Doug Klein

Zionist’s Guide to the World Cup–Day 3

First off, credit where credit is due.  The Iranian starting lineup showed great courage this morning as they stood stone-faced, impassive as their national anthem was played before the match against England.  Imagine the conflicting emotions for these players–young men who have no doubt dreamt for their entire lives that they would one day represent their country (however vile) in the World Cup.  That day finally arrived, and it arrived with the inescapable realization that their country’s government is not worth the effort.  The players must be extremely conflicted, making Friday’s upcoming match against Wales a compelling spectacle.

While Team Melli lost the match, 6-2, to England, the Iranian people and their representative soccer squad may have more important matters to confront.

In today’s other two games, Netherland’s 2-0 triumph over Senegal, and the U.S. draw with Wales (however frustrating for U.S. fans), were acceptable results from the perspective of the Zionist’s Guide to the World Cup.

Tomorrow, Day 3, features four matches, some easier than others to pick.

The day begins with the Peronists of Argentina vs. the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia.  It is not particularly appetizing to cheer on either of these two sides.  However much the current government is inimical to Israeli interests, Argentina, at least, has a Jewish community.  The choice would be easier if the Saudis had signed onto the Abraham Accords and made some sort of official peace with Israel.  Alas, they have yet to do so.  Accordingly, one can root toothlessly and unenthusiastically for La Albiceleste.

Denmark faces Tunisia in the second match in the second half of a Sunni Arab world double feature.  In the absence of Tunisian accession to the Abraham Accords, the strong preference is for the plucky Danes.

The third match of the day features a battle of pareve nations:  Mexico versus Poland.  Poland, though, is pareve verging on a thumb’s down.  Some may question how Poland even merits a pareve rating, given the course of Polish-Jewish relations.  However, this past year saw Jews fleeing the Ukraine to seek safe haven in Poland.  Go figure.  The current Mexican government, like most leftist regimes, takes reflexive anti-Israel positions in international forums.  Mexico, though, does not have the history of anti-Semitism that their opponents have.  Mexico, therefore, prevails in this milquetoast contest.

Australia and France face off in the final match of the day.  However outgunned they may be on the soccer pitch against Les Bleus, the Socceroos were the Zionist’s Guide’s faves in 2018.  They remain in the first rank of countries for this year’s edition of the World Cup, as well.  Perhaps they will bring truth to power.

G’day, mate.

(Listen to our analysis on A Rabbi and A Lawyer Walk Into A Bar podcast at

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