Accadia kerfuffle: Enough with this football mishigas!

Who says it is only working class goyim who fight on holiday? Or that only Catholics and Protestants mix religion, football and violence?

No. It is not only in sectarian Glasgow that they have Troubles . . . oy, have we got them too! And the tattle amongst Anglo-Jewish Passover holidaymakers in Israel this past week has been the fracas, during the North London derby, between English guests at the pricy Dan Accadia Hotel in genteel Herzliya Pituach (the cost of being a football hooligan has clearly gone up!)

According to melchett mike sources, the cause of the melee – during the course of which one hotel guest was punched in the face by another and then, in more typical North-West London Jewish hard man style, bitten (yes, bitten!) by his friend – was a disputed front row seat for Tottenham v Arsenal, shown on a big screen at the 5-star establishment, a few miles north of Tel Aviv.

English Passover guests in the Accadia pool room

One such source (or, rather, snitch . . . ex-Hasmo of course) says that the two assailants – at least one of whom he believes to be from Hampstead Garden Suburb, and “in property” – “behaved, and even looked, more like Tony Soprano and “Big Pussy” [appropriately for the biter] Bonpensiero than your typical Accadia clientele . . . even the French ones!”

Accadia security, more used to dealing with suspicious packages than lary Londoners, had to be summoned to calm matters, though tensions continued over the following days. (melchett mike would, naturally, welcome further eyewitness accounts [even anonymous] of the incident by comment below . . . for news purposes only, you understand.)

The standard response (after surprise, i.e., that the volume of food inevitably consumed by the pair had allowed one to throw a punch and the other to bite into anything else) of Anglos at ‘our’ hotel in Tel Aviv – to where the news had spread faster than a plague of locusts – was “What a disgrace!”

Even if such behaviour is rather untypical for your average Anglo-Jewish football fan, it is, nonetheless, unlikely to occur during a screening of the Ashes (cricket) or the Six Nations (rugby union); and it is endemic, for me, of the stupefying loss of all proportion exhibited by so many Anglo-Jewish males towards the game described by Hasmonean’s Legendary French master, not entirely unfairly, as “22 grown men chasing a pig’s bladder.”

In my childhood and youth, no one was more meshugge about football than me. I lived and breathed Leeds United, “going home and away” (including abroad) as soon as I could. But even though I still follow the club’s results keenly, and am founder and “El Presidente” – unelected and unimpeachable, Muammar Gaddafi-style – of the Tel Aviv Whites, I would like to think that, with age (and also, perhaps, time spent in Israel), I have gained some perspective. And it is not merely because I now live over 2,000 miles from Elland Road, or the equally indisputable fact that Leeds are now shite (they were throughout my youth).

Aside from the illusory escape from the mundane, the only thing of any value that my former obsession gave me was the ability, at law school, to memorize scores of cases by association: after all, if the litigants’ namesakes had not featured in the same mid-70s Derby side, how else would I ever have remembered Powell v Lee?!

These days, on coming into contact with Anglo-Jews still living in England – or even just seeing their Facebook updates – I cringe at, and am even sickened by, their all-consuming obsession with football, their seeming inability to discuss virtually anything else, and how they encourage the same in their (male, at least) children.

"Not now, Natalie . . . the footie's on!"

And, on my increasingly infrequent visits to Blighty, I am always flabbergasted at how the most banal snippets of information, on footballer-clients, from a players’ agent acquaintance can so enthral the rapt male audience to which he so conceitedly plays. No one would even notice, I always think to myself, were Natalie Portman to walk in and get her kit off.

I have also observed, on these visits, how even Orthodox rabbis now appear to believe that they will only gain congregant interest if they couch their sermons in football talk (or is it, rather, the only language that they think shul-goers will understand?)

My cousin recently returned from his own visit to London with the tale of how he had witnessed the son of Orthodox friends, in their Hendon back garden, mimicking his footballing hero by crossing himself (though without understanding the significance) every time he took a penalty kick!

My late father, a good sportsman, and uncle, by all accounts one of Irish Jewry’s all-time finest (their ability, tragically, skipped our generation), always instilled in us a sense of proportion when it came to sport (as mere spectator or fan, at any rate). And any thoughts I may have had of my favourite Leeds United player attending my bar mitzvah – as was once de rigueur amongst Anglo-Jews (photographs of proud 13-year-olds and sheepish-looking gentiles appeared in every week’s JC) – would have been swiftly, and rightly, pooh-poohed.

The standard of Israeli football (not to mention commentary) is, of course, very far from Premier League; though, to coin a popular Hebrewism, zeh mah she’yesh (literally, “this is what there is”). But the only folk who display any real enthusiasm for football here are market stallholders and their ilk. Indeed, most Israelis with any education to speak of would not dream of exposing their children to the aggression, racism and obscenities seen and heard in this country’s stadia . . . and it is far milder than that found in English grounds.

