Hava Nagila inspires USA’s Aly Raisman to victory at the empy seat Olympics.

Empty seats left and right at North Greenwich Arena yesterday.

Empty seats left and right at North Greenwich Arena yesterday.

Israeli gymnast Valeria Maksiuta disappointed in the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics qualification round at the London Olympics yesterday coming 59th out of 60. It was left to Israel’s proxy, the USA, to step into the breach.

Only two women from each country can qualify for the individual all-round final on Thursday so USA team captain Aly Raisman needed something inspirational in the floor exercise to put her above team mate Jordyn Wieber. And to the tune of Hava Nagila she didn’t disappoint herself as her winning score of 15.325 put her through to the final.

She said she’s proud to use the traditional Jewish tune “because there aren’t too many Jewish athletes out there” among the world’s top gymnasts.

Check out her spectacular winning routine from yesterday and……enjoy!

Team GB’s Beth Tweddle was equally sensational. Had the Greenwich Arena been filled to capacity yesterday the roof would have come off and the foundations would have been rocked when Tweddle somersaulted off the uneven bars at the end of her routine:

It was thrilling to be at the North Greenwich Arena and see such incredible performances. Woman’s gymnastics is drama, theatre, art and sport combined.

London was also buzzing. The Olympics is a rare chance for a country to have a positive shared experience. Those heading to events feel part of something special so it was especially sad to see so many empty seats.

LOCOG had intentionally whipped the British public up into a ticket buying frenzy, which left so many disappointed. Hours of people’s lives were wasted online.

Only now has the truth been revealed. Tickets were allocated to sponsors and the “Olympics family” who haven’t bothered showing up for the qualifying rounds of events. No doubt they’ll be there for medal events.

Television viewers are seeing swathes of empty seats across many events and it was the same at the gymnastics yesterday. LOCOG even brought in the army as seat fillers. The last time I saw so many military watching an event was, literally, at Yugoslavia’s Marshall Tito FA cup final in 1987 in Belgrade!

Now there’s talk of somehow retrieving unused tickets and handing them out to school-children and the unemployed, meaning that those who have spent hours online and who are desperate to go will miss out again.

Seb Coe and LOCOG really don’t get it.

It is unforgivable.

More photos from yesterday:

Army brought in as seat fillers yesterday.

Army brought in as seat fillers yesterday.

Team Canada posing for photos yesterday.

Team Canada posing for photos yesterday.

Israeli flag for Valeria Maksiuta

Israeli flag for Valeria Maksiuta

Building the atmosphere yesterday.

Building the atmosphere yesterday.

76 responses to “Hava Nagila inspires USA’s Aly Raisman to victory at the empy seat Olympics.

  1. Michael Cohen

    Empty seats!! I blame Israel

  2. I blame The Guardian !!!!!!

  3. Nice to blog something nice for a change! Two sensational girls. Pitty about the empty seats.

  4. The Saudi womens gymnast team missed the plane to the Olympics because they couldn’t drive to the airport?

  5. It seems Islamic states are defaulting one by one with excuses that enable them to avoid being sanctioned for refusing to compete with Israel. Let’s hope this habit will also cause them to withdraw from the political arena and leave Israel in peace.

  6. Almani Sleiman

  7. oh dear Richard o))

  8. a) Jesus is the Jew who had the best PR – but certainly not the greatest who ever lived

    a) wouldn’t it be nice,, if roger took Jesus’ advice to heart

  9. Daniel Marks

    Today is the 15th of Av, which together with Yom Kippur is considered the happiest day in the Jewish calendar. It falls less than a week after the 9th of Av that is a day of mourning and the saddest day of the year.

    The Talmud gives many reasons for both these days, but primarily, while the 9th of Av is a day when we cry over the pointless hatred that still exists between us, led to the destruction of the temple and prevents it being rebuilt, the 15th of Av is a day of love. Tradition tells us that when we entered Israel all those years ago, the tribes were initially forbidden to intermarry. From this date onwards boys from the tribe of Shimon could take girls from the tribe of Reuben and girls of Dan could marry boys of Naftali.

