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Qatar invests in Israeli soccer despite Gaza and war of words with Jerusalem

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By James M. Dorsey
Qatar is emerging for the second time in a decade as the only Arab state without a peace treaty and diplomatic relations to have invested in Israel. Qatar’s latest investment in Israeli Palestinian soccer comes against a backdrop of a war of words between the two countries over the Gulf state’s support for Hamas, the Islamist militia that controls the war-wracked Gaza Strip. Yet, Qatar’s relationship with Hamas makes it alongside Turkey the only country that can talk directly to the group as part of international efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza.
A Qatari agreement to donate $4.6 million to two Israeli Palestinian soccer clubs, Bnei Sakhnin, a team based in Galilee that historically stands for Israeli-Palestinian co-existence, and Maccabi Ahi Nazareth FC, a squad that historically was part of the centrist wing of the Zionist movement, was negotiated prior to the eruption three weeks ago of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.
In a move that is likely to pro…

Battle of the Ceasefires: Israel, Hamas Struggle for Moral High Ground

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RSIS Commentary is a platform to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy-relevant commentary and analysis of topical issues and contemporary developments. The views of the authors are their own and do not represent the official position of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. These commentaries may be reproduced electronically or in print with prior permission from RSIS and due recognition to the author(s) and RSIS. Please email: RSISPublications@ntu.edu.sgfor feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentaries, Mr Yang Razali Kassim. 
No. 151/2014 dated 29 July 2014 Battle of the Ceasefires:
Israel, Hamas Struggle for Moral High Ground

By James M. Dorsey Synopsis

If Israel came close to destroying Hamas in two earlier confrontations in 2008/9 and 2012, it has succeeded in the latest round of fighting to rescue the group from potential demise. Hamas is emerging as the key player capable of cornering Israel politically and diplomatically despite its military superiority.

Comme…

The 2022 World Cup: A potential Monkey Wrench for Change (JMD in The International Journal of the History of Sport)

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The 2022 World Cup: A potential MonkeyWrench for Change
By James M. Dorsey



Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Co-director, Institute of Fan Culture, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany
This is the Accepted Manuscript of this article that was published by Taylor Francis Group in The International Journal of the History of Sport, DOI: 10.1080/09523367.2014.929115
James M. Dorsey is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is also co-director of the University of W├╝rzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a book with the same title and two forthcoming books on the Middle East and North Africa.

Key words: sports; labour rights; Qatar; Gulf; trade unions; security; defence;
Abstract
The controversial awarding to Qatar of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the world’s most important sporting event a…