Israel's Greeks looking forward to the big game

The festivities start at 9 p.m. at 14 Yad Harutzim in Tel Aviv, with the match starting at 9:30 p.m.

By ADAM MILLER
April 1, 2009 06:09
1 minute read.
Israel's Greeks looking forward to the big game

Israel soccer 224.88. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)

All eyes will be on the Israeli national soccer team tonight as it takes on the Greeks at Pankritio Stadium in Heraklion. And there is a small contingent of people who will certainly be waving a blue and white flag, but it won't be the one with a Jewish star on it. Israel has established a delegation of a more than 4,000 people from Greece since the Third Aliya in 1919 with around 300 non-Jews also choosing to move across the Mediterranean. Greece upgraded its relations with Israel to the embassy level in 1990 by putting one in Tel Aviv and consulates in Haifa and Jerusalem. The improved relationship between Israel and Greece has resulted in a few Greek restaurants such as Sofi's in Tel Aviv to emerge and gain popularity among Greeks and Israelis alike. It's why one of the restaurant's employees, Amos Jabsu, will be rooting for Greece, but would be more than happy with another tie game to entertain all of his customers. "Wednesday night won't be different from any other night at Sofi's except that the game will be on a big screen TV with coverage from a Greek station. We just want to have a couple of happy hours," Jabsu said. Sofi's will be serving ouzo, a popular Greek drink, and beer so that people can watch the game and have a good time. Jabsu said he isn't expecting a large crowd, but expects to see plenty of enthusiasm at his restaurant with employees from the nearby Greek Embassy and tourist office likely to come by. He also said he believes that Israeli soccer fans will fill the seats since many have an appreciation for Greek culture, especially the music. The festivities start at 9 p.m. at 14 Yad Harutzim in Tel Aviv, with the match starting at 9:30 p.m.


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