The Israeli-Palestinian basketball teams that are breaking all barriers

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    Jun 05, 2016 11:45 PM GMT -- Two teenage girls practice 3-pointers and layups at the end of a team workout session. They wear bright basketball shorts and T-shirts, and their hair is tied back in long, dark ponytails. From the bleachers, their coach, Rebecca Ross, watches them chatter away, switching seamlessly between Hebrew and Arabic.

    Ofir (the girls' last names are withheld for privacy reasons), 15, with lighter brown hair and a round face, is a Jewish Israeli from a leafy south-central neighborhood. Malak, 16, a player with reedy legs and quick speed, is a Muslim Palestinian from Shuafat, a village adjacent to a refugee camp on the northeast side of Jerusalem.

    "This is not normal," says Ross, a Jewish Israeli-American citizen, in English, sweeping her arm in the direction of the girls. "This doesn't happen. You can't find this anywhere else in the city."

    ..."I thought the Jews would hurt me, or they'd grow up to hurt me," says a 16-year-old Palestinian team member who'd prefer not to have her name used.

    "I had heard that all the Arabs were terrorists, and everyone wants to kill us, and I thought we were supposed to hate each other," says a 15-year-old Israeli player.

    They expected that getting along would require hours of conversation. But there is nothing like the rapport of teammates, and focusing on basketball was enough. They linger after practices, text often during the week and spend weekend retreats laughing and talking into the night about music and friends and school.

    "A basketball team is based on trust and friendship," says Toot, an 18-year-old Israeli who is nearly the tallest and oldest on the U-18 team.

    "Basketball gives you a chance to play together and to succeed. I was surprised to see that they felt exactly like me. ...

  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5726

    Jun 06, 2016 1:43 AM GMT
    Sports can really bring people together. My 2006 Gay Games football team had a Lebanese Arab-American QB and another Palestinian Arab-American WR. We all got along fine (and still do).

    Note: we were playing the 2nd week of July, right when Hizbullah was busy starting a war on Israel's northern border.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5726

    Jun 06, 2016 3:11 AM GMT
    Poor freak, didn't understand that this thread was positive:

    KINDNESS: Whether a wounded attacker or victim, Jewish doctor saves Palestinians, Muslim doctor saves Jews.
    Palestinians saves life of Jewish soldier. Israeli military medic saves Palestinian youth

    He also views the peace thread as negative because he's against it.

    Let's talk peace: The two-state solution
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    Jun 06, 2016 4:08 AM GMT
    Yeah, that one was tougher to figure out, being called Kindness and all. And seeking peace and a two-state solution? Always suspect.

    Could just be he's not very good at multitasking, being too busy attempting to harass me with his OnTarget puppet posting in violation of TOS my pic into any number of various threads. Or perhaps it's just a coincidence that some other douchebag cranked that up right about when this one showed up.

    And then was his comment on this post even the slightest sincere, or just more of the same. How is it that he couldn't take one moment to stop his attacking. Even assuming he's so demented as to have not remembered the previous positive threads, here he posts not a contribution to positivity but just more of the same?

    That's some entrance this guy has made into the forum.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5726

    Jun 06, 2016 6:43 AM GMT
    To borrow from (or fix) Dan Quayle:

    A mind sick with hate is a terrible thing to have.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5726

    Jun 06, 2016 5:34 PM GMT
    Oh, dear, AyaTrolLiar founcer forgot he was pretending to have me on ignore.
    Maybe he had one of his sock-puppets email him what I said? Is Kiriak back?
    Hopefully one day he'll grow up and not be bored to death in his mum's basement.