American Apparel celebrates US Soccer team in Israel
The World Cup of
Soccer Football is set to begin on Friday. What does this mean for the Jews? Well, there have been a number of Jew/ Soccer Football related stories of late. There was the surprising news that Soccer superstar David Beckham, member of the English National Team and Real Madrid halfback, has a mother from a Jewish family. Beckham celebrated the news by tattooing the famous verse from the Song of Songs: “I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me” on his left forearm. That tattoo will go great with the large tattoo of a cross on his chest. His wife,former Spice Girl Victoria Adams, reciprocated by tatooing the same phrase on the back of her neck. Similarly, various nutters have been bandying about the rumor that dearly departed Pope John Paul II had a Jewish mother. How do they know? Well, apparently, as a youth, young Karol JÃ³zef WojtyÅ‚a, played soccer for a Jewish team “against his Catholic neighbours.” OoooKaaaayyy. “…his mother, who was a Jewess, died when he was a young lad, and in judging from his matured “fruits”, I’m assuming that her surviving relatives saw to it that he was introduced into the Jewish secret society at a very early age.” Yes. Yes indeed.
Moving right along… who could forget that adorable scamp Ethan Zohn? The winner of the third installment of “Survivor,” Ethan played goalie for soccer teams in Zimbabwe, Hawaii and Massachusetts and with the U.S. soccer team in the 1997 Maccabiah Games. Committed as he was to his Jewish identity, Zohn would seek out synagogues to pray at during Jewish holidays when the soccer teams he played with were on the road. How sweet.
All is not pretty however. There’s the story of Rodrigo Goldberg, a Jewish player for Chilean soccer team Santiago Morning. Rodrigo complained that after a recent game where his squad defeated a team called Palestino, he was subject to numerous anti-Semitic taunts and threats. Palestino, which has a fan following largely from Chile’s Arab community, issued a public apology. Best part of this story? Goldberg, who was called “Jewish Garbage” isn’t even Jewish. Stupid anti-Semites.
News of anti-Semitic violence in France is already old hat. But do you all remember one of the first and perhaps most ludicrous incidents? I do. It was back in 2002 when a group of masked and weapon wielding youths attacked a Jewish soccer team in the suburb of Bondy. I mean, synagogue burnings, grave desecrations, stuff like that I can understand. But who attacks a soccer team??? Ridiculous.
Back in Israel, the country is of course mad for soccer. That didn’t stop the IDF from bombing an empty soccer field in Gaza used for training by Islamic Jihad, but at least no one got hurt. Personally, while I share North America’s general disdain for Soccer (Legions of Jewish Soccer Moms and Soccer Dads aside), I will be joining my fellow Israelis as we watch the inevitable trouncing of the Iranian team by Mexico. That’s gonna be sweet.
While the US is going to participate in the World Cup this year, Soccer has yet to take hold in America. This underscores another rift amongst Jews. Jews in Israel and around the world generally love soccer whereas Jews in North America couldn’t really care less for the most part, despite FIFA’s extensive efforts.
Entering into the fray is fashion retailer American Apparel. I’m assuming that Dov Charney is cool with anything that involves hot sweaty physical activity whilst wearing teeny little shorts. Hence American Apparel’s cooperation with Tel-Aviv based photographer Karin Bar in the photo shoot reproduced at the top of this post (Stylist: Chen Gur). Karin photographed Israeli model Maayan Baruch (Agency: Artform) in the colors of the US Soccer team while wearing an American Apparel one piece jumper, sweat bands and knee-high tube socks. I guess the Israeli focus is meant to riff off the upcoming World Cup, while promoting the new American Apparel store in Tel Aviv (King George Street, Dizengoff Center – check it out!). Or something. Who cares. Frankly I’d rather spend 90 minutes looking at Maayan Baruch in American Apparel than watching any soccer game. But still. Go Mexico! Heh…