Sports is often used as a metaphor for politics and there’s no better one for international politics than the World Cup. The Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon decided to honor this year’s competition with a nostalgic look back at caricatures inspired by “Mondials” in years gone by.

Not surprisingly, the 1970 World Cup —  the only time to date that Israel’s national football team qualified for the finals — figures largely in the exhibition.

Because the games took place during Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) holiday, Ha’aretz cartoonist Yaakov “Ze’ev” Farkash depicted the team bearing the harvest bounty in a victory dance.  


Illustrator Shmuel Katz captured the national mood of elation and hope…


While Ma’ariv’s Kariel “Dosh” Gardosh had his iconic Israeli “Srulik” character — perennially clad in work clothes and kova tembel cap —  comment on the regional infighting between Jordan and Syria with, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”.


Coach Emmanuel Scheffer was, for a brief and shining moment, a national hero but after Israel lost 0-2 to Uruguay, Ze’ev showed a man unable to control his team…


And legendary Brazilian player Pele emerged as the true champion for years to come.


To see the full Mondial 2014 exhibition online, visit the Israeli Cartoon Museum’s website.