Sunday, November 22, 2009

Algerian Sports Fans Use Israel to Insult Egypt

I don't pretend to have any special knowledge or insight into Arab culture, but this story trikes me as a stark example of the feelings that need to be overcome before there can be real peace in the region.

As explained here, Egypt and Algeria have seen their fair share of (probably really limited) civil unrest in the wake of World Cup Qualifying soccer (football) games between the two countries.

In one show of partisanship an Algerian hacker broke into the Egyptian Football team website and posted an Egyptian flag with a Star of David on in. He added the comment "You ******* deal with Israel all the time, you are not men."

In other words, the highest insult to masculinity and honor that this Algerian hacker seems to be able to proffer is that Egypt and Israel have dealings. I imagine that the elimination of this feeling that a nation's honor is assailed by dealing with Israel in any way would go a long way in taking that first step towards positive, low level relations which could eventually lead to a more lasting peaceful situation in the middle east. When such an option is foreclosed because of the fear of not being a man, it's hard to see how any progress can be made.


Anonymous said...

When French imam Dalil Boubakeur publicly praised Israel's environmental technology, he was accused of abandoning the values of the Algerian revolution.

abravanel said...

Not really uncommon also in other countries, Greece, The Netherlands (hissing sounds resembling gas chambers heard by FC Ajax's opponents) etc

bathmate said...
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Charlie H. Ettinson said...

I'm sorry for responding to both of you so long after you posted.

To the anonymous commentor: I think the case you point to is perhaps even more stark than the one I found. Here a person is being punished merely for suggesting that there may be something, anything, good to come from Israel.

Abravanel, thank you for your comment, and welcome. I wonder, what about these teams make the crowds want to make hissing sounds like the gas chamber? Couldn't it just be a hiss? We hear hissing sounds at sporting events here all the time and I don't really take them to mean anything.

PS. Abravanel, I'm impressed with your personal blog!

abravanel said...

Thanks for the kind words but in my case I am indeed on the shoulder of giants :-)

Nope, the hissing actually refers to the gas chambers. Ajax FC fans are called "Jews" and this way their opponents try to taunt them. Ajax FC fans on the other hand have taken it upon them and israeli flags are almost always waved in the games; take a look here, I think you'll find it interesting.