Wishful Thinking Might be Putting it Mildly

>> Monday

There is a group looking to generate support for a joint Israel-Palestine bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. I can't really tell if this is a joke or serious. On the surface, the effort appears to be a joke, but as The Simpsons would have it, "If that's not Flanders, he's done his homework." The group has a relatively slick website, a professional-looking politically conscious promo video, and apparently a fair number of supporters. So perhaps they're only half-kidding.

Assuming it's not a complete joke, (because almost all jokes have a grain of truth in them) The plan calls for four Israeli stadiums (Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel-Aviv, and Mitzpe Ramon) to join alongside 3 stadiums in the Palestinian territories (Gaza, Ramallah, and Tulkarem). However, there are a few problems with the bid.
  1. It's Israel and Palestine. They have a hard enough time working together on advanced initiatives like "NOT blowing up busses full of kids" or "NOT detaining people who don't speak Hebrew as 'medium risk threats'. "

  2. It's still Israel and Palestine.

  3. Half the "proposed stadiums" appear to have been proposed BY THIS GROUP.

  4. One of the sites, Mitzpe Ramon, is in the middle of the desert. The fucking desert. Two hours from anywhere. The town has a population of 5,500, and this group is talking about building a 55,000-seat stadium. So fortunately, every resident of the town will have 10 seats to themselves to stretch out. Fun-with-math Side Note: Were Chicago to build a stadium with similar capacity relative to its population, it would seat 28 million people.

  5. The bidding process for the 2018 World Cup is set to be the most competitive ever. With the World Cup ending its "rotation" policy, which brought the World Cup to places that probably didn't deserve it (South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014, etc.) FIFA will be looking to make a huge profit on this World Cup. England, the United States, Australia, Canada, Russia, China, Mexico, Greece, Spain-Portugal, and Holland-Belgium-Luxembourg are all expected to bid. England, USA, Spain-Portugal, and Australia should be the front-runners. Solid bids from China and Russia could well fall in the "also-ran" category. Israel-Palestine, if legit, does not have a chance.

  6. Israel's team doesn't even PLAY Palestine, or any Arab country for that matter. Arab countries refuse to play against Israel, as a form of protest over Israel's existence.

So....Good luck with that Israel-Palestine 2018... It's got about as good a chance of working out as your more pressing issues.


Vinnie 10:40 AM  

Extremely idealistic and far-fetched, I agree, but definitely not a joke. Believe it or not, there are some Israelis and Palestinians that don't spend their days planning bus bombings. I'm sure they're very aware that the idea has no chance, but by making it an official bid, I'm guessing they hope to draw attention to the fact that some Israelis and Palestinians do wanna make nice.

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