This summer marked the opening season of the Israel Baseball League. It opened to some controversy, because the sport’s pretty American; in Israel, they play “football”, of course, and some basketball. But baseball? Could the society support a new sport that was largely unfamiliar? Well, depending on who you ask, the season was either a success or a little bit more like a hung jury. But what’s been disappointing is definitely the aftermath. Because even though Israel is a relatively small country, one baseball league isn’t enough, apparently, as the NY Jewish Week reports and as Yoda once said, “There is another.” I am somehow reminded of a scene in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” when members of the People’s Front of Judea are mistaken for the Judean People’s Front. And the Popular Front. And everyone’s offended because no one wants to be mistaken for a member of the club they’re not affiliated with. View the clip (some “adult language,” but nothing you don’t hear regularly on FX these days):“Jews in sports” is often cited as a punchline. But apparently, the lesson that Monty Python taught is a cultural observation that’s still in effect: where there’s a PFJ, there’s got to be a JPF. And where there’s an Israel Baseball League, there apparently has to be an Israel Professional Baseball League. Is this how things started with the National and American Leagues in American professional baseball?
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