    Last night we celebrated my mother’s 80th at a small family party of about 30 people. The generation of my children and their spouses are born of so many countries and exiles that I can’t even begin; Poles, Russians, Libyans, Iraqis, Persians, Yemenites, Germans, Moroccans and others I’ve forgotten. Like that generation thousands of years ago, they seem to be our first that pay no absolutely no regard to their partners “tribal” origins. What a fitting day it was to break bread with them all.

    Our strength is in our love for each other. A love that makes Ethiopian Jews wish to return home after being exiled for thousands of years – how we missed them. It is a love that returns Jews from the former Soviet Union despite 70 years of Bolshevik atheist brainwashing. Suddenly they are back- as if they had never gone. It is a love that causes Jews to love brothers and sisters they’ve never met, but have known forever.

    Happy Tu Ba’av

  10. If only you could find a few more goys that don’t shock and surprise you.

  11. Norman Cohen

    I am sure you must know a good ressus company that will effectively deal with the djuk that appears after your post.

  12. Daniel Marks

    Actually, I’m doing it by myself and loving it!

    I bought a professional canister from Magdi; our local downtrodden Palestinian nursery owner, landscape gardener and contractor. He sold me concentrated insecticide too. We gave the sewers a quick spray and Bob’s your uncle – they’re all gone.

    It’s a win-win-lose-lose situation. The settler and the Palestinian gain while the exterminator and the cockroaches are less glad about the outcome.

    Just one more shining example of the new Middle East Magdi and I are building together!

  13. Yeah but there is still the problem of your being shocked and surprised every time you meet a decent goy. ….I am shocked and surprised that Richard allows such naked and unashamed racism on his blog..

  14. Daniel Marks

    As the sun went down over the hills of Judah and three medium bright stars could be seen in the heavens signifying the termination of our Sabbath I returned from synagogue with but one thought on my mind.

    I blessed G-d for the fruits of the vine, spice and the light of the flame and then opened my faithful laptop. Before sundown on Friday Roger had raised an interesting question regarding Ma’ale Adumim, and though it was addressed to Norman, I was sure he would have no objection to my endeavoring to answer it. Alas, the question was gone only to have been replaced by another idiocy penned by the moron.

    In defense of Roger, he may be an anti-Semite of the most odious variety and he is by no means the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but he does have a brain and he has been known to raise interesting points.

    • My point about Maale Adumim was entirely legitimate and worthwhile but Richard removed it…and me it seems:-) I’m disappointed in you Richard. You have chosen to censor.

      • richardmillett

        This is a piece about the Olympics. Go and attack Jews elsewhere for once will you. I don’t care what you think of me.

      • roger, Your recent photo used as your avatar tells us a ot about yourself.

  15. Richard tell Danny this is a piece about the Olympics and not a forum for his agonising attempts at primary school poetry.

  16. Norman Cohen

    Daniel it was pointless Roger addressing me in any event since as a rule I do not engage lower order primates especially verminous ones. (He has an apt avitar don’t you think?)

  17. The ugliest newspaper in Britain

    • Daniel Marks

      Thanks, that was very interesting. I haven’t read the Guardian in 33 years so I can’t really comment regarding the paper or its readers.

    • Condell needs to do some more research before he makes inaccurate comments like ‘Arabs in Israel enjoy equal rights’. They don’t. They are second-class citizens.
      I remember him making a similarly careless statement that Jerusalem was an Arab city and the Jews have to live with that fact. I believe he has since revised that view.
      He needs to go there..especially the West Bank, and see the reality on the ground for himself. Or read some more books by people who have experienced the occupation and oppression first-hand. But then he’s not the only one.

      • richardmillett

        Roger, please. We know your views on Jews, Judaism and Israel. You’re repetitive. You have nothing to add. Please leave me alone.

      • Repetitive? And you and your crew of regulars on here are not? Hammering home the same old one-sided propaganda about Israel. Not to mention the repeated resorting to personal attacks rather than engaging with the issues. The problem is not me Richard, it’s your refusal to respond to and discuss anything I bring up. And that refusal is absolute by the way. You have not once debated, only attacked and dismissed. You don’t want to know. And if I seem repetitive, it is because of this obdurate blinkered position of denial you and many Israelis adopt with regard to their own racism and cruelty.
        Instead of telling me to piss off, why don’t you look into the absurdity of Condell’s assertion that Palestinian Israelis have equal rights?

