Likud on the terraces

Prospect Magazine

Likud on the terraces

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Seventy per cent of Jewish Israelis say they want a two-state solution. That doesn’t mean they have a high opinion of Arabs. Consider the hardcore fans of Beitar Jerusalem FC

Beitar Jerusalem fans burn flares during an away game against Maccabi Netanya

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If he is an everyman, he certainly has the right name—Guy Israeli. By day, our man in Jerusalem is a tax consultant, but by night he is the “godfather” of La Familia, the football ultras who support the Israeli champions, Beitar Jerusalem. Tonight’s game is an Israeli Cup tie, away to second division Ahi Nazareth, an Arab club in the lower Galilee.

We pull off the sharply lit trunk road into darkness. In the car’s beams we pick out the broken street lamps, the pitted road and accumulated rubbish that announce our arrival in Arab Israel. Ahi Nazareth’s ground sits on a high spike of a hill on the city’s outskirts. On the summit, the floodlights of the citadel-stadium send a flare of light into the sky.


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David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt
David Goldblatt is a writer, broadcaster, and the author of “The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football” (Penguin) 

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