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February 14, 2013 | Europe Eurasia: Israel

Elad Gevandshnaider enlists in the Israeli Defense Force

By Sophie Katz

Muhamad and Jafar with Elad and Tamir

The Israeli delegation who travelled to the World Games for Special Olympics in 2011 made history, when for the first time after 30 years of competition, two Arab athletes represented the country, with both of them being tennis players. Muhammad Kunbar and Jafar Tawil, one from East Jerusalem and the other from Beit Safafa, who practice at the Israel Tennis Center in Jerusalem, are the first Arabs to represent Israel in an international tournament and at the Olympic Games in particular. The two were joined by Jewish Israeli athletes Elad Gevandshnaider and Tamir Segal, who also train at the Israel Tennis Centers (“ITC”). Sport has the unparalleled ability to transcend barriers of language, politics and religion, and is a proven powerful tool for promoting tolerance, developing productive cross-cultural relationships and ultimately, peaceful coexistence. Indeed, the ITC aims to instill these values, and we are so proud of our four athletes, who represent our country with honor.

About Sophie Katz: I work for the Israel Tennis Centers, an organization which has worked for over 35 years to improve the lives of children through sports.

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