      • richardmillett

        Debate with me on Facebook or email but why ruin my blog thread? And yes many Israeli Arabs probably don’t have equal rights at the moment but many also do very well.

      • oh my – I am beginning to feel so sorry for poor roger, his last brought some real tears into my eyes …

        and Richard – advice from my “wise old me” part: don’t debate him elsewhere, roger isn’t into debating, roger is into finding someone willing to let himself getting beaten up. And you are much too nice a person to give somebody that opportunity without need.

    • Silke the pussy cat verses roger the rat.

      I wonder who would win?

    • roger the rat must read Der Guardian.

  18. Daniel Marks


    At the risk of being accused of crossing party lines, it wasn’t much of a thread to begin with and it had pretty much run its course by the time Roger began his usual anti-Jewish codswallop.

    As usual your post was excellent, but there wasn’t really much to say about an American doing her floor exercise to hava nagila hava. Incidentally, the song was written in 1918 to celebrate Allenby entering Jerusalem, was quite popular until about 1948 and has rarely been played since in Israel if there wasn’t an American Jew in the vicinity. It’s the Israeli equivalent to “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”.

    I say “anti-Jewish” rather than anti-Israeli as he seems to have nothing but sympathy and empathy for every Israeli who doesn’t happen to be Jewish.

    • Almani Sleiman

      Are you so pained that Roger has sympathy for the Muslim cause?

      • Almani, Which Muslim cause?
        Murdering 20,000+ in Syria?
        Hijacking passenger planes and flying them into buildings?
        Beheading people like journalist Daniel Pearl?
        Bombing London buses and the underground?
        Murdering Coptic Christians in Egypt?
        Stoning girls to death for “family honor”?
        Issuing death fatwas on writers like Salman Rushdie?

      • Almani

        from where you are it may seem that roger has sympathies for the Muslim cause but believe me he does not. He has sympathies for one person only and to make you the recipient of his charitable and patronizing impulses makes him feel good about himself. I very much hope that such remnants of our countries’ imperial pasts are not common in your societies because if they were you could never believe that roger considers you to be his equal.

        The rogers in my world always need somebody to pat on the shoulder. If you should be so weak as to need the help of the rogers of “my” world then beware and only eat with them from the same bowl when you use a very long spoon.

  19. Germany had an Empire ? Who knew ? Oh yes I forgot about the pickle factory in Tanganyika. ( apologies to Blackadder ). Wasn’t the fact that Germany arrived too late on the scene to get an Empire THE cause of the first world war ? And wasn’t that the cause of the second world war ?

    And as for ” wise old me .” That is a wind up right ?

  20. Almani Sleiman


    Roger and I condemn the senseless killing of Syrian civilians by the corrupt regime of Assad. Such violence can only be serving the interests of the gangs of Tel Aviv.

    Regarding other matters that you mentioned, we prefer the law of God, which is perfect, to man-made laws. Why do you not mention drug addiction alcoholism and AIDS? Why do you not mention football hooliganism, homosexuality and urban violence? All these are products of your secular society, aren’t they?

    It is to be recommended that you learn more about Sharia and get used to it, particularly If you live in London.

    • Almani, The deaths of 20,000 in the Assad family dictatorship is business as usual in Islamist entities. Arabs killing Arabs is not unusual. Muslims killing Muslims is not unusual. The 8 year Iraq/Iran war is an excellent example, as are the mosque bombings, rape, torture, bombings.

      Arabs killing Arabs, even during the claimed “holy month of ramadam”, is another example of the respect Arabs have for their holy books.

      Almani, I suggest you take off the shackles and think like a human being.

  21. Almani Sleiman


    Before you attack Islamic laws that seek to prevent sexual promiscuity and immorality, remember that more than 30,000,000 people have died of AIDS. That is the population of an average sized European country. Do you support homosexuality, prostitution and other types of immorality or not? Do you want me to begin to talk about alcohol now? (140 million people with alcoholism worldwide)

    Like I have said, if you plan to stay in London, I recommend that you learn a little more about Sharia law. Roger has the good sense to recognise the inevitable. I think he is very sensible.

