Bintel Blog

Offbeat Israel: Heists, Ultimate Frisbee and the Peace Process

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

At last we have it. An answer to the million-dollar question: How do you bring Israelis and Palestinians together?

And it is … crime.

A bank in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank city of Ramallah was robbed last week, and the thieves made off with the equivalent of $30,000.

Palestinian police have revealed that of the six thieves, three were Palestinians, two were Israeli Arabs, and one was an Israeli Jew. Now isn’t that just a picture of a harmonious interdenominational group?

Palestinian police Colonel Adnan al-Damiri has reportedly said that the Israeli Jew “was the mastermind of the operation.” He said that coordination between Arabs and Jews could signal a “dangerous” trend in crime.


There is a more legal — though equally quirky — proposal for bringing together Israelis and Palestinians being put forward at the moment.

A group of American and Israeli Frisbee enthusiasts think their sport could be the answer to this region’s troubles.

Ultimate Peace, which they are organizing this week, is an Ultimate Frisbee festival which will bring together disadvantaged youth from Palestinian and Jewish communities from the West Bank and within Israel.

The idea followed a visit to Israel by the American Ultimate Frisbee team, the Matza Balls. During that visit, the team taught Israeli children and promoted the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. The American visitors returned home happy at what they achieved with Israeli youngsters but upset that their game was not being played by Palestinians.

The American Ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts are joining forces with Israeli enthusiasts and the Peres Center for Peace to run the event. Gal Peleg, Director of Sports at the Peres Center for Peace, says on the event website: “Sport has an unparalleled ability to overcome barriers of language, politics and religion. Especially a sport like Ultimate Frisbee, which emphasizes fair-play, team cooperation and mutual respect, and offers a unique chance for Israeli and Palestinian youngsters to set aside their differences and work together to achieve a common goal.”

Peleg’s department has produced this video on its ethos of using sport to bridge gaps between communities:


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Ultimate Frisbee, Ramallah, Israel, West Bank

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.