The Tebbit Test And Why Israel Passes


Brian of London filling in for Dave again. In 1990 Norman Tebbit, who had been a prominent member of Margret Thatcher’s cabinet at times in the ’80s, proposed what came to be called the “Tebbit test”. Which side do immigrants support in a cricket match?

“A large proportion of Britain’s Asian population fail to pass the cricket test. Which side do they cheer for? It’s an interesting test. Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

He was largely referring to the Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslims and especially those in the Birmingham area. When teams from those two countries come to the UK they are always given a very warm welcome when playing matches against England in Birmingham and other times with high proportions of immigrants and their decendants.

Recently Pamela Geller posted the following story on Atlas Shrugs:


“Obviously … the support that Mexico has on the night like tonight makes it a home game for them,” said U.S. Coach Bob Bradley, choosing his words carefully. “It’s part of something we have to deal with on the night.”

The US soccer team booed, its players on the receiving end of vile obscenities in LA’s Rose Bowl, and the left-wing media calls this a marvelous moment for America. Yes, the LA Times is at it again (where’s the Rashid Khalidi tape, traitors?).

Obviously, as I showed above, this isn’t a uniquely American problem.

In 2009 I went to see Israel play Russia in the Davis Cup Tennis. Davis Cup is the international World Cup of Tennis: it’s played by individuals representing countries against countries. It’s no Wimbledon I can tell you and the crowd is always noisy between points. I had supported Israel in the UK a couple of years earlier where, obviously, the Israeli team support had been greatly in the minority. On that occasion I failed the Tebbit test, loudly cheering for Israel, while sitting in the UK!

As I’ve written about before on Israellycool, after the fall of the old Soviet empire, Israel took in and absorbed one million or more Russian Jews. They represented an immigration wave of 20% of the existing population of Israel in just 10 years.

If Israel were like the UK with it’s Asian Muslims or L.A. and it’s Mexicans you would expect an Israeli tennis match against Russia to raise a bit of noise for the foreign side.

Not a bit of it! There were a few travelling Russians for sure but I can assure you that the very great majority of the Israelis in the audience for that match (which Israel won!)

Russian Jews came to Israel to be Jews and Israelis. In another generation they won’t even remember they were ever Russians. That is a melting pot and that is the success story of immigration in Israel today.

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