Unlikely Icebreaker: Israeli hockey club - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Unlikely Icebreaker: Israeli hockey club


An Arab-Jewish hockey team has become an unlikely icebreaker in a remote corner of northern Israel, overcoming barriers of language, culture and conflict.

It's an odd but welcome development in a particularly tense area near the Syrian and Lebanese borders.

Hockey is virtually unheard of in the Middle East and relations between Arabs and Jews in this combustible region are generally downright chilly.

The team is the product of Metulla's Canada Centre, a sprawling sports complex donated to this rural border town in the 1990s by Canadian Jews. The building houses Israel's only Olympic-size hockey rink.

The coach, parents and sponsors all acknowledge the project is only a small step toward peace in the region. And while many players said they were not necessarily close friends, they said the meetings have changed the way they view each other.

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