The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

OK, GUYS, here’s a quiz ques­tion for you.

We all know that Is­rael has won wars, has de­vel­oped nu­clear weapons, has sent a man to the moon (that’s top se­cret by the way, so don’t tell any­one) but there is one thing my coun­try never did un­til last week.

Give up? We never won a medal at a track event at the Euro­pean Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships.

So some­one has to put that right — and the lucky dude is me.

So you are prob­a­bly think­ing to your­self, this guy Don­ald San­ford is one of those plas­tic Is­raelis, parachuted in to win medals for Is­rael and then, fly­ing back to LA for a va­ca­tion some­where well away from the mis­sile at­tacks. Well, you would be wrong. For a start LA, where I am from, don’t have no Iron Dome against gang mem­bers car­ry­ing AK47s, and look­ing at what’s go­ing down in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, right now I’m think­ing Is­rael is a much safer place to be for an African Amer­i­can than the US of A.

And yes, I wish I had a shekel for ev­ery time some funny guy says, “you don’t look Jewish”.

But what I would say is that given Is­rael’s ab­ject fail­ure to win medals in any ma­jor track meet in its en­tire his­tory, it’s lucky that I don’t run Jewish. (Only medal we ever won was for the pole vault and that was some Rus­sian cat).

Any­way, I mar­ried an Is­raeli bas­ket­ball player, I made aliyah and I have my pass­port — plus I’m the only hope that Is­rael has.

So we pitch up at Zurich and im­me­di­ately ev­ery­thing is cool. I mean, I know I ain’t no sabra, but here no­body is what they seem. There are Ethiopi­ans run­ning for Nor­way, Kenyans run­ning for Tur­key, So­ma­lians run­ning for Great Bri­tain and Moroc­cans run­ning for France. You should get a medal just for work­ing out who is who.

Any­way, no-one is prouder to rep­re­sent their adopted coun­try than I am and this time around I know I have a chance. Why? Well, this is the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships, which means there ain’t no Ja­maicans run­ning, so no Bolt-type dan­ger, and the only Amer­i­can in the 400 me­tres fi­nal is ac­tu­ally an Is­raeli.

So who is go­ing to beat me? Well, there’s an English dude called Rooney with one heck of a lot of fa­cial hair (which has to slow him down, right?) and a teenager called Hud­son-Smith, who is way too cool for school. If not for them I’d have won gold.

Having learnt a bit about my coun­try’s his­tory, I re­alise this ain’t the first time Great Bri­tain has tried to spoil things for Is­rael. It’s not the first time they spoilt things for me ei­ther. When I was rep­re­sent­ing Is­rael at the Lon­don Olympics two years ago, some­one stole my shoes right be­fore the 400 me­tres semi-fi­nal. Man, those an­ti­semites get ev­ery­where.

Any­way this time I keep a hold on my shoes and come home with bronze. Right now you won’t find a prouder Is­raeli than Don­ald Eu­gene San­ford. As we say back home, ayzeh yoffi, dude. [Or, how fab­u­lous is that?]

We don’t have no Iron Dome against gangs with AK47s

*As imag­ined by Si­mon Round

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