Israel has only played in the FIFA World Cup once, in 1970. Israel managed a 1-1 tie with Sweden, a 0-0 draw with Italy and lost 2-0 to Uraguay. Italy wound up losing that World Cup final 4-1 to Brazil, so a 0-0 draw for Israel against Italy was a pretty decent result. More recently, it has been very hard for Israel to qualify since it has to qualify through the European conference instead of the Middle East, where it belongs.
For the 2022 World Cup, Israelis can only watch from the sidelines, though many are in Qatar attending the games live. It is only a three hour flight to Qatar and Tus Airlines is offering direct flights for "only" $666 USD. All of the games are being shown on Israeli national TV on channel 11 and feature some rather amusing Israeli commentators. Israeli press has sent delegates to the games to try and speak to Iranian fans and other fans from different Arab and Muslim countries about Israel and about their thoughts about Israel. Some have refused to speak to the Israeli press, but a surprisingly large number of Arab and Muslim fans, even fans from Iran, have been willing to speak and say some nice things about Israel.
Israeli commentators covering the games were thrilled to see Saudi Arabia shock Argentina earlier today with an historic 2-1 victory. One commentator said that "Saudi Arabia had won a huge victory for the whole Middle East," and that this represented a "new dawn for Middle East soccer." Commentators were equally effusive about Tunisia's impressive scoreless draw versus Denmark, later in the day. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say when Canada plays Morocco.
Watching all of these teams from the Middle East play - including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Iran and Qatar, Israelis are clearly convinced that their national team should be at this World Cup taking up one of those spots since they would almost certainly be able to qualify if those were their primary obstacles. Perhaps if the Abraham Accords continue to expand - and more countries sign full peace deals with Israel, FIFA will recalibrate its conferences and put Israeli in the proper place, where it will have a much better chance of qualifying.
For now, Israelis will jealously watch the tournament and hope that their chance to attend for a second time ever is not too far off in the future. If Israel were to make it into the tournament one day, the game days would almost certainly be national holidays since the entire country would be watching. Even now, without Israel in the tournament, the TV stations continue to wish everyone a "Happy World Cup Holiday."
As for me, I am cheering for Canada in the 2022 World Cup - hoping that I will not only get to see Canada's first World Cup goal ever - but a bunch more - enough to advance Canada to the next round, even though their odds of doing so are currently set at about 200-1. Miracles can happen. Go Canada!