Arab-Israeli soccer star Moanes Dabbur may not return to national team


Arab-Israeli footballer Moanes Dabbur’s brother on Sunday gave an interview to Sport 5, reflecting on Dabbur’s controversial Instagram post during Operation Guardian of the Walls, saying his brother had done nothing wrong and wouldn’t return to the Israeli national team if he gets booed by the fans.

In the midst of Operation Guardian of the Walls and as violent clashes unfolded between Jews and Arabs on the Temple Mount, the Arab-Israeli football star sent an Instagram post on May 8, featuring the image of the mosque. Al-Aqsa, with the caption “God will deal with the perpetrators of injustice”, a verse from the Koran.

His post sparked much controversy among Israeli sports fans, as tensions between Jews and Arabs in Israel had already peaked due to the violence on the Temple Mount and clashes in the mixed towns.
Following his controversial post, the Israel Football Association (IFA) suspended Dabbur from the national team until further notice. Israelis, such as former Likud MP Oren Hazan, responded to the post and Dabbur’s subsequent suspension from the national team, saying “Whoever kicks a cow will not suck on its udders . “

Dabbur’s older brother Anas, also a footballer, has given an interview to Sport 5 to voice his opinion on the controversy.

“He didn’t do anything wrong,” his brother said. “He just quoted a verse from the Koran, without expressing an opinion. It is disappointing that someone like Moanes, a leading national team player, receives this kind of treatment,” added Anas.

“Currently, Moanes doesn’t want to play for the national team. He was hurt by the comments left on his post by fans. Why are others allowed to speak out and he isn’t?” his brother asked. “I think there’s a 50-50 chance that he’ll be back in the national team. He won’t come back if he gets booed. He didn’t attack the Jews, he quoted the Quran. ” This is the first comment on behalf of or by Dabbur since his suspension from the national team.

Dabbur, a 29-year-old Nazareth-born Arab-Israeli, currently plays for German soccer club Hoffenheim and has 29 Israeli national team appearances to his name.

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