The future today

A top player on and off the soccer field, Imaye Taga demonstrates by example that virtue and courage are color-blind

By URI LEVY
August 2, 2017 19:10
Imaye Taga

Imaye Taga. (photo credit: DANNY MAARON)

 
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‘People do not understand what it means to arrive in Israel, the Promised Land, the Jewish State, and to have your Jewishness continuously contested. No one owes me a favor; nobody gives me anything for free. I’m here because I have a right to be here, it is my place. My country. I’m as Jewish as you are, if not more than you. Feeling uncomfortable with what I’m saying? This is your problem.”

The quote above belongs to Imaye Taga, 32, an Israeli footballer of Ethiopian descent who plays for Maccabi Netanya in the Israeli Premier League. He was a permanent member of Israel’s national youth teams while growing up; he played for Hapoel Ashkelon and Hapoel Acre, and made 10 appearances in Israel’s under-21 national team. He is also one of the leading figures of the Israeli-Ethiopian community’s struggle against racism and demand for equality.

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