The growing success of Arab soccer teams and players in Israel highlights fundamental tensions and contradictions in Israeli collective identity and in Arab-Jewish relations. This book analyses the political significance of sport in ethno-national conflicts and argues that equality in the soccer sphere legitimises contemporary inequality between Jews and Arabs.
1. Introduction; 2. Sports, modernity and struggle in Palestine; 3. The emergence of the integrative enclave; 4. Soccer and municipal 'labor quiet'; 5. 'These points are Arab': nationalist rhetoric in the sports press; 6. 'Maccabi Haifa is my flag': Arab fans of Jewish teams; 7. The Islamic soccer league; 8. Sakhnin - between soccer and martyrdom; 9. Conclusion.
"This is a surprising story of the only sphere in which Arab-Israeli relations do not seem to be in crisis. Sorek has written a subtle and apparently non-partisan account of the lace of Arabs in the Jewish state. Thanks to its refreshingly clear prose, this book should have an appeal beyond specialists in the field." - Simon Kuper, author of Football Against the Enemy
"Sorek's style and construction of arguments are engaging and accessible, and the book provides an excellent introduction to soccer in Israel.... It will become recommended reading to students and scholars interested in both the specific topic of Israel and the broader relationship between soccer and society." - Daniel Burdsey, University of Brighton, American Journal of Sociolgy
"The book is valuable when viewing Arab-Israeli relationships because it give us a shining example of one success.... we should be happy that at least one, albeit limited, area of the subject has been explored extensively." - Middle East Quarterly