Jack EngelhardJack Engelhard’s classic international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which later became a worldwide hit movie, has been republished to meet readers’ demands. His other major works include Compulsive: A Novel, his award-winning post-Holocaust Montreal memoir Escape from Mount Moriah, plus Slot Attendant: A Novel About A Novelist. His website: www.jackengelhard.com
There’s no crying in baseball, as we recall Tom Hanks from the flick “A League of their Own,” but, yes, there is crying in basketball.
In case you haven’t heard, being so busy worrying about something else, like the ADL’s disturbing report about the rise of anti-Semitism throughout Europe – well here is something to take your mind off that, so pay attention and rejoice. Israel, last week, beat Spain to hoist for itself the title of European basketball champions.
I don’t have the exact score right in from of me, and who cares? They won.
The game for all the marbles took place in Milan and it was an overtime victory between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Real Madrid. The players were welcomed back to Israel with hugs and kisses from both President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
We’re told that a third of Israel watched the game and then about the same number turned out to cheer the guys at Rabin Square.
Everybody was happy.
Not so much in Spain, so, as much as I hate to bring this up, we are back to that ADL report that showed Spain to be European champs in the game of anti-Semitism…and that is where the competition gets really tough.
Can’t be easy to elbow out England and Italy – and we’ll always have Germany.
Spain ranks number three on that scorecard, right behind Greece and France. (France? Okay. But Greece? Who knew?)
Immediately after Israel’s victory, some in Spain found their inner Torquemada and went nuts. About 18,000 Spaniards went on Twitter to cry over their loss.
How best to express yourself after you found yourself to be a loser?
Do not be gracious to the winners, as they do in hockey where both teams line up to shake hands in a show of sportsmanship.
Instead, blame the Jews and post the vilest ant-Semitic slurs in 140 characters or less.
Spain and the rest of Europe have been doing this – with and without Twitter – for about 2,000 years, so none of this should come as a surprise.
O, for those good old days of the Inquisition!
Jewish groups in and around Spain have begun to sue – but sue whom? Europe? The continent?
The distance is not far from tweets in Madrid to bullets in Brussels.
Not a bad idea, actually. But where to begin? Wait a minute.
A couple of years back, 2012, the European Union (EU) awarded itself the Nobel Peace Prize. True story. Yes, the entire continent was honored for its “contribution to peace and reconciliation.” I have to imagine that this tribute was graded on the curve. Seventy years and no Holocaust! What a relief and Mazel Tov.
Overnight we saw some of that “reconciliation” when four innocents were murdered at the Jewish Museum in Brussels – “The result,” said Bibi, “of constant incitement against Jews and their state.” The distance is not far from tweets in Madrid to bullets in Brussels.
Something else happened for Madrid at about the same hour as the basketball game. When I first read it I thought, no, this can’t be true. What would Hemingway say?
So here we are at the Madrid bullring – and the bulls are winning! No, not the Chicago Bulls. Real bulls. There has been crying here, too.
Turns out that millions of Spaniards who were not watching basketball were watching the biggest competition of the year between man and beast at the San Isidro festival and, for some reason, rooting for the man. Ole’. Instead, two bulls ruined it all by goring three matadors so badly that they, not the bulls, the bullfighters, had to be carried off the arena. Ole’.
Worse, the match had to be suspended because the “wrong side” was winning too much. Spaniards called it a disgrace.
Somehow, justice was served.
Addendum: On Spain and now in connection to events in Brussels, here’s part of something that I wrote for Arutz Sheva some years ago:
"As for you masters of Europe and your treachery; one day your sly anti-Semitism will come back to haunt you. Over the centuries, you have uprooted a thousand synagogues and replaced them with ten thousand mosques. Wait, now, and see what grows from the soil of Ishmael. Your churches are next.
"For Sunday is coming, Sunday bloody Sunday."
Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. New from the novelist, the 25th anniversary edition of the international bestseller Indecent Proposal and a love story of heartbreak and redemption The Girls of Cincinnati. Website: www.jackengelhard.com