Israeli Premiere Soccer League leader Beitar Jerusalem has been sold to a Sheikh from the United Arab Emirates, well at least half of the team anyway. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi paid about $90 million for a 50% stake in the team.
So now an Arab Sheikh from a Gulf State has partnered in the ownership of an Israeli sports franchise. Would David Ben-Gurion or Menachem Begin have ever dreamt that something like this could happen? Would people have predicted such a move even five years ago, let alone ten?
Beitar owner Moshe Hoeg said, “On the eve of Hanukkah (Which starts on Thursday) the Beitar Menorah is lit in a new and especially exciting light. We are all marching together, the club, to new days of coexistence.”
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A historic and exciting day for Beitar Jerusalem. This afternoon (monday) a partnership agreement was signed between Mr. Moshe Hogeg and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan >> https://t.co/xJlNJChIGV pic.twitter.com/CPC5f3F1pF
— Beitar Jerusalem FC (@fcbeitar) December 7, 2020
Naum Cohen, chairman of the NY Koen group who mediated the deal between the sheikh and Beitar, said, “We see today how peace between leaders begins to seep in and be translated into actual peace between the two peoples. This deal is also going to promote Beitar Jerusalem to the European arena and turn it into a team that knows how to face the best teams in the world.”
Excited about the future business possibilities now open to Israelis in the UAE Cohen added, “we hope that this deal will give a boost and encouragement to many more businesses between the two peoples. ”
Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the son of current Emir of Abu Dhabi emirate and President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Abu Dhabi is one of the Arab kingdoms which make up the United Arab Emirates.
He graduated in 1993 from the University of California Irvine, USA and holds a Masters of Business Administration. He is also the chairman & CEO of several commercial, industrial, and financial enterprises.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Nahian said, “I am excited to be a partner in such a glorious club as I have heard of it and in such a city – the capital of Israel and one of the holiest cities in the world. “I have heard a lot about the change that is taking place in the club and the way things are going, and I am happy to take part in that.”
Beitar Jerusalem tweeted, “A historic and exciting day for Beitar Jerusalem. This afternoon (monday) a partnership agreement was signed between Mr. Moshe Hogeg and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan”
Just last week the team tweeted, “The club’s delegation to Dubai, lead by club owner Moshe Hogeg had its first meeting today with Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, chairman of NY Koen Group Mr. Naum Koen, leader of the jewish community in Dubai Mr. Solly wolf and CEO of HBK DOP Mr. Anwar Hussein.”