Peace through Superior Football

An international relations expert and a professional football player propose a novel path to Middle East peace: Israel and Palestine should jointly bid to host the World Cup in 2018.

When it comes to wishing for peace in the Middle East – virtually a New Year’s tradition ­– one needs to be careful. So many hopes have vanished in the bitter failure of so many negotiations. But we have a wish for the Middle East – one that, while perhaps not bringing peace, can create one of peace’s preconditions: goodwill. Israel and Palestine should jointly bid for, and be awarded, the Football World Cup in 2018.

The Israel-Palestine conflict has lasted far too long. The Annapolis peace conference ended a seven-year freeze on negotiations, with President George W. Bush asking the conflict’s main protagonists to reach an agreement by the end of 2008.

Nothing prevents us from hoping that a fair and just peace can be achieved by then. There is no curse that keeps Israelis and Palestinians from living side by side peacefully. Where there is a will, there is a way.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To continue reading, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.