FRIENDS OF AKIM USA
Earning Medals And Pride
At World Special Olympics
Story by Nina and Tim Boxer
Photos by Tim Boxer
HUD OLMERT, Israel’s minister of trade and deputy prime minister, was relentless in his support of the defensive wall being built to thwart Arab perpetrators. “To those who criticize us,” he said, “we say what you do to defend your own people, we have a similar right to do to defend our people.”
The Israeli minister of trade and former mayor of Jerusalem addressed the AKIM USA dinner at New York’s Plaza Hotel, where Hamptons publisher and editor Dan Rattiner was guest of honor. Dan’s Papers chronicles all that’s happening on Long Island’s East End.
Olmert warned that if the Palestinians fail to rein in the terrorists and homicide bombers, “we will relieve ourselves of all restrictions we have imposed on ourselves and deal with terror single handedly.”
No matter where the road map leads to, he declared unequivocally that “we will never go back to the 1967 lines, Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of the Jewish state, and we will continue to build the security fence.”
AKIM, which supports mentally handicapped people in Israel, fielded a group of 31 Israelis at the World Special Olympics in Dublin last summer. They broke the record in the 100-meter swim competition.
“The Israelis won 21 medals,” vice president Terri Baird recounted with pride.
Julie Budd, who sang for the black-tie guests, said her mother in Brooklyn objected to her show business career. She wanted her daughter to fix her nose and marry a doctor.
“I did one—I got the doctor,” Julie said, raising her finger to display a huge diamond ring.