Sunday, March 25, 2007

Are These Israel’s Real Goals?

After all the hype, glamour and expectation, the Israeli soccer team tied with the mighty England 0-0.

No goals for Israel.

No goals for England.

Nothing.

In front of 40,000 fans in the stadium and millions more in England, Israel and who knows where else!

In NBA or NFL terms, that means a full game (with all the commercials, timeouts, etc.) ending 0-0!

Go figure.

And the Israelis were happy, saying the result indicates good progress!

It’s not my job here to explain the mysteries of soccer, but I would like to consider the wonders of modern-day Israel.

Israel – whether we like it or not – is the Promised Land.

Promised by God to the Jewish people.

For what?

To play soccer?

To become another England or America in the Middle East?

I think not.

Of course there’s value in sport and in developing a western-style, democratic, educated society, but what are Israel’s long-term goals?

To be a nation just like any other nation?

Have we survived thousands of years of exile, persecution, pogroms and Holocausts just to become a nation like any other?

Were we freed from Egypt just to be able to compete against England in the European Championships?

Please correct me if you think I’m wrong, but I would guess Israel is here to achieve some piritually valuable goals.

After all, do we really need another America? Does God care if we beat England or not?

It’s a “Promised Land” so the Jewish people can leverage its intrinsic holiness as some sort of “light unto the nations.”

To take it a bit over the top, that means Israeli sports crowds should behave impeccably, with respect and courtesy for their opponents...

No swearing or curses during the game...
No violence...

OK. That’s maybe for the Messianic All-Stars in Jerusalem but you get the idea.

For if Israel has no goals but to score goals, why are thousands of IDF soldiers risking their lives every day?

And why are Hamas, Hezbollah & Co. out to kill us?

1 comment:

Maurice said...

Hi,

After reading your posting regarding the results of Saturday night's scoreless draw between the Israeli and English football teams, I would like to bring the following to your kind attention.

While it is indeed true that Israel is a Jewish state and the final redemption of the Jewish people from wandering in stateless exile, it is also a vibrant normal republic with all that this entails, including sport. In my opinion, and shared by many, sport is a wonderful way to bring people together - no matter their origins or religious/political orientation.
while it would have been wonderful if the Israeli national team had won, the fact that a large contingent of English fans came to watch their team, and enjoy being in our country, is very good for creating better relationships between the citizens of Israel and the U.K. A similar experience occurred last year between the Israeli and Irish football teams, which also ended in a draw. David Ben Gurion once said that Israel will only be a normal society when all aspects, including sport, will be available to it's citizens.

Our national team is comprised of a mixture of players: Jews, Arabs, and foreigners, all of whom manage to co-exist with each other.

Therefore, these events are excellent PR and will hopefully continue, will all segments of Israeli society participating.

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