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Sports The Great Peace Equalizer
By Micah Halpern

Sunday October 25, 2020

I've Been Thinking:

The real measure of success of a peace deal is … sports.

And now that Israel and the UAE have signed normalization agreements, sports competitions have begun.

On Sunday, Maccabi Haifa Football Club announced a cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates' Al-Ain Football Club. They will play a friendly match in Abu Dhabi very soon. The exact date has not yet been set.

Maccabi owner Yaakov Schachar summed it up this way: "I am happy to inform you that our club has been invited to hold a friendly soccer match called the 'Game of Peace', in Abu Dhabi …. I have always believed it was possible to develop friendly relations through sports. We will sign a memorandum of understanding between the two clubs. In a matter of days to create a relationship that will include collaborations on both the sporting and business side."

Al-Ain is the UAE’s national winning team. They have won the local championship 13 times and the Super Cup five times. In 2018, they lost to Real Madrid in the final of the Club World Cup. Real Madrid is the European champions, so even losing to them is an honor.

This will be a great football match. More than that, it is a big step forward towards forging real peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

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26 October 2020 08:54 AM in Thoughts

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