The Palestinian Flag Is Back

Arab Soccer in a Jewish State Revisited

in Israel Studies Review
Author:
Tamir Sorek University of FLorica tsorek@ufl.edu

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Abstract

This article reexamines my argument published in 2007 regarding the apolitical character of Arab soccer fans in Israel. Until recently, explicit political protest and expressions of Palestinian national identity have remained outside the stadium. For most Arab fans, soccer was an opportunity to display common ground with Jewish citizens. Displaying Palestinian nationalism was considered to be endangering the potential for rapprochement. However, over the past decade the barriers that blocked political protest from entering the stadium have been ruptured. Several interrelated factors are suggested as explanations for this shift: multiple cycles of escalated violence in the region, a wave of anti-Arab legislation, the globalization of fan culture, the model of a politicized soccer fan provided during the Arab Spring, and the emergence of social media.

Contributor Notes

TAMIR SOREK is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Florida. He is the author of Arab Soccer in a Jewish State: The Integrative Enclave (2007), Palestinian Commemoration in Israel: Calendars, Monuments, and Martyrs (2015), and The Optimist: A Social Biography of Tawfiq Zayyad, to be published by Stanford University Press in 2020. E-mail: tsorek@ufl.edu

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