Beitar Jerusalem football club shows support for Trump embassy move
A football club in Israel is showing its support for both the U.S. president and the controversial relocation this week of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
Beitar Jerusalem, Israel’s top football club, has rebranded itself as Beitar Trump Jerusalem, in response to Donald Trump’s move to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv on Monday.
The football club offered praise to Trump for his courage and efforts in improving U.S. and Israel relations.
“For 70 years has Jerusalem been awaiting international recognition until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel,” said the club in a statement published to Facebook.
“The football club Beitar Jerusalem, one of the most prominent symbols of the city, are happy to honor the President for his love and support with a gesture of our own.”
Although controversy is not foreign to the club, particularly during the 2012-2013 Israeli Premier League season when two fans protested the club signing two Chechen Muslim players by setting the club’s headquarters ablaze, others may see the rebranding as understandable, said Rabbi Levi Jacobson of the Jewish Russian Community Center of Ontario.
“Sports is a way in which people express themselves,” Jacobson told Humber News on Tuesday.
“It’s understandable that when people become excited, they bring it to the sports field as well, as it is an expression of the excitement and the gratitude of the recognition of somebody that is following through on what they all know and believe.”
The changing of a football club’s name can only be made official once approved by the Israel Football Association, as reported by Allon Sinai of The Jerusalem Post.
Beitar Jerusalem, however, remains optimistic in changing its name with the added designation of Trump to its identity, said club spokesman Oshri Dudaei.
“It is a permanent decision, we just have to get clearance from the Israel Football Association, but that should not be a problem,” Dudaei told ABC News. “We want to be known as Beitar Trump Jerusalem.”