"Now where did I put those damn dentures?!"

Quite apart from anything else, obsessive following of English clubs, these days, is an exercise in idiocy: The professional game is now no more than Big Business and an ego trip for Russian oligarchs, Arab sheikhs, American tycoons, and – to my particular regret – dodgy wheeler-dealers (some may prefer malevolent old c*nts) like Ken Bates (above). And any loyalty once witnessed amongst footballers, now just a bunch of greedy mercenaries, is a thing of the very distant past.

So what exactly are we now supporting?

Perversely, however, many Anglo-Jews appear to show an even greater interest in football than they (and we, as children) ever did. And how many of them give even a tenth as much of their resources, time and energy to communal, Zionist, or, indeed, any social or charitable causes (i.e., things that really matter) as they do – in season tickets, Sky subscriptions, and related paraphernalia – to ‘their’ football clubs? (Or is it merely that there is a lot more to ‘escape’ from, these days?)

Before dismounting my high horse, to the idiots at the Accadia . . .

Next Passover (if they’ll have you back), you’d be better advised to take an evening tour of the Jewish Quarter (or such like) – we have real heroes here, you know! – or even one last waddle to the buffet than to disgrace yourselves . . . and all of us.

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19 responses to “Accadia kerfuffle: Enough with this football mishigas!

  1. bloody hooligans

  2. Nice post – Mike. It makes a change from the usual spat over sunbeds or whether it was a horse or a mule that he sold him!
    However there seems to be one omission….What was the final score?

  3. Apparently, Punchers & Biters 2 (Split Lip 5 mins, Bruised Back* 7 mins) Poor Bastard 0.

    As leader of Raleigh Close’s “New” (i.e., since they were shit) Chelsea faction, Andy, I thought you’d be up in arms at my heresy!

    *Allegedly, that’s what was bitten.

  4. Moshe Abelesz

    I have it on good authority (actually I’m making it up) that the gooner scum got exactly what he deserved

  5. 3 – 3 (for Andy) –
    And at least here in London I don’t get nearly mown down on zebra crossings – each and every time I go to my local shops and then get verbally abused (and not just by market stool holder types by the way) if I dare show the slightest descent. Football stadia are avoidable at least – walks to the shops are not, at least for the likes of me. On a more serious note mike, although I enjoyed your article, I think you’re on very dangerous ground presuming that racism is more prevalent in the UK (even in football grounds) than in Israel. One of the many reasons my attempt at living in Israel failed was my shock at the level of casual racism I encountered during the 18 months or so I was there – and from all people from all educational / intellectual and socio-economic backgrounds – especially towards black Africans. I’ve been to dinner parties, sitting amongst academics and politicians of the highest levels, and heard crude “monkey” references used which would make most Real Madrid supporters blush with embarrassment. Apart from the fact that this is simply amazing in and of itself given the context, I’d taken a non-Jewish friend (a professor from Melbourne University) with me to a particularly “classy” Tel Aviv gathering, and he too heard this sort of comment. It was the casualness of these remarks, and the amusement with which they were absorbed by the group – amongst whom are people I’ve considered friends for years – which made this all the more damaging in the eyes of my Australian companion (although he had the good grace not to mention it to me afterwards – all I had to suffer was a raised eyebrow across the table). This was just the most memorable of several similar incidents I experienced during that year and a half living in Israel. In truth, Israel is like any other western country, better in some ways, and worse in others – so far as old fashioned, unreconstructed racism is concerned – amongst significant elements at all levels of society – it unfortunately falls into the “worse” category; unless of course Mike, your using Elland Road and White Hart Lane, or some redneck bar in Alabama as your yardstick for judging these things. It’s a very serious problem which will come back to bite the nation in the butt if not dealt with. Unfortunately, like with Israel’s driving, the problem will not be dealt with, because the “nation” does not perceive the problem in the first place (at least with driving most rational Israelis do at least acknowledge there is a problem). The few times I’ve dared to raise this issue with Israelis, the best reaction I’ve encountered is the typical shoulder shrug, and the worst, I won’t put into print. My apologies to you Mike for using this forum for airing this grievance, but you raised the subject…

  6. Jonny Kitsberg

    Andy, I suggest that you asked our esteemed brother- in- law the score – bound to be entertaining.
    Looking forward to pictures of the ruck being spread all over this blog.

  7. Moshe Abelesz

    I should point out, Mike, that since it was still yom tov in England, the north Londoners and the Arsenal supporters would have had to come to Israel to watch the whole game live, and what better place than Herzliya, named after the founder of modern Zionism 🙂

  8. David Kovler

    Maybe it was unfinished business from the Arsenal v Spuds bundles in the playground from Hasmo which the Spuds never won of course! So obviously the Gooner won the fight in the Arcadia –

  9. It is a long time ago, but – on Arsenal losing a big game – I seem to recall your mutual esteemed brother-in-law, Andy and Jonny, shrugging his shoulders and saying that he was “not into football anymore”!

