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Ben-Gurion after watching his first soccer game: ‘I won’t do that again’

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To mark the opening of the 2018 World Cup on Thursday the IDF launched the archive documenting Israel founding father David Ben-Gurion’s outing to observe his first-ever soccer recreation.

Made up of pictures from the sport and a document of conversations the Israeli chief, who was additionally the protection minister, had on the matter with Shimon Peres and the generals Moshe Dayan and Meir Amit, the archive reveals that though Ben-Gurion appeared to get pleasure from features of the gorgeous recreation, it wasn’t an expertise he was in a hurry to repeat.

“For the first time in my life I saw a soccer game,” he stated after watching the Israeli and French militaries play towards one another to mark Israel’s ninth independence day on May 11th 1957. “The game of the French was more beautiful, but our goalie was wonderful. They were fine at passing the ball back and forth to one another, but getting it into the goal – they failed.”

He added: “Our goalie was outstanding, he rolled over twice to catch the ball.”

Sports Day with the General Staff (Courtesy of the archive of the IDF and Defense Ministry/Avi Simchoni)

The then-Chief-of-Staff Moshe Dayan, replied jokingly: “He could have done it once, but for the benefit of the crowd he did it twice.”

Maj. Gen. Meir Amit of the Central Command advised Ben-Gurion that one of many causes for the staff’s success — the IDF beat the French three:1 — was his presence on the match.

The premier’s response? “I will not go to that again.”

Ben-Gurion additionally apparently raised the thought of organising a everlasting soccer staff within the army.

May 15, 1948: David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, stands with an Israeli official who holds the signed doc which proclaims the Establishment of the State of Israel. (AP Photo, File)

“There should be a team in the army that can train. This year we cannot do it due to budget cuts, but there will be a team of thirty people who will train and beat the Russians.”

Apparently Amit tried to decrease Ben-Gurion’s expectations.

“The Russians choose their team from 170 million.”

Ben-Gurion’s response?

“We have 11 million Jews and from that we produced Einstein, and they couldn’t produce an Einstein from 170 million…it all depends on the head…the mind controls the muscles.”

Golani soccer recreation, July 18, 1955 (Courtesy of IDF/Bmachane)

The dialog ended with Dayan asking Ben-Gurion how he had felt in regards to the recreation: “Did you not enjoy the game?”

“It was exceptional. I went to see it because it was the IDF and the French army, otherwise I would not have given up two hours of my day for it,” says Ben-Gurion.

“What’s the difference between this and going to see a movie?” requested  Shimon Peres.

“I don’t do that either,” responded Ben-Gurion.

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