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Showing posts from April, 2012

Mounting Israeli soccer violence reflects fading hope in Palestinian peace

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Israeli soccer violence spiralling out of control
By James M. Dorsey
A stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a dwindling number of Palestinians participating in non-governmental reconciliation efforts and increased racism in Israeli soccer constitute two sides of the same coin: fading hope and interest in peace, hardening battle lines and a resurgence of racism on both sides of the divide.
Yet, the measures being discussed to curb mounting violence on and off the pitch threaten to reduce political and social issues to a problem of law enforcement as the heads of Israel’s 16 premier league club meet to debate how to cope with a situation that is spiralling out of control. The solution to Israel’s soccer violence no doubt involves law enforcement, but a crackdown and harsher penalties are unlikely to restore faith in future Israeli-Palestinian coexistence or mitigate the brutalizing effect on Israeli society of 45 years of occupation of Palestinian land.
Granted, the heads of Israe…

JMD on ABC: Bahrain F1 + Egypt

Conflicting visions of society spark Israeli and Egyptian soccer violence

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Israeli soccer violence - reflection of a brutalized society
By James M. Dorsey

Fan violence has sparked match cancellations on both sides of the Arab-Israeli divide. The stakes for Egyptian and Israeli soccer fans are high – the nature of the society they want to live in and in some cases the very existence of some of their financially troubled clubs – even if the two groups are likely to agree on little more than their passion for the game.

For militant Egyptian soccer fans the battle is about securing the goals of last year’s popular uprising that toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, ending military rule and saving clubs from financial ruin as a result of initial suspension and ultimate cancellation of Egypt’s top two tournaments. A majority of Egyptian fans, who favor a more pro-Palestinian Egyptian foreign policy, have little empathy for their Israeli counterparts whom they see as thugs, many of whom are racists with their anti-Arab and anti-Muslim chants attitudes. The Egyptian …

Soccer meets politics at Doha’s Mohammed Abdul Wahhab Mosque (Play the Game)_

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Qatar’s increasing engagement in European soccer and international sport is just one leg in the small Gulf State’s high-risk attempts to position itself as a global player ‘on the right side of history’. But the accompanying social and political changes also spark local opposition in a conservative culture, James M. Dorsey writes in his second analysis on the Gulf State’s growing influence in international sport.
By James M. Dorsey
Play the Game
20 April 2012
Print version
Mohammed Abdul Wahhab Mosque in Doha. Photo: Omar Chatriwala/Flickr
A multi-domed, sand-coloured, architectural marvel, Doha’s newest and biggest mosque, symbolizes both Qatar’s bold storm into the 21st century and the pitfalls that that march entails. It’s not the mosque itself that raises eyebrows but its naming after an 18th century warrior priest, Sheikh Mohammed Abdul Wahhab, the founder of Islam’s most puritan sect
Ironically, the mosque owes its naming to the debate Qatar’s winning of the right to  host the 2…

Expert: Israel's pressure to have little impact on the "Iran-Six powers" negotiations (JMD in Trend)

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Expert: Israel's pressure to have little impact on the "Iran-Six powers" negotiations17 April 2012, 16:28 (GMT+05:00) Azerbaijan, Baku, April 16 / Trend S.Isayev/

Israel clearly wants to maintain pressure on Iran as well as on the U.S., it's a position that makes perfect sense from Israel's point of view, Senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, James M. Dorsey told Trend, commenting on Israel's position regarding the recent "Iran-Six powers" talks in Istanbul.

Two rounds of talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries have been held in Istanbul this past weekend, and, according to official statements, the discussions were "constructive".

The Iranian side was represented by ran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary,chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, while Union foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton handled the matters for the Six European powers (four permanent U.N. Sec…

Turkey and Tehran: Caught between a rock and a hard place (JMD in Turkish Review)

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Turkey and Tehran: Caught between  a rock and a hard placeTurkish Review 19 March 2012, Monday / JAMES DORSEY, S. RAJARATNAM SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY, SINGAPORE 0 Turkey’s besting Iran in the contest for the hearts and minds of advocates of change
in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa is proving to be both a
blessing and a curse. With tension mounting over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the
perceived window of opportunity for a military strike closing, Turkey faces increased
challenges and the threat of a proxy war with Syria and the Islamic republic. This is
compounded by the fact that the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia need Turkey in their
effort to further corner the regime in Syria and to isolate Iran, but want to prevent a
shift in regional power away from the kingdom and the Israeli state to Ankara --
increasingly held up as the model of an economically successful, Islamist-led democracy.
A concerted effort by the US, Israel …

Beitar Jerusalem fans beat Jewish musician for protesting against their racism

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Beitar Jerusalem fans fly the flag of the outlawed racist Kach movement
By James M. Dorsey
Militant supporters of storied but controversial Beitar Jerusalem Football Club known for their anti-Palestinian, anti-Ashkenazi Jewish attitudes harassed and beat a middle-aged Jewish woman who objected to their anti-Arab slogans in the second such attack in less than a month, according to Haaretz newspaper.
Contrary to last month’s assault by the Beitar fans on Palestinian shoppers and workers in a Jerusalem mall, police launched an immediate investigation. The Israeli police force was heavily criticized for failing to initially intervene or investigation the mall incident.
The attacks as well as the police’s laxity have outraged many Israelis and raised questions about the moral fiber of a society that tolerates such incidents as well as a soccer club that is unashamedly racist.
Jerusalem musician Reli Margalit was attacked after she objected to dozens of  Beitar fans chanting anti-Arab sloga…

JMD on Al Qaeda on The Daily Journalist

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