting accepted into local programs, JNS.org reported.
According to the Council for Higher Education in Israel, a supervisory body for universities and colleges, the graduating class of 2026 will be the last in which foreigners will receive four-year medical degrees offered at Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev or the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology.
The CHE’s decision, issued in conjunction with the Health and Finance Ministries, comes after the organization made the recommendation in 2018 after finding that many Israelis were traveling to Europe for medical school because they could not get into programs at home.
Some 900 Israelis reportedly enter medical schools in Israel each year, a number the government wants to raise to 1,200.
Judge who signed the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago warrant faces violent antisemitic threats
Bruce Reinhart, the federal judge in Florida who signed the warrant allowing the FBI to raid former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property on Aug. 8, was hit with a wave of antisemitic threats online, JTA reported.
The outburst has appeared on right-wing social media platforms and message boards, where users have published the judge’s name, address, and personal information. Threats have been directed at his children and supposed family members as well.
Reinhart, who appears to be a member of the board of Temple Beth David in Palm Beach Gardens, has been a magistrate judge for the Southern District of Florida since 2018.
Calls for violence have accompanied antisemitic slurs and conspiracy theories, many referencing how Reinhart represented former employees of Jeffrey Epstein during a case involving the late convicted sex trafficker in 2008. Before the Epstein case, Reinhart worked as a federal prosecutor and then in private practice until 2018.
Israelis married less and at younger ages in 2020
The number of marriages in Israel dropped 17% in 2020 compared to the previous year and those that did marry were slightly younger, The Jerusalem Post reported, citing Central Bureau of Statistics data.
The bureau attributed at least some of the differences to COVID-19 restrictions.
Just under 40,000 Israeli couples married through religious institutions in 2020. About 68% of those couples were Jewish, a decline of 19% compared to a year earlier.
The average age of Israeli men first getting married declined to 26.9 years in 2020 from 27.3 years in 2019. For women, the average age was 24.6 versus 24.9 a year earlier.
15 Maccabi Tel Aviv fans arrested in Greece for possessing firecrackers and flares
Greek police arrested 15 Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer club supporters after finding them in possession of smoke bombs, flares, and firecrackers before a Europa Conference League match, The Times of Israel and Associated Press reported.
Police said the fans, who ranged in age between 16 and 35, were arrested during a security check before Aug. 11’s match against Aris Thessaloniki FC. Five of the fans were minors
The fans were scheduled to appear before a prosecutor on Aug. 12.
— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb