Do Israelis care about the Maccabiah Games?


From Reuters’ global sports blog:

The 18th Maccabiah Games opened in Israel on Monday with some 7,000 competitors from 65 countries set to take part in a 12-day sporting extravaganza.

The organisers say it is the third-largest sports gathering in the world behind the Olympics and the University Games. You might have thought the world would take notice, but it barely even attracts interest among the vast majority of Israeli sports fans….

[O]ver the years, as Israel has established itself as a genuine competitor in international sport, the event has taken on much more the role of a jamboree for Jewish athletes from all over the world to express solidarity with Israel. It is also an event where young Jewish singles get the chance to meet an enormous number of potential future partners in a jovial environment.

The participants might be offended to hear that many ordinary Israelis care so little about the Maccabiah and that they ask why so much money need be spent on it. But those critics are also largely ignorant of the fact that the participants pay their own way to the tune of thousands of dollars per person. Indeed, the Jerusalem Post said on Tuesday that many potential participants could not afford to join their colleagues and were “priced out” of the games.

Read the full post.

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