Arab-Israeli soccer star to quit team over controversial Instagram post

Moanes Dabbur was suspended over a post that soccer officials felt fueled Arab-Jewish violence.

By World Israel News Staff

Arab-Israeli soccer star Moanes Dabbur may quit the Israeli national team amid fallout from his controversial Instagram post.

In an interview with Israel’s Sport 5 channel on Sunday, Dabbur’s brother, Anas, said the 29-year-old striker, who currently plays for the German team Hoffenheim, “didn’t do anything wrong.”

In May, during Operation Guardian of the Walls, the Nazareth native posted on Instagram an image of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It was captioned with the Koranic verse, “God will deal with the perpetrators of injustice.”

Fans, soccer players and Knesset members denounced Dabbur’s post. With Jews and Arabs clashing in mixed cities, many felt Dabbur added fuel to the violence. Soon after, the Israeli Football Association suspended him from the national team until further notice.

Dabbur hasn’t publicly commented on the suspension, and his brother’s interview is the first time someone has spoken out on his behalf.

“He just quoted a Quran verse, not expressing an opinion. It’s disappointing that someone like Moanes, a leading player in the national team, gets this kind of treatment,” Anas said.

“I think there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll be back in the national team. He won’t return if he gets booed. He didn’t attack Jews, he quoted the Quran.”

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Anas Dabbur, also a soccer player, is midfielder for Maccabi Ahi Nazareth.