Miriam Shaviv
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Avram is misunderstood, says his wife
Date: Friday, October 19th, 2007
Publication: The Jewish Chronicle

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The wife of Chelsea’s Israeli soccer coach has admitted that she is bemused by claims that press attacks on her husband were “antisemitic”.

Tzofit Grant came to London when her husband, Avram, replaced Jose Mourinho. He came under fire from football writers and fans, but the club’s chairman Bruce Buck hit back, calling for a halt to “racist” attacks.

In her first press interview for 18 months, Mrs Grant, 40, said this week that the attacks were more a result of ignorance than antisemitism.

“I don’t understand that much about it because I’m still new in the diaspora,” she said. “But I personally have not yet encountered any antisemitic element. I have friends here who are Arab and Christian.

“The background to the attacks was the fact that the press didn’t know yet who avram was.” Mrs Grant, who is currently staying at the Hilton Hotel in Edgware Road, told the JC that she will be house-hunting in Central London.

“I came to england and my only intention was to be here with my husband and children and get to know a new language and a new mentality.

“I certainly intend to stay. I love England and the English. Everything that has been written was legitimate, it derived from a lack of familiarity with Avram.”

The TV presenter is known in Israel for drinking a glass of her own urine on her chat show, Milkshake. She was also reportedly spanked on the show, and took a bath in spaghetti.

“I wasn’t hurt: even when they wrote about the urine, it was mostly correct,” she said. “It was seven years ago, and in the past three years I’ve made 82 other programmes, and developed a different image — but I am more than happy with my past. I’m still working in Israel, but don’t know what the future holds. I’m not thinking about stopping work.”

Her one complaint were the attacks on the Kabbalah Centre, which came under the spotlight when it was revealed that she and her husband attended a Rosh Hashanah dinner organised by the centre in Tel Aviv.

She said: “That really pained me. No one dictates to me my path as a Jew.

“My involvement with the Kabbalah Centre is a completely private matter, I don’t want to clarify or to apologise.”

Asked whether she intended becoming involved with the London Jewish community, she said: “I don’t understand the question. I am so Israeli, I don’t understand what a community is and what it means to be involved in a community. I know that I am Jewish and Israeli, I love people. I don’t care what religion they are. By coincidence, my best friend here is an English Jewish woman, but I have others who aren’t.”

She said of London: “It’s pleasant going into shops, people are very polite. It’s fun to drive here — you feel you can trust other drivers. Within two hours I forgot I ever drove anywhere else, although the traffic jams here are awful.”

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