Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Egypt's national soccer coach makes a startling discovery

According to a story in the Jerusalem Post:
Hassan Shehata, coach of the Egyptian national soccer team, said of the Israeli national team Tuesday that “even if it was the only team that requests my services, I wouldn’t agree (to coach it)," Army Radio reported.

“It would be more honorable to me and my family if I die of hunger rather than consider coaching the Israeli team,” Shehata added. He made the comments in response to an interview in which an Israeli commentator suggested him for the post. [....]

"Even if it was the only team in the world and requested my services I would refuse – how could they think that I would come to coach the team of a country that murders children, women and the elderly, and help elevate the name of the team that represents occupation?”
Etc. None of that is especially unusual or even noteworthy. It's standard boilerplate--though delivered with considerable heat in response to a very unlikely, distantly hypothetical possibility.

What's more interesting is what follows:
“All my life I’ve heard that Israel kills Arabs, fires missiles and destroys Arab villages, but this is the first time in my life that I’ve heard that in Israel they play soccer” [....]
Ponder that. Whether it's true or not, it's revealing either way.

--Jeff Weintraub