Peres hopes Israel can attract foreign Jewish athletes
Israeli president said he hoped that his country could attract more foreign Jewish athletes at the 18th Maccabiah Games, known as the Jewish Olympics, local daily Ha 'aretz reported Friday.
"This was the best Maccabiah ever," Shimon Peres addressed to thousands of cheering athletes Thursday night at the closing ceremony of the 18th Maccabiah in Latrun, Xinhua reported.
"I hope some of you fell in love with us, because we love all of you without exception," he said.
Israel may find itself virtually alone on the international political stage, said the president, but "let's be alone together and continue the journey of our grandfathers."
Athletes at the closing ceremony were unanimous in their enthusiasm about competing in this year's event.
The 18th edition of Maccabiah Games kicked off on July 13 in the national stadium in Ramat Gan, a central Israeli city. Over 7, 000 amateur and professional athletes from 65 countries and regions participated in the 11-day sports gathering.
The Maccabiah Games, founded in 1932, are held every four years, but suspended between 1938 and 1950, when the Nazi Holocaust and the 1948 Arab-Israeli war took place.