It’s good that David Blatt was fired as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers last week. The symbiotic relationship he had with his fans in Israel was a fascist phenomenon. At its center is the total loss of individualism. The individual known as David Blatt had totally lost his existence as an individual. Fascism demands that nationalism be the primary component of a person’s identity. Fascism here requires a person to be first of all a Jew and Israeli, and only afterward a basketball coach or fan. The scope and intensity of the admiration for Blatt in Israel is a distinctly fascist phenomenon. The axiom is that all Jewish Israelis must, automatically and without question, offer fanatical support of Blatt.
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Blatt fascistically represents the Jewish-Israeli longing for respect from the world. Every one of his fans has also lost his status as a distinct individual. The total devotion to Blatt is a direct and logical necessity stemming from their Jewish-Israeli identity, not from some personal decision-making process. Blatt became a fascist symbol in a Jewish-Israeli society that’s undergoing a daily process of fascisization. When it comes to Blatt, Jewish Israelis have lost their free choice and free will. They are obligated to support him, regardless of whether basketball even interests them.
Blatt himself advanced this agenda when he declared that seven million people in Israel get up in the middle of the night to watch his games live. There are eight million people in Israel, so why only seven? In Jewish-Israeli fascist society, it’s clear who the missing million are. The Sports Channel also backed this agenda as it stood behind Blatt in a manner befitting sports networks in fascist societies.
The fascism of the Blatt phenomenon is highlighted by the fact that his Jewish-Israeliness is irrelevant to LeBron James (the Cavs’ star player, who was the subject of media speculation that he orchestrated Blatt’s ouster). Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and Roger Waters have a real dispute with Jewish Israelis, but LeBron James does not. He simply couldn’t care less. Blatt’s fans in Israel aren’t capable of believing that he related to Blatt as a basketball coach and not as a Jewish Israeli. Their worldview makes that impossible.
It’s more important, now than ever, to stress that one can be a Jewish Israeli who doesn’t admire Blatt. I’m a fan of the Golden State Warriors and was rooting for Blatt to fail – because of his Maccabi Tel Aviv past, among other reasons. I hated the way he appropriated seven million Israelis. Why should I support him just because he’s Israeli? What a strange notion. Tell me, Blatt, who cares that you’re Israeli? National identity is the weakest and most arbitrary common denominator that could exist between two people.
Let’s hope NBA fans can now enjoy the games on the Sports Channel without the fascist aftertaste that had accompanied them. Fascism is not just racism and occupation. First and foremost, it’s a question of what a person who gets up in the middle of the night to watch a basketball game feels. Does he do it like a person donning a uniform that’s much more important than he is, so he can go out to march in formation? Or does he do it because he’s a basketball fan?