Every four years the Olympic games bring together athletes from all corners of the world to compete in the planet’s biggest international multi-sports tournament. This year’s Summer Olympic games are scheduled to kick off in August in Beijing. The next Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver, Canada, in 2010. Currently 203 countries participate in the Olympics, more than the 193 countries belonging to the United Nations.
Feelings about the state of Israel occupy a broad spectrum of world opinion, from adoring admiration in some quarters to hate veering into outright anti-Semitism from some others. As an expression of the 19th- and 20th-century Jewish national emancipation movement, Israel has achieved what its founders dreamed of — a country like any other, with all the attributes, positive and negative.