FOOT­BALLING FAN­TASIES

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

Con­spir­acy the­o­rists will no doubt sug­gest that the For­eign Of­fice and/or the royal fam­ily en­gi­neered Eng­land’s de­feat by Croa­tia ( JC, Novem­ber 23) to avoid the royal visit to Is­rael that would oth­er­wise have been nec­es­sary to show the na­tion’s grat­i­tude to Is­rael for de­feat­ing Rus­sia and en­abling Eng­land to qual­ify for Euro 2008. Ed­ward Black ed­ward­black@bt­in­ter­net.com

Jonathan Freed­land writes that the Is­rael-Rus­sia match showed just how shal­low anti-Is­rael feel­ing is in this coun­try ( JC, Novem­ber 23). He misses an over­rid­ing in­sight which is that, in this coun­try, foot­ball is far more im­por­tant than pol­i­tics. As to Bri­tish at­ti­tudes to­wards Is­rael, does Mr Freed­land have any view on what would have been the re­ac­tion had Is­rael lost? Rabbi Dr Sid­ney Brichto Pall Mall, Lon­don SW1

A note to Jonathan Freed­land. The fol­low­ing is an ex­tract from the “Al­ter­na­tive Guardian guide on how to sup­port Is­rael”:

1. Don’t read The Guardian. Idan Green­berg idan@voda­fone.net

Jonathan Freed­land’s piece on sup­posed di­vided loy­al­ties when the na­tional team play the Jewish state re­minded me of the time my wife, youngest son and I went to see France play Is­rael at the Stade de France. We bought our tick­ets via a com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion and were sur­rounded by Jewish sup­port­ers. Ev­ery Is­raeli at­tempt at a goal was cheered en­thu­si­as­ti­cally by the crowd sur­round­ing us but Is­rael lost 3-0. The fa­ther and son sit­ting be­hind us were dis­ap­pointed with the fi­nal re­sult. Leav­ing their seats, the lit­tle boy de­ject­edly said “On a gagné, quand même” — oh well, at least we won. Steven Morde­cai morde­caifrance@hot­mail.com

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