Football,  Israel

“People see too much television”

From an article in Scotland’s Sunday Herald about Glasgow Celtic’s newest player, the Israeli Arab Beram Kayal:

He knows that for many who are unfamiliar with Israeli society it is surprising, even startling, that an Arab could integrate and prosper so successfully there. “People see too much television,” he said, alluding to years of coverage of cross-border violence between Israel and Palestine.

“What the television shows about Israel is totally different to what happens. The life between the Jews and the Arabs is very good. I’m an Arab and my agent is Jewish but we’re like family. The Jews and the Arabs live together in Haifa, which is a mixed city. Maccabi Haifa has seven or eight Arab players and that’s normal. The only difference is their religion, but there’s no conflict.”

Which isn’t to say that everything is wonderful for Israeli Arabs, who do suffer their share of discrimination, but that daily interaction between Israeli Jews and Arabs is remarkably ordinary.