Arab-Israeli Soccer Player Quits Israeli National Team, Year After Jerusalem Criticism
Israeli forward Munas Dabbur playing for Germany’s Bundesliga team Hoffenheim. Photo: Imago Images Sports via Reuters Connect
Arab-Israeli soccer player Munas Dabbur announced Tuesday that he was leaving the Israeli national team, over a year after he was condemned by teammates and fans for his criticism of Israel regarding Jerusalem.
The 30-year-old forward, who plays for Germany’s Bundesliga team Hoffenheim, shared a post on Instagram announcing his retirement from the Israeli team.
“I would like to inform you of my decision that my part of the Israeli national team has come to an end. I would like to thank my family and everyone who has ever supported me,” he wrote in the caption of a photo of him in the national soccer team’s uniform.
He did not elaborate on why he made the decision.
In May 2021 — amid a wave of unrest surrounding Jerusalem’s holy sites that spilled into Israeli-Arab violence across the country as well as cross-border fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas — Dabbur posted to the same social media platform: “God will deal with the perpetrators of injustice.”
He subsequently explained that the post was directed toward Israel and as a way to protest excessive force by Israeli security forces, according to Haaretz.
After that, he became the target of constant booing by Israeli soccer fans and was not selected to play in the two following matches of the national team.