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“Germany’s Victory over Brazil was like the Blitzkrieg”: The Sport-Politics Nexus in Israel During the 2014 World Cup

Tal Samuel-Azran, Yair Galily, Amit Lavie-Dinur & Yuval Karniel | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Various voices assert that the sport-politics nexus that characterized international sport events during the Cold War era is irrelevant in the current age of globalization. This study examines the validity of this argument via a case study of Jewish-Israelis’ fandom tendencies during the 2014 World Cup. A survey conducted during the World Cup games among a representative sample of the Jewish-Israeli population revealed that the Dutch team, whose popularity in Israel has been attributed to the Netherland’s perceived support of Jews during the Holocaust, was the most supported team. The teams most rooted against were Iran, Germany, and Algeria, indicating the potential role of the Holocaust and contemporary Jewish-Islamic relations on fandom tendencies. To better understand the animosity towards the German team, which is surprising in light of current improved Israel-Germany relations and the strength of the German team, we analyzed user comments on Israel’s main online newspaper following the German team’s glorious 7-1 victory against Brazil. The analysis revealed that 51 of the 287 user comments made direct or indirect references to the Holocaust, further highlighting the centrality of nationalism in contemporary sport fandom.

New Trends of Social Media Use in Iran: Candidates’ Campaigns on Social Networks in the 2013 Presidential Elections

Mina Naeli | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: On June 14th, 2013, Iranians headed to the polls to cast their votes for the country’s next president. The unexpected turnout, that followed months of debates between those who wanted to go back to ballot boxes and those who did not, resulted in the election of Hasan Rouhani, the moderate cleric. About three months after the election, in his interview with NBC NEWS, Mr. Rouhani explained social networks’ role in his victory as undeniable and appreciated his supporters for promoting his campaign on these platforms. This commentary reviews Rouhani’s and the other state candidates’ use of formally blocked social networks during the recent presidential election in Iran, as a very recent shift toward planned and targeted use of social media by the government.

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