    Maybe you should take a leaf from his book.

    • Almani, Do you believe the words of the little president of the “islamic republic of iran” who when he spoke at Columbia University in New York City, said that there are no homosexuals in his Islamic Republic?

      The Columbia audience laughed in his face.

      Maybe he meant no living homosexuals – because the Islamic Republic hangs gay teens – hangs them from construction cranes.

      Speaking of immorality,
      – is hijacking passenger planes and flying them into buildings immoral
      – is stoning girls to death for “family honor” immoral?
      – kidnapping people and cutting their throats immoral?
      – teaching children that Jews are sons of pigs and apes (is that dehumanizing and immoral?
      – is killing 20,000 people in Syria (Arabs killing Arabs) immoral?
      – is threatening writers (Salman Rushdie) with death immoral?
      – is placing bombs on passenger planes like Pan Am 103 immoral?

  22. Almani Sleiman


    I do not know if there are still homosexuals in Iran, but at least they are trying to prevent it. In the Zionist entity the sinners hold parades in Tel Aviv and even the sacred al-Quds. You will see no parades like those in Arab countries.

    If a girl does not desecrate her family honour, nothing will happen to her. Do you think that disgracing a family with fornication should be permitted? Do you want your daughter to behave in such a way?

    I have condemned the killing of the innocent Syrian activists and civilians by the evil secular Zionist-backed Assad regime. We condemn all needless violence and killing without just cause.

    Tell me why have you not answered any of my questions?

    • Almani

      what about prostitution? I have read that it is circumvented by something called day marriage or so.

      I think it is noble to strive for ideals but there is also some nobility in adjusting the ideals a bit to accommodate human nature as it happens to be.

    • “the evil secular Zionist-backed Assad regime”

      There is enough material in those 7 words for an entire conference of psychiatrists.

  23. Almani Sleiman

    My comment is awaiting moderation.

  24. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that TGIAI should invoke Pat Condell. This is a guy who claims not only to be a comedian (but one no one has ever heard of outside the, usually American, Islamophobic, anti-‘multiculti’ crowd) but he’s a self-confessed know-nothing too.

    Try finding critiques (positive or negative) of Pat Condell by anyone who remotely matters: you won’t find them. Roger is correct in one sense: in one of his video rants he claims Jerusalem is an Arab city! I kid you not.

    Pat’s an imbecile who shot to modest Tinkerweb fame by pitching to American Islamophobes, in particular atheist ones. In Britain I don’t know a single person who claims to have seen a single stand-up routine by this utter nobody.

  25. Daniel Marks

    Hi Gert!

    Let’s check him out on Wikipedia:

    “As of February 2012, Pat Condell’s YouTube channel has over 169,000 subscribers and 38 million views.”

    “Condell had posted more than 100 video monologues on various video sites as of August 2011, which together had notched up over 35 million hits, and his videos have been translated and subtitled into 14 languages…”

    Yes, the guy’s a real unknown Gert, what a loser! Maybe you could give him some advice about “developing your web presence”. Isn’t that your area of expertise?

    Or maybe you should ask Almani what the Koran says about people who live in glass houses.

    • bah 14 languages … 14 languages is nothing

      Has Condell ever landed an interview with The Pakistani Spectator?

      If not he continues to qualify as a nonentity


      PS: back then in March 2009 Gert was between jobs. I wonder whether his attempt at getting into business with Pyro Enthusiasts (sounds quite ominous to me btw) has taken of and he is “in job” now.

      Another PS: as best I remember he said in best atheistic worldview that Jerusalem should be an international city. That he got wiser since and acknowledged the fact makes him kind of trustworthy to me.

      And one more PS:

      since Gert knows so many people has the comment traffic on his blog improved? or do they all comment visiting him in person in Bridlington?

    • Dannenbaum as always manages to talk right past the issue. Yes Danny, on the Tinkerwebs Condell has quite a following but that wasn’t my point though, was it? My point is that despite Condell’s Internet cult following, in Britain, as a comedian (of any description), he’s a total NOBODY. Comedy’s an industry here and Condell’s brand is unused and unknown, except for some Islamophobic conspiracy theorists and a handful of very dozy Zionists.

