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Zionist’s Guide to the World Cup–Day 23

…And then there were four.

The dust has finally settled on the World Cup quarterfinals, and the Zionist’s Guide to the World Cup (ZGWC) is left to pick up the ambiguous pieces.  Of course, it is important to note that the ZGWC had some pretty ambiguous pieces to put together prior to the quarterfinals.  Of the four games, the only match with a clear favorite was the Netherlands over Argentina.  And then Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis missed the first two penalties.

As for the other matches–Croatia versus Brazil, Morocco versus Portugal, and England versus France (see Mers El Kébir)–the ZGWC was confronted with difficult, problematic choices.  In many ways, the choices presented were emblematic of the vagaries of Jewish history and Israeli diplomatic prerogatives.

At the time of the filming of the ZGWC video, positive ratings were given to Croatia, Morocco, Brazil, and France.  England received a thumb’s down from the Scotsman, but a pareve rating may have been more accurate.  Portugal received a thumbs down.

Since that time, though, the Brazilian elections caused second thoughts–both in exposing some of the negatives about the outgoing president along with the obvious negatives of the anticipated foreign policy of the incoming president.  The burgeoning celebration of Morocco by the so-called “Arab Street” has dampened the ZGWC’s boosterism for the Atlas Lions.  The mixed emotions over Morocco’s ascendancy led the ZGWC to lean slightly in favor of the previously-disdained Portugal.  As for Croatia and France, the ZGWC has never characterized its endorsement for either as “full throated.”  And finally, there was England–the home of George Eliot, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Balfour, and more polite anti-Israel celebrities than one could efficiently enumerate here and maintain any modicum of literary alacrity.

And thus, the ZGWC stands on the cusp of the semi-finals, dissatisfied and dissolute.  Faced with the choices of Croatia versus Argentina on Tuesday and Morocco versus France the following day, the ZGWC must procrastinate until tomorrow before pontificating about the untidy semi-final fixtures.  Au revoir for now.

About the Author
Doug Klein is an attorney in Chicago and the wrestling coach at Ida Crown Jewish Academy.
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