Israeli National Team featured in Sports Illustrated

Discussion in 'Israel: National Teams' started by GoIsrael, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Bozemanite

    Bozemanite New Member

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    Re: Sports Illustrated Article

    1.) Wahl earned a degree in politics from Princeton; I hardly think he's unaware of global situations such as the endless one in Israel.
    2.) Wahl is not Jewish, nor is he a Nazi, nor is he an anti-Semite.
    3.) Please keep in mind that nearly all magazine writers must give up their work to editors.
    4.) In my personal opinion, Americans get very little information that ever portrays our Arabic and/ or Muslim fellow humans in a positive light. The United States has historically been an ally of Israel and remains so for many good reasons, but this sometimes opens us up to fair criticism that we do not pay as much attention to the Arabic and/ or Muslim experience. A significant part of our population thinks Israel weilds its historical victim status like a bludgeon--and those who think this way aren't necessarily anti-Semite Nazi PC non-intellectuals . . .
    5.) Most of you do realize Wahl travelled to Israel for the piece, right?
    6.) While I think the true spirit of sport should be as apolitical/ unpolitical as possible, I'm not sure that means it is that way or that there aren't some compelling stories out there most Americans never get to hear. Just my two cents.


  2. gizhukov

    gizhukov Red Card

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    1.) Wahl earned a degree in politics from Princeton; I hardly think he's unaware of global situations such as the endless one in Israel.
    2.) Wahl is not Jewish, nor is he a Nazi, nor is he an anti-Semite.
    3.) Please keep in mind that nearly all magazine writers must give up their work to editors.
    4.) In my personal opinion, Americans get very little information that ever portrays our Arabic and/ or Muslim fellow humans in a positive light. The United States has historically been an ally of Israel and remains so for many good reasons, but this sometimes opens us up to fair criticism that we do not pay as much attention to the Arabic and/ or Muslim experience. A significant part of our population thinks Israel weilds its historical victim status like a bludgeon--and those who think this way aren't necessarily anti-Semite Nazi PC non-intellectuals . . .
    5.) Most of you do realize Wahl travelled to Israel for the piece, right?
    6.) While I think the true spirit of sport should be as apolitical/ unpolitical as possible, I'm not sure that means it is that way or that there aren't some compelling stories out there most Americans never get to hear. Just my two cents.
    Bozemanite is offline Add to Bozemanite's Reputation Report Bad Post Reply With Quote

    1. I don't care if Wahl has 10 degrees from Princeton. It doesn't mean he is objective in his approach
    2. Anyone familiar with American culture realizes being compared to racist American whites of the past is not complimentary to say the least. I deeply resent use liberal use of the analogy he uses that the current condition of Arab citizens of Israel are in any way, analogous to the condition of most American blacks in the past when they could not vote ,could not attend college etc.Arab citizens of Israel have full voting rights (unlike Arab residents of Arab countries) ,attend Universities and obviously can participate in sports at the highest levels.
    3.A journalist who traveled to Israel doesn't necessarily mean he is an objective observer. I refer you to Honest Reporting.com and other similar web
    sites
    4. Bozmanite :I kindly suggest you return to Stormfront or National Vanguard .
  3. MHaifa1913

    MHaifa1913 Moderator Staff Member

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  4. GoIsrael

    GoIsrael New Member

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    Well... the article was biased. I'll agree with that contention. It focuses on the negative--as opposed to the positive. Wahl could have written a story on "look how these people come together" and instead wrote a story on "look how these people suffer yet still play soccer". He could have mentioned how Ariel Sharon has personally pledged to build a stadium for Sakhnin or how a Russian billionnaire just sponsored the team. Or how players on the NT or Grant don't discriminate at all--how soccer transcends politics.

    The article also condemned Israeli bad actions without condemning other bad actions. The racist chants that occur in Israel occur in every country in Europe--usually worst than in Israel. While Israel should be condemned for these chants, it is anti-semitic to condemn Israel in a vacuum without noting that such chants are common place in every country in Europe.

    I'm glad the article appeared--and I don't blame the author--because he wouldn't have been able to get it printed without a hook--but I'd hope that future articles aren't so biased.