      And even much larger and better known blogs, in particular anti-racist blogs, don’t even seem to bother refuting him: Pat’s a lone knight, thumb sized and clad in plastic for armour; he is in short not worth bothering with.

      This who do bother with him, are, like you, on the lunatic fringe, where he belongs.

      It appears Pat’s now shilling for UKIP: in my book that just about says it all.

      Glass houses: is there a single platitude you don’t subscribe to? You sad, sad little man…

      • in your book

        Hurra!!!!!! Gert has written a book – in which language – when will the first translation be available? will it make it to 14?

        Right now in Germany everybody is talking about this cat – has it made it yet into British comedy industry? No, but it seems to be talked about more than anything that is on TV


        Could it be that Gert is still living in the old TV-is-it days and hasn’t managed to become aware of other peoples’ web presence?

        Could it be a case of all consuming envy?

        or have the pyrotechnics done something to his awareness equipment?

  26. Daniel Marks

    “This is a guy who claims not only to be a comedian (but one no one has ever heard of outside the, usually American, Islamophobic, anti-‘multiculti’ crowd)” –

    Makes you wonder why they bothered translating him into 14 languages. Probably for all those American Islamophobic anti-multicultural chaps who can’t speak English.

    You know that nobody on this blog loves you more than I do Gert, but as a friend I have to tell you that this wasn’t your best comment.

    • OT-question Daniel:

      do you have any idea where the Pakistani Spectator is located on a scale from multi- to monocultured?

      A quick search got me this and suggests that it is strongly in favour of multiculturalism


      I think this is a piece Almani might also enjoy

      In fact it is such a delight to read (no sarcasm intended) that I wonder whether Gert is still keeping up with these people.

  27. In any case Dannenbaum, before that chicken brain of yours really becomes a Condell aficionado, watch this one:

    It’s got the famous ‘Jews, give up Jerusalem’ quote. UNTRETRACTED.

    Condell’s like that drunk at one’s local: always insistent to try and tell you his ‘truth’, never making any sense…

    • it isn’t unretracted – I heard him say in a later video that he was wrong on that count – if that isn’t retracting it then I don’t know what retracting means.

  28. This is for rich, roger the self identified rat, gert, almani…

    Useful idiots for Palestine

    P.S. To correct Wikipedia, Pat Condells Youtube channel has
    158,124 subscribers
    40,972,168 video views

    • Oops.
      Useful idiots for Palestine

      • Richard, Sorry but my two previous posts to Pat Condell videos “Useful idiots for Palestine” didn’t work. I believe I pasted the correct URL, but it ended up pointing to his most recent videos.

    • As Bullwinkle says, “this time for sure!”.

  29. Daniel Marks

    Hi Gert,

    Thank you for your swift and cordial response. To be clear TGIAI posted a Pat Condell clip about the Guardian. My quite neutral comment was:

    “Thanks, that was very interesting. I haven’t read the Guardian in 33 years so I can’t really comment regarding the paper or its readers.”

    You then proceeded to ignore completely the subject of the Guardian and launched into a rather silly ad hominem attack on Condell arguing on the one hand that he is unknown outside the US, and on the other critiquing him on the basis that nobody who matters critiques him – thus implying that Gert of Bridlington is not “anyone who remotely matters”. Your words mate.

    I heard the clip that you put up twice this morning while showering and dressing and couldn’t find that much to be offended about. This is a debate that we’ve already had, but in order to agree with someone over a specific matter, I don’t need to agree with every other opinion that he holds. And I can certainly find what Condell said about the Guardian to be interesting without agreeing with his every statement regarding Judaism, Islam or even Jerusalem.

    The man is an atheist which I am not. He believes that there is nothing above us, while I believe in a living G-d, whose servant I am, and for whom my soul hungers and my heart craves.

