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View Full Version : Peer: new tennis center in Israel proves cooperation between Arabs & Jews is possible


shirgan
Jun 7th, 2010, 09:53 AM
At an opening ceremony for a new tennis center in the city of Akko (in northern Israel), Shahar Peer played an exhibition match with a young local tennis player.

The city of Akko has a diverse population including 30% Arabs, and the tennis center was erected with the specific aim "to encourage dialogue and coexistence between Jewish and Arab children and their communities"

In an interview with local press Peer said that "this kind of cooperation in sport and in general, proves the two people (Arab and Jewish) can work together. This is a welcomed cooperation especially in a city which symbolizes the coexistence between Arabs and Jews."

a short clip from the exhibition match:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbvTf9SpCNc

The interview (in Hebrew):
http://big.one.co.il/Cat/HonorBoth/ShowHonorBoth.aspx?id=42442

The complete press release:
Akko is one of the oldest and most historically renowned cities in Israel, dating back over 4,000 years. Akko is also one of the most diverse cities in Israel: out of approximately 53,000 residents, 15,000 are of Arabic descent while 13,000 are from the former Soviet Union. Unfortunately, Akko scores 4 out of 10 on Israel's socio-economic scale and faces many socio-economic challenges. Unemployment rates are higher than the national average while average incomes are considerably lower. The second Lebanese War has also taken its toll on Akko and the nearby areas; residents have suffered from bombardments and many still cope with post-traumatic stress.
The Akko Municipality, the Jewish Agency, the IDB Foundation in Israel and the Israel Tennis Center have partnered together in a unique joint venture to which each party brings its special and specific skills, acumen and standards of excellence. Since 20% of Akko's residents are less than 14 years of age, the Israel Tennis Center in Akko will attempt to create a new and better reality for its residents and especially for its children. The Israel Tennis Center in Akko will also be located close to a major highway leading to many populated areas in Northern Israel. This location is not by chance; it is part of the unique vision to create a safe and structured environment not only for Akko residents, but for an entire region.
Over 30% of the population in Akko is Arab; therefore, the Israel Tennis Center in Akko will have a strong cross-cultural emphasis and will aim to encourage dialogue and coexistence between Jewish and Arab children and their communities. This is of great importance, as Akko has been the forefront of recent clashes between Arabs and Jews that have rekindled feelings of hostility and mistrust between the two neighboring communities. At this point in Israel's history and in light of the inter-racial tensions dictating so much of the prevailing stressful ways of life of both Jews and Arabs, it is more important than ever to strengthen the ties between the two communities. There is no better way to do so than through joint sporting activities in a positive cultural and educational environment.

http://www.israeltenniscenter.com/htmls/tennisakko.aspx?c0=13143&bsp=13144&bss53=13144

tennisvideos
Jun 7th, 2010, 10:07 AM
Thats a great thing. Of course most problems are created by the leaders of countries, those pulling the strings behind the leaders as well as the press. I am sure most of the populations would get along just fine if it wasn't for those pulling the strings and creating events and tensions for their own gain (read those involved at the top of the incredibly profitable military machine worldwide). Notice how much political money is spent on defence compared to basic needs of the people?

These sort of things show what can be done by real people.

LightsOut!
Jun 7th, 2010, 10:21 AM
:yeah:

améliemomo
Jun 7th, 2010, 11:13 AM
of course there's a possible cooperation between jews and arabs

Israel has to stop being that "overmilitary" like we saw it recently.
Communication is more efficient than using force and humiliation over arabic population.
Sport is pacific so it works.

shirgan
Jun 7th, 2010, 12:23 PM
picture of the ribbon cutting:

http://www.nrg.co.il/images//archive/300x225/1/233/299.jpg

picture with Akko local who played with Shahar:

http://images.one.co.il/images/d/dmain/361_185/gg935515.jpg


more video and pictures here:
http://www.one.co.il/Cat/Articles/Article.aspx?id=159656&Bz=7&categoryid=0&tableid=0

tennisbum79
Jun 7th, 2010, 12:24 PM
cautiosly optimistic.

