Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The European Under 21 Championships

The European Under 21 Championships are being held in Israel. The BBC in their preview don't show a map of Israel so we can learn where the four venues are, this is unusual as I remember the BBC showing maps of previous tournament hosts. I'll leave you to decide why the BBC don't show a map of Israel.

The European Under 21 Championships in Israel are being played at four venues:
Bloomfield Stadium (Tel Aviv). Capacity 14,400 Netanya Stadium (Netanya). Capacity 13,800 HaMoshava Stadium (Petah Tivka). Capacity 11,500 Teddy Stadium (Jerusalem). Capacity 30,000

I'm sure most people have heard of Jerusalem, Israel's eternal capital and Tel Aviv which is Israel's largest city. Here's a little about the other two city venues. Netanya - Founded in 1928 after a Jewish group purchased 350 acres. Development was set back when the 1929 Palestine riots and massacres caused the settlement to be abandoned for a couple of weeks. Made vulnerable by its proximity (14 km, 9 mi) from the Palestinian city of Tulkarm, Netanya has suffered from numerous Palestinian attacks aimed at Israel, including, notably, an attack in March 2002 which has come to be known as the Passover Massacre. Not heard of the Passover Massacre? Learn something:
During the Jewish holiday of Passover in 2002, Park Hotel in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya held its traditional annual Passover seder (festive religious meal) for its 250 guests, in the hotel dining room located at the ground floor of the hotel. During this holiday many hotel guests were elderly Jews who didn't have family and relatives in Israel.
In the evening of 27 March 2002, a Palestinian suicide bomber disguised as a woman approached the hotel carrying a suitcase which contained powerful explosives. The suicide bomber managed to pass the security guard at the entrance to a hotel, then he walked through the lobby passing the reception desk and entered the hotel's crowded dining room. At 19:30 pm (GMT+2) the suicide bomber detonated the explosive device he was carrying. The force of the explosion instantly killed 28 civilians and injured about 140 people, of whom 20 were injured severely. Two of the injured later died from their wounds. Some of the victims were Holocaust survivors. Most of the victims were senior citizens (70 and over). The oldest victim was 90 and the youngest was 20 years old. A number of married couples were killed, as well as a father together with his daughter. One of the victims was a Jewish tourist from Sweden who was visiting Israel for Passover.
The plot for the Passover massacre included the use of cyanide; 4 kg of cyanide had been bought and prepared for a chemical attack.
Tarak Zidan had been recruited to Hamas, and during 1997 he researched the use of chlorine and other nerve agents to be used in terror attacks. In 2002, 4 kg of chlorine had been bought and packed for the attack. For an unknown reason it was not used and passed to Abbas al-Sayyid instead.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber was identified as Abdel-Basset Odeh, a 25-year-old from the nearby West Bank city of Tulkarm. Hamas claimed that the attack was specifically designed to derail momentum from a recently announced peace initiative of the Saudi Arabian government at the Beirut Summit
Since 2004 and the construction of Israeli West Bank barrier number of attacks decreased significantly in Netanya as in other major cities.

What's this got to do with football? Well in 2003, the Palestinian Authority sponsored a soccer tournament named the "Tulkarm Shahids Memorial soccer championship tournament of the Shahid Abd Al-Baset Odeh" describing the perpetrator as a "shahid" (Martyr).

By their murderous terrorist heroes you should judge them.

How about Petah Tikva? Contrary to the crap spread by the anti-Semites that there were no Jews in Israel before 1948, Petah Tikva was founded in 1878 by religious pioneers from Europe, who were led by Yehoshua Stampfer, Moshe Shmuel Raab, Yoel Moshe Salomon, Zerach Barnett, and David Gutmann, as well as Lithuanian Rabbi Aryeh Leib Frumkin who built the first house there.[3] It was the first modern Jewish agricultural settlement in Ottoman Palestine (hence its nickname as "Mother of the Moshavot") and has since grown to become one of Israel's most populous urban centres. During the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I, Petah Tikva served as a refugee town for residents of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, following their exile by the Ottoman authorities due to their refusal to serve the Ottoman army to fight the invading British forces. The town suffered heavily as it lay between the Ottoman and British fronts during the war. The first recorded Arab attack on Jews in what would become Israel took place in Petah Tikva in 1886. Petah Tikva was also the scene of Arab rioting in May 1921, which left four Jews dead. And of course the killing continues... During the Second Intifada, Petah Tikva suffered three terrorist attacks: On May 27, 2002, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a small cafe outside a shopping mall, leaving two dead, including a baby; on December 25, 2003, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a bus stop near the Geha bridge, killing 4 civilians, and on February 5, 2006, a Palestinian got into a shuttle taxi, pulled out a knife, and began stabbing passengers killing two of them, but a worker from a nearby factory hit him with a log, subduing him.

There you go some background to the two lesser known Israeli venues for the 2013 European Under 21 Championships.

Oh and here's a map of Israel showing the four locations...

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