    Were I to believe that the skies are empty and that there is nothing “better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy pleasure for his labour.” I might well reach similar conclusions to those of Condell or even Gert. I don’t know whether he retracted or not, but his suggestion was for the Jewish people to have half of Germany instead. I guess that if I were an atheist and Merkel was there presenting me all of that on a silver plate, it might be an offer that I’d consider. At least, I’d finally get to meet Silke and we might tour the Fatherland together on Sundays.

    In sort old friend, I wouldn’t get those proverbial old knickers too much into a twist about me commenting that something was “very interesting”. I’ve said the same thing about Jew haters and anti-Zionists too and if you were ever to write anything of your own about a subject that you understand, I might praise you.

    That’s the problem with a lot of you guys. You sit in places like Bridlington and Brighton and expect us, who have lived and breathed the conflict for more than 30 years, to be blown over by an article that you’ve copied and pasted or each quote that you managed to unearth. The first piece of advice I’ll always give a budding author is, “Write about what you know.” Tony Greenstein is a total bore when writing about “West Bank Settlements” but when he opened his heart and spoke of his complex relationship with his father, he was a joy to read. The only thing you’ve ever penned (that I’ve seen) that has any merit at all was a short description of your father’s reaction to the Nazi invasion of Belgium. It was brief and simple, but it was you Gert. Nobody else could have written it.

    That is why I found Condell’s opinion about the Guardian interesting, but his beliefs regarding Ultra-Orthodox Jewry, Islam or the Middle East irrelevant. I have no idea whether he’s right or not about the newspaper, but those were his views. He was talking about a paper that he evidently reads, but hates doing so.

    So my advice to you, Gert old friend, is to write about Bridlington and the life of an ex-Belgian or what it’s like to be unemployed or whatever, but write about you. Most people on this blog either live in Israel or have been there more times than you’ve had hits on your blog. The last thing they’re interested to hear is your googled anti-Israel opinions. Just for once get ad hominen; but about Gert!

    Good Luck!

    • The only thing you’ve ever penned (that I’ve seen) that has any merit at all was a short description of your father’s reaction to the Nazi invasion of Belgium. It was brief and simple, but it was you Gert. Nobody else could have written it.

      Yes it was truely unique and so – at least in my experience – so exceptional in its economy.

  30. That ‘ugliest newspaper’ video could be called ‘Unintentional irony’.

    He accuses the Guardian of being ‘sanctimonious’, lacking ‘balanced coverage’, being ‘obsessed with Israel’ and ‘patronising and know-it-alls’, who are ‘so sure of the moral certainty of their views they slander anyone who disagrees as a crank’.

    Perfect description of his video, really! 😉

    More seriously, he also says the ‘Arabs want blood’. Not some Arabs, not certain Arabs, or certain Arab groups.

    Just: Arabs.

    Nasty guy.

    • OyVaGoy said:

      “More seriously, he also says the ‘Arabs want blood’. Not some Arabs, not certain Arabs, or certain Arab groups.

      Just: Arabs.”

      On Pat Condells Youtube page, under “Featured Playlists” you will find a category titled “Islamic Insantiy”. That category contains 38 videos.

      The first one is “Arabs brainwashed little girls to hate Jews”

      Check out the other 37 videos. You will see that Islamists don’t bother to qualify their hateful statements with “Zionists”, “SOME Jews”. Just Jews.

      Please hold Arabs to high standards. The same standards you hold others. One standard. Unless you believe that Arabs are not capable, unfit to meet Western standards of civility and justice.

  31. Almani Sleiman

    Very well said!

  32. Sharon Klaff

    Stop this chatter and watch this

  33. Well, I imagine Gert’s a very happy bunny this morning. What with Yorkshire winning 10 gold medals and all.

    • Neither Yorkshire, nor Gert personally (if he even exists and lives in Yorkshire – I get the distinct feeling he is posting from Tehran) had anything to do with it. It’s entirely down to the individual athletes.

  34. We are not told how many of those were won by Bridlington

  35. Bringing it back to Israel’s performance at the Olympics – isn’t it a good job that some of the athletes boycotted the opening ceremony to “rest” before one of the most important event of their lives? They didn’t attend the ceremony because their performance could have been impaired. In hindsight it’s ironic how big an issue they made of it really. I’m sure we all came to expect big things from such well-rested athletes.