The Palestinian Flag Is Back

Arab Soccer in a Jewish State Revisited

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 University of FLorica tsorek@ufl.edu
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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.

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