    An excellent retort to the inevitable gloaters, I thought. And almost as unanswereable as (if less shameful than) my riposte to Chabadnikim, badgering me to put on tefillin, that I am not Jewish!

  10. Believe it or not….the season tickets were given up at the end of last season much to the upset of my 15 year old son. The last 4 games being won 7-1 (v Villa), 1-0 (v Bolton), 7-0 (v Stoke) and 8-0 (v Wigan) and then on to Wembley to secure the Double I concluded that it does not get any better than that….and it did/has not. Poor football and, if I am honest, a stadium devoid of atmosphere but nothing as bad as the library they call the Emirates! I was indeed there when they were shit….not too often but often enough to see the likes of Langley, Droy, Fillery, Pates, Bumstead and, the best of the worst, Doug Rougvie….when we were almost on our way down to the old 3rd division….6500 punters at home to Walsall watching from 200 yards away because of the old dog track. BUT….At least it was honest football….not very good football but honest….and if a player went down he stayed down not like Danny Alves last night who got shot, got Pepe sent off and got up to bomb down the wing shortly thereafter. It is no longer about football. It is all about money….and yes, Abramovich probably, NO, definitely contributed to that….but at least we have built a nice collection of silverware over the last 6 years, unlike some other teams.

    We all tried to emulate the Cruyff turn, Pele dummy or even the Lorimer thunderbolts….kids today want to kiss the badge and throw themselves over waving imaginary cards to imaginary refs and swearing at imaginary officials….oh to be a kid again.

    Too expensive and too theatrical and far too overexposed. 24/7 now….but you know what, Mike? Someone once said “It’s a funny old game!”

  11. Well put, Andy. First game I ever saw was at the Bridge, with my dad and grandad. I remember the dog track well. Thing is, I have turned into my dad, who would repeatedly tell me – in the 70s and 80s – how there were “no players like Tom Finney [dad was his doctor] anymore”!

    I thought Barca were a disgrace last night. With all their histrionics, I almost want Scum to beat them in the Final . . . and that is saying something!

    As for Adam’s comment re racism in Israel, I have never encountered anything here like things I did at football in England. For instance, a minute’s silence before a game against Portsmouth, when – breaking the impeccably observed silence – a Yorkshireman yelled out at “Big” Noel (who, ironically, was later to join Leeds): “Blaaaake, you fooking n*gger!!!”

  12. John Fisher

    There are three reasons why England is still the greatest nation on Earth. Firstly, it got civil wars out of the way over 350 years ago and replaced them with the tribal warfare of the football terraces. Secondly, lunatic flag waving is restricted to the weddings, jubilees and funerals of absolutely impotent royals rather than jingoistic calls to arms against such foreign filth as the French. Thirdly, due to ignorance as to the correct counterchange of the saltires, statistically half the nation wave their union flags upside down and nobody has, to date, been beheaded for it.

    With some 0f this in mind, would somebody be so kind as to give me the street address of Jacob Jackson who , together with his clerical father, is the only Jewish Chelsea fan I know. I would like to pop round and rearrange his face with a Glasgow kiss.

  13. As you are referring to England (and not the United Kingdom), John, I think you will find that there is regular “lunatic flag waving” and other demonstrations of the Flag of St. George – cf. the Union Flag (“Jack”) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – carried out by BNP and EDL supporters, and likeminded football fans.

    This is usually accompanied by hearty renditions of “Keep St. George in My Heart” and “No Surrender” – see this clip (which curiously features an Israeli flag, too).

    Moreover, from my experience (as a Leeds fan), all of these are part of “jingoistic calls to arms against” ALL “foreign filth.”

    I am more than a little surprised that a man who has dedicated months to proving the inaccuracy of The King’s Speech could have got all of this so badly wrong. 😉

  14. John Fisher

    If you ever wondered why neither the Tories nor Labour courted the BNP to join them in coalition in 2010 the main (but not exclusive) reason was that, with 2% of the popular vote, they did not have any seats. There is a lunatic fringe in every society.

    As for the football fans’ behaviour, I think it essentially proves my point. In any event, at Leeds, subject to standard margins of statistical error , there would only be one flag waiver expected at Saturday home games. Hardly a crowd.

    Having said that, while I think I can claim poetic license with respect to my comments regarding England, any such assertion with respect to “The King’s Speech” is utterly scandalous. Rather than a distortion of the facts, it is a full-scale nuclear attack on them. A suitable analogy would be a Hollywood blockbuster called “The President’s Black” starring Denzel Washington as a dreadlock sporting, boombox shouldering Barack Obama with a joint in one hand singing orders in jive to Uma Thurman (Hilary Clinton) from the Crazily Elliptic Office of the White House at the corner of 127th and Broadway.

