Jerusalem will honor the AMIA attack victims with an important ceremony during the 19º Maccabiah opening on July 18th.
Amir Peled, 19º Maccabiah Organizing Committee president, said, in an exclusive interview with the Jewish News Agency, that "during the Maccabiah opening ceremony there will be a commemoration of the AMIA attack victims".
The opening of the biggest sport event in the Jewish world will match the 19º anniversary of the Buenos Aires bombing, in which 85 people died and hundreds were wounded.
Peled also outlined the fact that the sport event, that finishes on July 30th, will take place in the Israeli city. "We want to highlight the centralization and importance of Jerusalem in this Maccabiah. It is the State´s capital and the government likes the fact that we have decided to move the most important events to the city. Israel´s State respects the Maccabiah", he said.
He also added that the next Jewish Olympics "will be the biggest and most important celebrated in the history of Israel".
"The Maccabiah is a Jewish sports event with international level where athletes from all the world Jewish communities participate. The Maccabiahs started in 1932 and the only time in history when they were postponed or interrupted was during the sad period of the Shoa", he added. Peled also said that this event is celebrated every four years.
"They take place in Israel and that is part of its aim. We want Israel to be the centre of the Jewish world. In the Maccabiah Jewish teenagers and adults from all over the world gather for a few weeks and go back to their homes with unforgettable experiences", he said.
Peled confirmed that "79 countries will participate" in this Maccabiah, which represents that "there will be 20 more countries than previous editions". At the same time he said that there will be Jewish communities representatives of every continent.
"Today Maccabi World Union is considered the most important zionist Jewish movement of the entire world and has more than 400 thousand associates. During the last years we registered a continuous growth in every Maccabiah. The daily activities that we do with the Jewish communities all over the world register a big growth and shape the meeting that gathers Jewish athletes every four years", he said. Peled also outlined that Maccabi has grown in Europe "in spite of the economic crisis" that is impacting on the continent.
"The Israeli government considers the Maccabiah almost as an official event in every sense. It supports it economically, the Security Ministry offers the escort of the Israel Police, the Israel Defense Force collaborates with us brightly and the International Airport Authority helps allowing the flow of the participants", he said.