Shalom Life | May 21, 2015

Israeli And Palestinian Children Celebrate The Christmas Truce With Soccer

Children from both the Palestinian Territories and Israel gathered to play soccer, commemorating the Christmas Truce that took place 100 years ago

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: December 16th, 2014 in Sports » Israel

Photo Caption: Palestinian and Israeli kids play soccer commemorating the 'Christmas Truce'

Photo Credit: Jerusalem Post Screenshot


Everyone knows that soccer unites.

During the FIFA World Championship, countries from around the world gather to support their country’s team on the field. However 2014 marks an even greater game of soccer that was played 100 years ago on Christmas.

During the first World War, troops laid down their arms in an unofficial Christmas Truce. As the legend goes, soldiers from both sides of the war put down their guns and played a friendly game of soccer in the no-man’s land between where each army was stationed.

Although there’s no historical proof that such an event between the German Allied troops and the Western Front ever happened, the story has survived for generations and become a beacon of hope for people around the world, including children from both the Palestinian Territories and Israel.

Hosted by the British diplomatic mission in Haifa, children from both countries gathered to play a peaceful game of soccer on Monday. According to an interview with Matthew Gould, the British Ambassador to Israel, as reported by the Jerusalem Post, “(it’s) not just young kids enjoying themselves sharing football but also something very special happening, which is kids from different communities that do not normally get to talk to each other, that do not normally get to play together."

"Building links, building friendships through the medium of football and I cannot think of a better way of commemorating the Christmas truce a hundred years ago than doing this today,” he added.

“Recently, we have a very dangerous gap between the both population, the Arab and the Jews,” explained Zuhair Bahloul, Israeli Arab sport anchor, to the Jerusalem Post, “and I think if we want to look for some of the optimistic position, I think, the co-existence between the Arab and Jewish kids, it is a valuable activity, and I am feeling so proud about that, of course.”

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