Hero For Israel An Arab

In the dying minutes of a World Cup qualifer between Israel and Ireland, Abbas Suan homed in a match-tying goal that sent the Israeli fans erupting with great celebration in the stands. An Israeli Arab, Suan said later that it was sweet revenge for him after he had earned some taunting from a home crowd last month in a friendly soccer game against Croatia. The “sweet revenge” thing is a little stain in the eye but I guess those words were uttered in a “sweet attempt” to validate the citizenry of Arabs in Israel, which composes about 20% of the population in the Jewish state.

This development is something ultimately desirable in a region that was long scarred by hatred and animosity between Arabs and Jews; two people who in fact share the same semitic roots. We all remember the biblical Shem, the great grandpa of Abraham and both Jewish people and Arabs are called Semites because they all descended from him. Despite the common lineage, the two people do not meet eye to eye and is in fact constantly going after at each other’s throat since the time we can remember. Pardon the somewhat harsh depiction of the conflict but Jews and Arabs should be made more aware of their common ancestry and use this knowledge to foster more understanding and amity amongst them. Their age-old conflict seems to be ethnical in character yet in truth, they share the same ethical roots (despite the more apparent territorial causes of the wars between the two sides). This is to me a monumental irony.

With this Israel’s celebration of a soccer goal by an Arab, we could only hope that lasting peace and understanding would be hastened in the middle-east region and stifle any explosion of animosity on a global scale. That region had always been a sleeping time bomb and if the world won’t give it proper attention, in order to resolve the quarrels that had seen the bloods of thousands and thousands of men, women and children wasted on the tarmac of hate and dissension, it might soon become the flashpoint of a much graver disturbance, in a scale that can disturb world peace.
Sports then I realized can be a tool for peace and understanding. Let there be more sports in the world therefore.
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