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Kemp: Israel Needs Different Ball

August 18, 1988
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Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) suggested Wednesday that the one thing Israel lacks is American football.

Kemp, a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, made his comment as he was telling a breakfast meeting of Jewish Republicans a story about President Reagan dealing with the "Gipper," the Note Dame football player Reagan played in the film "The Knute Rockne Story."

Spotting Moshe Arad, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, in the audience, Kemp said he was not talking about football as played in Israel, which is soccer and played with a round ball.

"Israel can never reach its potential until you get an oblong ball," Kemp said.

Actually, many Israeli diplomats and reporters who are stationed in Washington have become ardent fans of the Washington Redskins.

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