Now that the 2018 World Cup is upon us, the perennial question must be asked, to wit: “Is it good for the Jews?” In general, the answer to this question with respect to this year’s edition of the world’s most dramatic sporting event is an emphatic “probably not.”
Today’s opening game, a sizzling match-up between the two worst teams in the tournament–host Russia and Saudi Arabia, is emblematic of the troublesome nature of this year’s World Cup. In general, one wants one’s friends to succeed and one’s enemies to suffer ignominious defeat. Accordingly, what is one to make of the Russia-Saudi Arabia match? Neither country is good for the Jews. Either one of those two teams wins (worth three precious points in the group standing) or there is a tie with each team receiving a point (a 0-0 draw would have been cause for a national holiday in Saudi Arabia). Oh well.
As it was, Russia’s 5-0 victory will deflate the collective sense of self-satisfaction across the Arabian Peninsula. That is probably not a bad thing for the Jews. On the other hand, hordes of vodka-enhanced Russians celebrating a victory has never been a good thing for the Jews.
The dilemmas continue for the Zionists tomorrow with Morocco vs. Tunisia, Iran vs. Tunisia, and Portugal vs. Spain.
For an in-depth analysis of this World Cup, see the video below.