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Daily Briefing July 18 – Political footballs: 2022 Maccabiah Games, Beitar Jerusalem

Diaspora correspondent Judah Ari Gross on Western Wall conflict concerns and the ‘Jewish Olympics’; news editor Amy Spiro on Jerusalem’s soccer club saga and Eurovision

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.

Religions and Diaspora Affairs correspondent Judah Ari Gross and news editor Amy Spiro join host Anne Gordon, in for Amanda Borschel-Dan, on today’s episode.

Gross updates us on reactions to the Western Wall conflict regarding the harassment of several bar and bat mitzvah celebrations a few weeks ago. Where the State of Israel has been lukewarm in its response, the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency is seeking a hard line against the disruptive conduct.

Gross also sets the scene for the 21st Maccabiah Games, which are now going on in Israel. These so-called Jewish Olympics are a kind of ingathering of the exiles, bringing Jewish athletes from all over the world to compete. But will they drum up support on the local front?

Sticking with the sports theme, Spiro elaborates on the most recent woes of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, from the need for a budget to the furious fans who fear their team will be disbanded.

She also explains why Israel has already chosen its Eurovision 2023 contestant. But will pop star Noa Kirel go the distance to compete?

Discussed articles include:

Jewish Agency demands boosted security at Western Wall after ‘despicable’ protest

Rainbow of flags as largest-ever Maccabiah kicks off in Jerusalem with Biden on hand

Paying the penalties: The stranger-than-fiction rise and fall of Beitar Jerusalem

Chart-topper Noa Kirel chosen to represent Israel at Eurovision 2023

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