Israeli Football: Culture, Politics, and Identity focuses on the diverse aspects of the evolution of Israeli football and the social effects of these on-going processes.
In the span of nine decades, Israeli football has become a faithful representation of society and its key developments. The organizational structure of the teams and their ethnic composition, fans’ chants and behaviors in the stands, gender-related issues, media involvement, and other issues have reflected important societal trends and transformations. Examples of such trends include a shift from political to private ownership of football teams, a shift from Ashkenazi to Sephardi dominance, increasing diversification of the national team — from exclusive Jewish presence to a significant presence of Arab players, including a non-Jewish captain of the national team, a shift from local-based to global-based fandom. These changes, reflecting major milestones in the evolution of Israeli football, did not occur in a vacuum but rather were integrally related to broader local and global trends. These effects may even have had a reciprocal nature, where developments in the sport sphere also affected the public sphere and prepared the ground for social change.
The chapters in this book were first published as a special issue of the journal Israel Affairs.
Introduction: Older than the state: ninety years of Israeli football through the looking glass
Ilan Tamir and Yair Galily
1. The establishment of the Eretz Israel football association
Haim Kaufman and Ilan Tamir
2. The changing face of fandom: the case of Israeli football supporters
Yair Galily and Tal Samuel-Azran
3. ‘We want to be like Europe, but we are struggling to survive’: Professional Football Training for Israeli children since the 2000s
4. "It’s not exactly soccer and the Players aren’t exactly women": Contemporary attitudes to women’s football in Israel
5. Getting lost in the zone of transition: analyzing the lifecycle of Israeli soccer stars in becoming coaches
Assaf Lev and Shlomo Weinish
6. Built heritage or lost nostalgia: Israeli fans and the conservation of sports venues
7. Corruption among sport officials in early Israeli football
Udi Carmi and Moshe Levy