Soccer fandom and citizenship in Israel

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4 Scopus citations


Soccer fandom provides and avenue for the booster bases, in dual fashion, to register both their ethnic or nationalist protest and their quest for acceptance as full citizens of the state of Israel. Soccer might has the potential to function as an influential socializing tool because of the relative youth of soccer fans who attend the games. One team of concern is the Sons of Sakhnin United, which first climbed to the Israeli premier league. The matches of the group with Beitar Jerusalem, a team historically identified with the Israeli right, is for many represent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in miniature: The Beitar fans shout explicit anti-Arab slogans and the Galilee town of Sakhnin has been a symbol of Arab resistance inside Israel. The rivalry between the teams of Sakhnin and Beitar has also been well circulated in the Arab world especially the October 4, 2004 defeat of the Beitar by Sakhnin in Jerusalem. It seems that the there is a tendency of most Arab soccer fans in Israel to see Arab success in soccer as an opportunity to be accepted as legitimate Israeli citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalMiddle East Report
Issue number245
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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