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March 12, 2017 3:18 pm

‘Make No Mistake; We Represent Israel,’ Says Coach of Team Taking Jewish State to Quarter Finals in World Baseball Classic 2017

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Team Israel wearing kippot while singing Hatikvah before the game against Great Britain on September 22, 2016. Photo: Wikipedia.

Team Israel wearing kippot while singing Hatikvah before the game against Great Britain on September 22, 2016. Photo: Wikipedia.

As Team Israel celebrated its fourth win in the World Baseball Classic 2017 – this time 4:1 against Cuba – its manager took the opportunity to refute claims that the American players have no real connection to the Jewish state, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Sunday.

“Make no mistake,” said coach Jerry Weinstein, “Our attitude is that we are representing Israel. We are not a B team for the US; we are Team Israel.”

The team of Jewish Americans — only two players hold Israeli passports, and only one was born in Israel — was initially the lowest-ranked (41 in the world) of the 16 teams in the current tournament. Its latest victory ushered the underdog team into the quarter finals.

As The Algemeiner reported last week, WBC rules allow players to compete for any countries in which they qualify for citizenship. This enables Israel to draw on the talent of non-native Jewish athletes who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.

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