Sitting down in shul last night, I couldn't help but notice the day glo orange fleece being worn by the gentleman in front of me. It immediately occured to me that there were 3 possible explanations for this atypical piece of apparel; either the wearer was:
1) Dutch and showing his support for the national football side
2) Extremely sartorially challenged
3) Showing his support for the settler movement
Given the typical political views of worshippers in this particular shul, I was unsurprised when he turned around revealing a logo which showed assumption number 3 to be correct. It set me thinking about the way in which something as simple as a colour can come to have symbolism. Orange in particular is a colour that has become almost synonymous with Holland for the sports fans amongst us; whenever they play, a large portion of the stadium is typically covered in the colour.
Perhaps the most extreme idea that I can think of is also taken from the world of football; one of the most bitter rivalries in world football is that which exists between Glasgow's two big clubs, Rangers and Celtic who play in blue and green respectively. Rangers fans won't wear green and Celtic won't wear blue but it goes far further than that with extreme examples including Rangers fans refusing to eat green vegetables on match days and petitioning to have the grass on their pitch sprayed blue!
To what extent has orange been taken over by the settler movement? Have those who support the disengagement gone through their wardrobes making sure that all vestiges of the colour have been discarded? Are oranges, carrots and pumpkin off the menu in the trendy cafes of upscale Tel Aviv and Herzliya? Will some sinister double meaning be attributed to my serving sweet potato soup next week?
It's a considerable leap of imagination to get to the more extreme of my suggestions but I could easily see a left winger making sure that their clothes were not likely to be misinterpreted. Meanwhile, I wonder how many settlers have changed to 054?!