As the Israel–Hamas war intensifies, the Israeli sport community is mourning the deaths of several athletes, including 22-year-old swimmer Eden Nimri, former Israeli football star Lior Asulin – murdered by Hamas a day before his 43rd birthday – and lacrosse national men’s team member Mor Cohen, 24.
In American sport, many NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL clubs have posted messages and official statements in support of Israel, and a minute’s silence was observed before the baseball game between the Phillies and Braves on October 11.
Jewish baseball player Alex Bregman drew a Star of David on his Houston Astros hat before his Tuesday night game.
In Australia, a minute’s silence was held as a mark of respect for all those who have lost their lives, and their families, before the start of all games in round one of the A-League Women season last weekend, and the same will occur in round one of the men’s season.
Several Australian Jewish athletes have either shared Facebook posts or Instagram stories expressing their support for Israel, or displaying photos of the faces of hostages captured by Hamas.
Australian Olympian Steve Solomon has posted messages almost daily, calling for people to speak up against the atrocities committed by Hamas.
And Maccabi Australia is supporting a Maccabi World Union emergency appeal for Israel.
The appeal is helping Kfar Maccabiah – Maccabi’s headquarters in Tel Aviv – to accommodate 600 displaced Israelis from southern Israel, family members of hospitalised citizens and soldiers, and offer sport and recreational activities to displaced children currently at Kfar Maccabiah.
Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball star Roman Sorkin spent time with the kids, saying, “Who am I compared to them – they are the heroes.”
To support the campaign, visit maccabigiving.com.au/israel