This study traces, conceptually and historically, how the relationship between Israeli soccer, its fans, and the varied means of communications has evolved over the last century. We contend that these symbiotic relations, including their effects on soccer devotees, can be divided into four sub-epochs, each having a tremendous effect, not only on the development of soccer and media, but on other interrelated processes. Consequently, we argue that the development of soccer (association football), can be adequately understood only by presenting it in its historical context. The processes of state formation, population growth, urbanization, commercialization and, most germane for present purposes, the development of soccer-media-fan relations, are not isolated but rather interdependent, and therefore of significant importance when discussing soccer and media in the Israel context.
Israeli Soccer, Fans, and Media Outlets
Yair Galily and Alex Nirenburg
Arab Soccer in a Jewish State Revisited
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.
The sporting news1 that received the most media attention in the summer
of 2006 was not the Italian victory at the World Cup but rather the
Calciopoli scandal2 that shook the world of calcio (soccer). A distinctive
characteristic of the scandal was that it involved principally the
major clubs, in particular, Juventus, the richest and most successful
club in Italian soccer. Although not the first crisis in its history, it was
undoubtedly treated as one of the most serious catastrophes ever
recorded in Italian soccer, portending the end of the credibility and
sustainability of a model of business that, with its rules and its system
of consolidated relations among its main actors, had until then characterized
Italian professional soccer.
As host of the 2006 soccer World Cup in June and July 2006, Germany was suddenly full of different Germans, waving millions of black-red-gold mini flags and wearing their (and others') national colors with abandon. Was this show of nationalism a new kind of trans/national patriotism? Most certainly, the national enthusiasm exhibited in Germany had nothing whatsoever to do with past demonstrations of patriotism. With the focus on the country as host to world soccer aficionados, the world also learned of a multicultural Germany that has existed for the last fifty years or so. It learned that it is not always successful with its social and economic problems, and that the desire for national unity is sometimes difficult to fulfill. Quite correctly, the national media described Germany as joyous, generous, and open-minded hosts. In the foreign press, too, the old stereotypes were broken down.
The Europe of Soccer
Paul Dietschy, David Ranc, and Albrecht Sonntag
Although history textbooks are highly revealing sources of what is considered worthy of being included in collective memory, they only tell half the story. The study of the non-official “parallel pantheons” of popular culture also contribute significantly to understanding patterns of perception and self-perception as well as mental representations of “Europe.” For more than a century, soccer, Europe's most widely shared social practice, has contributed to shaping perceptions of what can be encompassed under the term “Europe.” This article focuses on the “popular maps” of Europe that soccer has drawn over the last half-century and hints at the myths of cultural commonality that underpin them. It appears that while soccer represents a somewhat ambiguous metaphor for contemporary Europe, it can also supply interesting insights into the emergence of horizontal bonds between Europeans.
The 2002 Soccer World Cup in Japan took place during the final
phase of the national election campaign for the German Bundestag
and managed to temporarily unite Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
(SPD) and his conservative challenger, Edmund Stoiber1. Both were
keen to demonstrate repeatedly that they were so interested in the
progress of the German team that they simultaneously interrupted or
left meetings to follow televised matches. Domestically, they support
very different soccer clubs. Stoiber is on the board of directors of the
richest German club, Bayern Munich, whose past successes, wealth
and arrogance, numerous scandals, and boardroom policies of hireand-
fire have divided the German soccer nation: they either hate or
adore the team. Schröder is a keen fan and honorary member of
Borussia Dortmund, which is closely associated with the industrial
working class in the Ruhr area. It is the only team on par with
Munich; despite its wealth, the management policies of the club
appear modest and considerate; the club continuously celebrates its
proletarian traditions and emphasizes its obligations to the local
community. Stoiber’s election manifesto did not even mention sport,
whereas the SPD’s political agenda for sport focused upon a wide
variety of issues ranging from welfare, leisure, physical education,
and health to doping, television coverage, facilities, and hosting
un gouvernement de compromis particulier
From 1945 to 1947, and then again from 1953 to 1977, Jean Minjoz served as mayor of Besançon and set up a “system” of government that allowed him to maintain power while insuring the development of the city. What was that system and how did it develop? By examining the sports politics of the city, this article reveals how the municipal sports commission and the city council worked out a subtle balance between amateur sports and the promotion of professional soccer. The political, professional, and athletic implications of this approach led representatives of the big clubs as well as the local councillors to support a basic minimum level of sports infrastructure, which in turn enabled the mayor to realize his own agenda for the city's social development program and to assure him the vote of his electorate. This politics of compromise can be categorized as republican elitist.