But would Israel give full and equal access to Arab youth as it does to Jews?
Given the limited rights of Israeli Arabs, I am skeptical.

The local community intention is to be commended and praised, but if the government takes over and carries out measures(curtailing Arab rights) in the name of securiy, this could dash the hopes of well intentioned people.

shirgan
Jun 7th, 2010, 12:45 PM
cautiosly optimistic.

But would Israel give full and equal access to Arab youth as it does to Jews?
Given the limited right of Israeli Arab, I am skeptical.

The local community intention is to be commended and praised, but if the government takes over and carries out measures(curtailing Arab rights) in the name of securiy, this could dash the hopes of well intentioned people.
There are no special limitations for Arabs to enter a public place within Israel proper.
(the occupied territories are a different "ball game" in that regard and have no connection to this story)
The limitations that do exist, exist for everyone - Everyone's bag gets checked when they enter a mall etc.

Still, There are proven differences in employment opportunities and investment in infrastructure between Arabs and Jews, that's why it's so great that this center was created in a city where not only Jews live, and in a juncture point geographically that can allow access to many people from different villages/towns in the area (many of them Arab as well).

is1531
Jun 7th, 2010, 12:52 PM
Thats a great thing. Of course most problems are created by the leaders of countries, those pulling the strings behind the leaders as well as the press. I am sure most of the populations would get along just fine if it wasn't for those pulling the strings and creating events and tensions for their own gain (read those involved at the top of the incredibly profitable military machine worldwide). Notice how much political money is spent on defence compared to basic needs of the people?

These sort of things show what can be done by real people.

Well stated.

tennisbum79
Jun 7th, 2010, 01:03 PM
There are no special limitations for Arabs to enter a public place within Israel proper.
(the occupied territories are a different "ball game" in that regard and have no connection to this story)
The limitations that do exist, exist for everyone - Everyone's bag gets checked when they enter a mall etc.

There are proven differences in employment opportunities and investment in infrastructure between Arabs and Jews, that's why it's so great that this center was created in a city where not only Jews live, and in a juncture point geographically that can allow access to many people from different villages/towns in the area (many of them Arab as well).
I would like to believe you, but unfortunately, Israeli Arabs complaints over second class citizenship treatment is well documented.

If there is difference in employment opportunities as you point out, what makes you think it would be different here?
Youth get frustrared when they see overt evidence of injustice and nobody does anything to correct it.

Now that Arab youth will have equal access to this facility, I am sure they will also pay attention to the makeup of the staff that works there, especially those they come in contact with when they visit the place.
If they think it does not reflect their represenation, or/and feel mistreated by the people working there, they will not be happy and may express their frustration by stopping to come there.

Look, I am not trying to rain the parade here, but existing conditions just tempered the optimistic outlook that the story suggests.

However, this move is well intentioned and hope it bring down the tension between the 2 communities.

shirgan
Jun 7th, 2010, 01:12 PM
I would like to believe you, but unfortunately, Israeli Arabs complaints over second class citizenship treatment is well documented.

If there is difference in employment opportunities as you point out, what makes you think it would be different here.
Youth get frustrared when they see overt evidence of injustice and nobody does anything to correct it.
Now that Arab youth will have equal access to this facility, I am sure thye will also pay attention to the makeup of the staff that works there. If they think it does not reflect their represenation, and they feel mistreated by the people working there, they will not be happy and may express their frustration by stopping to come there.

Look, I am not trying to rain the parade here, but existing conditions just tempered the optimistic outlook that the story suggests.

However, this move is well intentioned and hope it bring down the tension between the 2 communities.
Only time will tell how things will work out in this center. From my experience there is good cooperation in many situations in Israel between Arabs and Jews on a person-to-person basis, despite all the problems.
Maybe not enough, but it exists.

tennisbum79
Jun 7th, 2010, 01:19 PM
Only time will tell how things will work out in this center. From my experience there is good cooperation in many situations in Israel between Arabs and Jews on a person-to-person basis, despite all the problems.
Maybe not enough, but it exists.
I agree.