יורדים מן המגרש הביתי: על כדורגלנים יורדים בשני העשורים הראשונים לקיומה של מדינת ישראל

Translated title of the contribution: Abandoning the Home Field: Footballers Who Left Israel During The State’s First Two Decades

אודי כרמי, אמיר בן פורת

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Zionist movement attributed special importance to aliya (immigration to Israel), while its attitude toward yerida (emigration from Israel) was usually hostile. At a time when the state was dealing with the challenges of absorbing immigrants, a number of outstanding footballers, considered cultural symbols,chose to leave Israel. This emigration of Israeli football players was limited in scope: only a few dozen players from various clubs left to play professional football overseas. Nevertheless, their emigration provoked strong responses from the Israeli media, sport institutions and politicians from across the political spectrum, responses that were disproportionate to the extent of this emigration. The public debate about these footballers’ emigration created the impression that this was a national problem. The paper discusses this emigration in the context of two prominent attributes of Israeli football in the first two decades of statehood: its political nature and its amateurism –it was run by political factions that determined its status and its (modest) budget, and players were not remunerated for playing football and were therefore forced to work to support themselves. Some of them felt that this amateurism threatened their ability to make a living and prevented them from realizing their talents, and therefore chose to seek their for tunes else where. This paper examines the emigration of these football players, focusing on the public response and efforts to prevent it from spreading.Almost all the Zionist institutions mobilized to fight the players’ departure. In its third decade, Israeli society underwent structural changes. Abandoning the home field was no longer perceived as a threat to the Zionist enterprise, and people no longer got excited about football players who left to improve their financial situation, particularly because they usually came home eventually.
Translated title of the contributionAbandoning the Home Field: Footballers Who Left Israel During The State’s First Two Decades
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)115-144
Number of pages30
Journalקתדרה: לתולדות ארץ-ישראל וישובה
Volume180
StatePublished - 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Abandoning the Home Field: Footballers Who Left Israel During The State’s First Two Decades'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this