Low Football: Finding Israel’s Jewish and Palestinian diversity through lower-league football

In the midst of ongoing turmoil that never seems any nearer to a solution, it can be tempting to assume that Israel is a nation so enveloped by cultural conflict, that every interaction between Israelis and Palestinians is colored by an underlying tension that prevents any sort of mutual understanding. But while political rigidity and cultural stress dominate the headlines, there are nevertheless outlets wherein both populations can not only set aside their differences, but celebrate the diversity of their cultures. 

Gad Salner, an Israeli photographer covering Israel’s Jewish and Palestinian diversity, recently alerted us to his project, ’Kaduregel-Shefel,’ which roughly translates as ‘low football.’ From the forgotten Arab villages of the north to the dusty Jewish neighborhoods of the south, Salner took in lower-league football matches where the seemingly ever-present tension between cultures evaporated. 

From a Jewish -Romanian keeper who led a Muslim Bedouin village to promotion, to the Jewish captain taking part in an Arab ‘clasico,’ or the Arab fans who design their banners in Hebrew, the reality of everyday life in Israel is far more complicated, and far more diverse, than one would assume. 

To learn more about Gad’s project, be sure to visit his website: Kaduregel-Shefel[Posted by Maxi

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