  5. PsychedelicCeltic

    PsychedelicCeltic New Member

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    You're batty.
  6. Briman14

    Briman14 Member

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    I think the article was more a description of the difficulties faced by Arabs in Israel, their feelings of isolation from mainstream society, the internal conflicts Suan faces in playing for Israel, and the possibility that the national team's run towards Germany '06 might signal an opportunity for unity amongst arabs and jews, than it was a criticism of Israel or any Israelis beyond some right wing extremists. What strikes me is that while Suan describes vividly the plight of arabs in Israel, he encourages not separation and violence, but increased unity through peaceful dialogue such that Israeli Arabs will be able to participate more fully and feel more a part of Israeli society. I will not pretend to be an expert on Israeli society by evaluating either Suan's or Wahl's perspective in terms of its accuracy. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article. Mordecai Spiegler's quote about Basel and Theodore Hertzl was great, after all we can certainly use all the help we can get on saturday. And besides this has to be the first time either the word Goyim or Shpillkus (transliterated as well as possible) has appeared in SI. Best of all, the story was not promoted anywhere on the cover meaning Israel has a fighting chance on Saturday.
  7. gizhukov

    gizhukov Red Card

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    To Psychedelic Celtic
    " You're batty"
    You really have a way with words. Perhaps ,it is the toxic effects of all the hallucinogens you are taking. What about my post is "batty"? You can't dispute it with factual information . I suggest you stay off the LSD.
    Cheers!
  8. Slitty

    Slitty Member

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    Anyone who belittles rasicm against Arabs (or for that matter Russian Jews or Etheopian Jews is in Israel):

    Has obviously not been on a bus in Jeruselem.


    For all their concern with anti-semetism, Israelis are overall a fairly rascist bunch.
  9. Zealot

    Zealot New Member

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    Well, I've ridden many buses in Jerusalem, but I don't understand the grounds for your comment.

    Anyway, what's your point? That Wahl's article does indeed portray Israeli society as racist and that this portrayal is justified? Please clarify.
  10. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I come at this from a different direction than most of you as I am neither Jewish nor Israeli. I teach university courses, one of which focuses on the UN and International Diplomacy, and another which considers Sport and International Affairs. In both of those classes, I am quite accustomed to pointing out bias of all sorts against Israel. In the UN course, students quickly realize that Israel is one of the most ostracized nation on the planet, and that's saying something when the list includes North Korea, Burma/Myanmar, and a few others. In the Sports class, we discuss the "expulsion" of Israel from Asia, starting with the Asian Games hosted by Indonesia in the early 1960s, and watch the fantastic documentary "One Day In September" about the 1972 Olympics.

    I don't see obvious bias in this article. First, the piece is really about Arab Israeli soccer players on the national team, not about Israeli players in general, and therefore presents their experiences. Next, in this context, a number of supporting quotes and comments are drawn from Israeli Jews - Avraham Grant, Idan Tal, Mordechai Shpigler, Shimon Peres, and Itche Manachem (the Peres quote is direct to Wahl, but from a newspaper article in Haaretz). Wahl describes the positive reaction of "the more liberal quarters of Israel's Jewish majority and Hebrew media" in detail. And while racist taunts and abuse are described, so is pressure on suan and Badir from Arab extremists, from Al-Jazeera, and other Arab Israelis, who do not like the two participating on the national team at all.

    Someone mentioned earlier the negativity in associating Jimmy Tourk with Jackie Robinson, and that being proof of this being a slam piece. An article about Jackie Robinson does not make it anti-white America. If you know the history, it also means that while there were many racists who reacted negatively to Robinson breaking the color barrier, he could never have done it if not for the support of other whites. Branch Rickey, the Dodgers GM, is one; Carl Erskine, a teammate, is another; Stan Musial, best hitter in the pros at the time, another; the largely Jewish community in Brooklyn, where Robinson's team played, all factor in; and there were many thousands of others. Probably a majority, in fact. All of this is easily related to an American sports audience by saying Tourk was "Israel's Jackie Robinson" but not necessarily by a non-baseball, non-American audience.

