Monday, November 27, 2006

Jewry of muscle

What happens when a Tel Aviv soccer team beats a French one?

a) The French, impressed with this show of athleticism from the Jewish state, discover a newfound respect for Jews. Anti-Semitism the world over disappears forever.

b) The French give up soccer entirely, in favor of petanque.

c) Paris team fans discover their inner Nazis, yell epithets against Jews and blacks, and one ends up getting shot by a black French undercover cop.

This story reminds me of how a panelist at a talk I went to recently, a French Jew, noted that he was raised believing the Dreyfus Affair was a positive, uplifting story for his people, since there's the happy ending, Dreyfus's exoneration, the triumph of the Republic, and all that. Sometimes, a happy ending says a bit less than the unhappy story itself...

1 comment:

Alex B. said...

In Franklin Foer's book "How Soccer Explains the World", there's a chapter on "How Soccer Explains the Jewish Question". He talks about Max Nordau, Muskeljudentum and the foundation of the club Hakoah Vienna FC. Really interesting, at least for a soccer fan like me.

Note that Paris Saint-Germain has a notoriously racist and xenophobic fan base. A lot of Front National supporters are die-hard PSG fans. Fans of the Olympique de Marseille are generally nicer.

And pétanque is fun!