29 October 2014
Mounting tension between Israel and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem have spilt onto Israeli Palestinian football pitches in Israel proper as Israel swings towards ultra-nationalists that make Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu look like the best card in a bad hand.
Israeli human rights and legal advocacy group Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights – charged in a petition to the Tel Aviv district court that the Israel Football Association (IFA) was segregating Israeli and Palestinian teams and discriminating against Israeli-Palestinian players in its Shomron amateur division. Adalah was acting on behalf of Muhammad Lutfi from the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahem, the father of a young Israeli-Palestinian football player.
In its petition to the court Adalah said the IFA had advised 13 of the 15 Palestinian teams in the division that they were being moved into a division for Palestinians only. The remaining two Palestinian teams would be grouped in a division alongside 12 Israeli Jewish teams, Adalah said. Adalah asserted that the regrouping was sparked by objections by some Israeli Jewish parents against their children playing with Palestinians.
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog,The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 30/10/2014