During the course of the 2006 Soccer World Cup, Germans started to celebrate a “new patriotism.” As the construction of national identity is inseparable in Germany from the Nazi past, this occurrence can be considered an indicator of an altered relationship to this past. This article examines these changes by focusing on a nationally recognized site of remembrance, the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg, where five matches of the World Cup were played. The convergence of site and event evokes contradictions and ambiguities, such as the encounter of the opposed needs of sports and remembrance at the same location. It shows what problems arise at a site of national collective memory today, when the role of the national collective is challenged by developments like European integration, migration within and to Europe, and the on-going effects of globalization.
“L'Affaire des Quotas” and the Shattered “Image of 1998” in Twenty-First-Century France
Christopher S. Thompson
Since the mid-1990s, France's national soccer team has been given considerable significance in French debates about post-colonial immigration, national identity, republican citizenship, and the enduring legacies of French imperialism. This article explores the role played by representations of the team in those debates with a particular focus on the so-called “affaire des quotas” of 2010–2011. It argues that those representations reveal that the boundary between the purportedly inclusive civic nationalism of French republicanism according to which any person willing to embrace the duties and rights of democratic citizenship may theoretically become French, and the exclusionary ethnic nationalism of the xenophobic Front national is far less impermeable than is generally assumed in France. Indeed, race and ethnicity inform notions of French citizenship even among persons who reject the essentialist views of the Far Right.
Shulamit Reinharz and Mark A. Raider, eds., American Jewish Woman and the Zionist Enterprise Review by Jerry Kutnick
Jacob Lassner and S. Ilan Troen, Jews and Muslims in the Arab World: Haunted by Pasts Real and Imagined Review by Seth J. Frantzman
Rebecca L. Stein, Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism Review by Hadas Weiss
Anthony H. Cordesman, Arab-Israeli Military Forces in an Era of Asymmetric Wars Review by Eyal Ben-Ari
David Rodman, Arms Transfers to Israel: The Strategic Logic Behind American Military Assistance Review by Zach Levey
Risa Domb, ed., Contemporary Israeli Women’s Writing Review by Naomi Sokoloff
Yifat Holzman-Gazit, Land Expropriation in Israel: Law, Culture and Society Review by Donna Robinson Divine
Baruch Kimmerling, Clash of Identities: Explorations in Israeli and Palestinian Societies Review by Uriel Abulof
Nili Scharf Gold, Yehuda Amichai: The Making of Israel’s National Poet Review by Lisa Katz
Jakob Feldt, The Israeli Memory Struggle: History and Identity in the Age of Globalization Review by Miriam Shenkar
Anat Helman, Or v’Yam Hekifuha: Urban Culture in 1920s and 1930s Tel Aviv Review by Moshe Gershovich
Aziza Khazzoom, Shifting Ethnic Boundaries and Inequality in Israel: Or, How the Polish Peddler Became a German Intellectual Review by Dafna Hirsch
Leonard Grob and John K. Roth, eds., Anguished Hope: Holocaust Scholars Confront the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Review by Ruth Amir
Tamir Sorek, Arab Soccer in a Jewish State: The Integrative Enclave Review by Sarah F. Salwen
David N. Myers, Between Jew & Arab: Th e Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz Review by Eran Kaplan
Alexander Yakobson and Amnon Rubinstein, Israel and the Family of Nations: The Jewish Nation-State and Human Rights Review by Eran Shor
Zvi Shtauber and Yiftah S. Shapir, eds., The Middle East Strategic Balance, 2005–2006 Review by Sergio Catignani