Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat hosted a discussion organized by NIF on racism in the city. NIF’s campaign against racism in soccer brought dozens of Arab and Jewish youth players from eight teams in Jerusalem to sit together in the municipality council chamber and hear a discussion on racism in soccer led by the city's biggest stars. Media coverage of the event focused on the courageous statement by Betar Jerusalem captain Aviram Bruchian, "Personally I would be happy to have an Arab player on Betar."
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (second right) hosts NIF's anti-racism event. Betar captain Aviram Bruchian (left) wants an Arab player on the team.
This is an important breakthrough from the team, which has never signed an Arab player, and whose fans are known to be by far the most racist in Israel by every NIF Index since our campaign began in 2003.
In addition to the Betar captain and other star players, the panel discussion included Hapoel Jerusalem captain Shai Aharon and Hapoel Katamon's Arab star Salam Saleme. Mayor Barkat said that above and beyond the moral dimension, "racism and violence also deter potential investors from sport."
Click here to view a photo album from the event.