Who is this Israeli? 1971 Israeli Cartoon


Sports players have often traveled internationally in order to play professionally. While this strategy benefits the incoming international player and the club, it can cause detriment for the home grown talent who might miss out on their own chance. Do you think national sports teams should have foreign players? What is the impact of on the team? Through analyzing a cartoon from the 1970s learners have the opportunity to empathize with the veteran Israeli basketball fans who witnessed foreign players arriving in Israel for the first time and even write an opinion piece from the veteran fan’s perspective. 

Imagine that you are a citizen of Israel, a passionate Zionist and equally passionate sports fan.  What are your feelings about foreign players comprising much of your home team’s roster?  While the practice can benefit a nation’s sports clubs, it can be detrimental to the home grown talent who may be overlooked in favor of a foreign player, and also raises the question of what it means for a team to represent one’s country.   What is the impact having foreign players on Israel’s sports teams?  Learners will analyze an Israeli cartoon from the 1970s which illustrates the complexities of the issue. Students will articulate their own feelings on the topic  by writing an opinion piece from the perspective of an Israeli sports fan.

The learner will:

  1. understand the factors that impact the values and group identity of a national sports team

  2. know how the Israeli sports scene changed over time

  3. be able to write an opinion piece from the perspective of an Israeli basketball fan as to whether there should be a cap on foreign players and why

About the National Library and its educational materials:

The mission of the National Library of Israel is to provide a home for items of national, historic or cultural significance. Each of these primary sources serve as unique entry points into the collective memory of the people of Israel as well as the Jewish people worldwide.

The education department at the library curates the collection of primary sources and uses them as windows into the past; to foster a deeper understanding of Jewish history, and to enable learners to personalize and connect to earlier events.


When you click on the National Library of Israel resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. A group activity to open the lesson and engage the learners.

  2. Discussion ideas and/or questions that are designed to get the learners thinking more deeply about the content.

  3. A creative activity that gives students the opportunity to go beyond learning and analyzing, to crafting something new, that personalizes how they relate to the  primary sources featured in the resource.

  4. The primary sources in this resource have individual links (listed in Expand your horizons below) that provide expanded information. In addition there are nuanced discussion questions that will enable students in small groups to engage independently and effectively in the process of  observing, interpreting, and connecting to the primary sources.

Student handouts, computer, projector

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