A World-Champion Marathoner again Chooses the Sabbath over Athletic Glory

Much like Eric Liddell, the real-life athlete who sat out an Olympic race because he refused to run on the Sabbath—a story made famous by the movie Chariots of Fire—Bracha (a/k/a Beatie) Deutsch is sitting out an international competition for the same reason. But while Liddell was a devout Scottish Protestant who wouldn’t run on Sunday, Deutsch is an Orthodox Jew who won’t run on Shabbat. Shiryn Ghermezian writes:

Deutsch, a New Jersey native and mother of five who moved to Israel in 2008, explained in a Facebook post on Wednesday that she qualified for the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023. However, the women’s marathon is scheduled for a Saturday, making it impossible for Deutsch to participate.

“I have kept Shabbat my entire life and it’s a mitzvah I cherish dearly,” Deutsch said in her Facebook post. “I never imagined myself even contemplating otherwise, and yet for the first time in my life I found myself feeling pressure to compete on Shabbat.”

“I was extremely disappointed but there was nothing I could do,” said Deutsch, thirty-five, who is a previous winner of the Tiberias Marathon and the Jerusalem Marathon. [She] added that even after the Olympics were rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic, “they still refused to make any religious accommodations (although they had done so in the past when Ramadan coincided with the London Olympics).”

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Judaism, Sabbath, Sports

Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation