Yes this blog title is slightly over-zealous, but this is my party (blog) and I'll lie if I want to - you (so) would too if it happened to you. I realise I blogged only earlier today, very uncharacteristic of my behaviour of late, but I was reminded of an episode I forgot to share.
About a month ago I interviewed a lovely British man, Joe Wohlfarth, now living in Israel, who competed in the third and fifth Maccabiah Games (1950 and 1957 respectively) as a footballer representing Great Britain. Joe was born in Frankfurt and came to England on the Kindertransport, aged seven, and unfortunately lost his mother and two brothers who perished during the Holocaust. In England Joe spent much of his youth living in hostels around the country, which is when he first realised he had a talent for football. (The full article can be found on The Jerusalem Post website). He returned to the games this year, aged 77, this time representing Israel in the tennis masters.
Joe was a pleasure to interview, and a real inspiration - we had several chats after the interview and after the piece was published. One of these took place a few weeks ago - the morning after the 18th Maccabiah opening ceremony. Joe, as calm and modest as usual, called to explain that while at the opening ceremony he was approached by some government officials - the Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu's "people" - who told Joe that Bibi had requested to meet him. Joe thought the whole thing was an elaborate practical joke, ringing his children to rumble their game, but they had no idea what he was talking about, and before long Joe found himself in a room with Netanyahu. He'd read about Joe in my Jerusalem Post article, telling Joe that he was a source of inspiration for world Jewry. Bibi asked Joe to sit with him during the Maccabiah opening ceremony, and sure enough was celebrated in Bibi's speech which quoted parts of my article. (Take a look at the English transcript of Bibi's speech from 13th July).
If you have some time, take a look at his story, it's an amazing one and he definitely deserved to be mentioned by the PM on this momentous occasion.
Ok, that's it on the over-zealous front. For now.
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