    Come to think it, not a bad idea.

  15. Jacob Jackson

    John, I’m here, in cyberspace. That will have to do for you.

    Firstly, let me just say what a beautifully written piece that was Mike, had me laughing out loud, just a shame that I couldn’t be there to witness it. I have no problem imagining that Jewish gooners would get violent, but more of that later.

    To address your point John, although there are not enough Chelsea boys in Israel to actually start a fight, it is not factually correct to assume that myself and the cleric are the only two around. Andy Hillel has already shown his face on this blog, and there are a number of others I could mention. I should also point out that the community of Surbiton (over the river and my birthplace) is predominantly Chelsea. So much so, that to ensure he would be able to daven ma’ariv btzibur, a minyan of the community followed their cleric to Old Trafford on that famous night in 1970 to watch Chelsea lift the cup.

    As far as this country is concerned, in 1994, when Chelsea once again made an appearance in the cup final I wrote to the aforementioned and much maligned Ken Bates asking him if he was aware of any any other Chelsea fans in Israel as to the best of my knowledge at that time I was the only one living here. He sent me registration forms to start a members club and since then we have surprisingly been able to find the amazing number of about 50 supporters, each of whom believed that THEY were the only Chelsea supporter here.

    But going back to the gooners at the Accadia. A number of years back when Chelsea played the Arse in the quarter final of the champions league, channel five arranged one of their staged productions with opposing supporters watching the game together, including the aforementioned cleric who was to be interviewed at half time. Although it ultimatly did them no good, the Gunners took the lead. The reaction was truly astonishing. Two of their supporters, olim from north-west london ran to the front and jumped up and down shouting obscenities and sticking two fingers up at the Chelsea supporters. It was the most unpleasant experience I have ever had watching a football game, and believe me Stamford Bridge isn’t pleasant even if you’re wearing blue. So no, I am not surprised that Arsenal supporters got into a spat.

    But then again you have to feel sorry for them. I have made three predictions this season. I do not presume to be a prophet, or have “the sight” as they said in the days when Kings really were Kings, but so far I’m doing well. On the day of the Carling Cup final I said to my partner, an erstwhile Utd supporter, that if Arsenal lose..and I beleived they would, then they would completely collapse. On the day of the aforementioned scrap I said to my brother-in-law, another Mancunian, that by the end of the evening Chelsea would be second with a goal difference only 4 worse than Utd. (No way he said would Arsenal not beat Spurs). You have to be impressed by now surely.

    My last prediction was that IF, SOMEHOW, Arsenal manage to beat Utd then Chelsea will win the league.. I stand by that……I may have to return on monday with egg on my face in the event that John has not yet found me and given me that Glasgow kiss.

  16. I don’t know that the two clowns were Gooners, Jacob. I was hoping, for the sake of the story, that the spat may have been related to North London enmity rather than merely a chair. But I have received no information to that effect.

    As for your comments re Arsenal fans, I think it may be a case of Blue-tinted spectacles! From my experience, Chelsea fans generally (though not the Israel branch, of course!) are amongst the least pleasant. The only fisticuffs I have witnessed at games televised in the pub here involved a Chelsea and a Leeds fan . . . united against an Israeli! Anyway, whilst no lover of the Blues, I wish them well on Sunday.

    The topic of football obsession, generally, always brings another Hasmo Legend to mind: On the day that Leeds clinched the last First Division title, in ’89, “Lun” came up to me in The Load of Hay (next to Hendon Adass) and, shaking my hand, said with absolute sincerity and not a hint of jest: “Sh’koyach. I know how it feels.” It was as if I had somehow been involved in the triumph . . . perhaps “Lun” – surely the only ex-Hasmo to have been a scout in the professional game (if I remember correctly) – felt that I had been. Steeped in football, that lad!

  17. Jacob Jackson

    Egg on my face!!

  18. Your instinct proved correct, Jacob . . .

    I have received information from my underworld contact – the melchett mike equivalent of Huggy Bear – that “Arse supporter threw punch at spurs supporter.”

  19. Jacob

    I sat together with your Mum and Dad last week at the wedding of the son of a former Warden of Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue (I am a mere former Board Member) and took the opportunity to ask the Cleric why, in Heaven’s name, he supported a bunch of blatant antisemites like Chelsea.

    He replied simply and sincerely that it was because you had lived “south of the river”. I asked him provocatively, “Then why not Millwall or Crystal Palace?” but it was only when I got home that a simple fact dawned on me…. If you hold the map of London the right way up, Stamford Bridge is NORTH of the river.

    Irish jokes aside, at least it explains why none of you support Millwall or Crystal Palace.

    I still owe you that Glasgow Kiss.

    Shana Tova

    John

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