Israel Briefs



Player Nets Paralympics Gold
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli tennis player Noam Gershony won a gold medal in men’s singles at the London Paralympics Games.
Gershony, a former Israeli Air Force pilot who was injured in a crash during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, defeated American David Wagner on Saturday to win Israel’s first gold medal at the Games and the first for the country since 2004. It was Israel’s seventh medal at the 2012 Games.
Gershony began playing tennis less than two years ago, Ynet reported. 
“I was very excited about your victory,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Gershony in a phone call on Saturday night.
“The State of Israel embraces you for your great achievement. You symbolize the victory of the human spirit over the difficulties created by the reality in which we live. 
“This is gold for you and the country,” the prime minister said.
Last week, Gershony and Shraga Weinberg took the bronze medal in doubles tennis. The two played each other in the medal’s matches in men’s singles.
Also Saturday, Israeli swimmer Inbal Pezaro took the bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle, her third bronze at the Games.
Notes Removed From Western Wall
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Western Wall was emptied of layers of notes from its cracks and crevices for the New Year.
The notes were removed Monday morning under the supervision of the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, who ensured they will remain confidential. They will be buried.
At the time of the removal, the rabbi said a prayer asking God to fulfill the requests contained in the notes.
The notes are removed from the wall twice a year, before Rosh Hashanah and Passover.
Chili Peppers Red Hot in Israel
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed before thousands of cheering fans at a concert Monday night at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers canceled a scheduled performance in 2001 at the last minute due to the second Palestinian intifada.
Israel is the last stop on its European tour; the band will begin its U.S. tour in two weeks.
A Lebanese rock band canceled as the opening act for the group last week in Beirut in protest of the concert in Israel, according to the Times of Israel.
Several Facebook pages also launched campaigns calling for  the Red Hot Chili Peppers to boycott Israel.
But the band played on anyway.
‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sold Out
JERUSALEM (JTA) — The first Hebrew printing of the popular novel Fifty Shades of Grey sold out in a day.
The 50,000 copies of the book by British author E.L. James, which went on sale Sunday, were sold out by Monday morning, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.
The book, the first of a trilogy and initially published in English in June 2011, has sold 40 million copies in the United States and 10 million in Britain, according to Globes.
Fifty Shades of Grey deals with a sadomasochistic relationship between a female college student and an older businessman.


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