    In an earlier post I contended that the casual reader would come away with a positive image of most Israelis. I see only one thing in tha article that a casual reader might view negatively, and I find it interesting that none of you has mentioned it (probably because it says something different to you than it does to a casual audience). In discussing Shpigler's hopes for World Cup qualification, Wahl offers this bit of symbolism: Saturday's game against Switzerland "will take place in the same city where, in 1897, Theodor Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress . . ." To a casual American reader, Herzl is a complete unknown, and Zionism is pretty well an unknown concept. But being a Zionist sounds vaguely negative, and so any tangential association of an Israeli soccer hero with Zionism might be seen negatively (note I didn't say correctly). Might.

    Sorry for the mega-lengthy quote - I decided it was "work related" and so I could spend some time on it! :)
  11. Zealot

    Zealot New Member

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    Off topic question

    Off topic question for Bozemanite: Do you really support the club you claim to support? I would think you would know how to spell their name correctly if you did.
  12. Bozemanite

    Bozemanite New Member

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    Re: Off topic question

    O/T:

    I do:

    Fenerbah├že

    I lived in Turkey for quite some time, so, yeah: embarrassing.

    On topic:
    I'm glad the SI essay appeared at all as it has at least sparked a lot of discussion. It's not perfect, as with anything, and I don't love the repeated line the essay begins with, but I just don't get the billious, illogical responses such as some of the ones on the board. Lotta trolls here that seem to keep getting fed. I want to believe that the rigors of reason trump facile arguments, but sometimes none of that matters when you're dealing with gassbag reactionaries.
  13. Black and White

    Black and White BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    Very well said. Not fairly racist the most racist people on earth.
  14. Slitty

    Slitty Member

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    Thanks for the rep,




    Right:
    I guess Palestinians and Israelis sit just about anywhere on buses, paying no heed to to where the gas tank is, and who sits besides them.

    I guess there never was a dicriminatory policy of allowing only married Palestinians of a certain age work in Israel.

    I guess no completely innocent Palestinians were mistreated, lest alone killed by Israelis, they are all a bunch of suicide bombers anyways, right?

    I guess Ethiopian and Russian jews never faced rather severe discriminated against in Israel.

    I guess we should just ignore all this racial descrimination, while striving for the abolishment of anti-semetism (which dont get me wrong, I think is evil and should not be tollereated), and yell at the guy who mentions it.



    Anyways, didn't mean to offend anyone, just commenting on a point brought up earlier. In any case, my visit to the Israel boards has been an exceptional one, and you ofcourse were gracious and welcoming hosts, cheers.
  15. Slitty

    Slitty Member

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    My point is simply that you should not cry out in horror when someone portrays Israelis in a negative light and makes allegations of racism.... as racism does exist in Israel.
  16. GoIsrael

    GoIsrael New Member

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    Racism does exist in Israel. And in America. And in every country in the world. Its not anti-semitic to acknowledge that it exists in Israel. It is anti-semitic to acknowledge that it exists in Israel without also mentioning that it exists in every country in the world. That doesn't make it any less bad when it occurs in Israel. It does, however, put things in perspective.
  17. Kappa18

    Kappa18 New Member

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    I agree...
    There is racism everywhere. I cannot stop people from smoking pot in Israel, does that make Israel a haven for druggies? NO!

    I cannot stop someone from yelling slurs against another person. Israel is a free place, but if the slurs are threatning or can lead to harm, than the right authorities can intervene and upprehand he/she. Even in Early incidents...

    The question is; does Israel have an institution that has racist or practices racism? And the answer is; no!
  18. MHaifa1913

    MHaifa1913 Moderator Staff Member

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    The players don't even know!

    Interesting twist to this whole saga:

    I told Abbas Suan, Walid Badir, and Avraham Grant about the four page spread in Sports Illustrated and none of them had any idea about it. I even told them about the article and who wrote it, they still had no idea. Makes you wonder how first hand this article was.
  19. La Rosa Morreti

    La Rosa Morreti New Member

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    The Israeli team is very weak. They like suck.
  20. Briman14

    Briman14 Member

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    Consider that they have probably been asked a similar set of questions many times. You have to wonder if the name Sports Illustrated had any particular significance to them in reference to the other writeres. In my experience, Grant Wahl has been an excellent and credible writer for SI.

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