Israeli Football Player Tomer Hemed Lands in Hot Water For Latest (Jewish) Goal Celebration

Israeli soccer player Tomer Hemed – who plays for Wellington Phoenix in Australia’s A-League – has yet again celebrated a goal wearing his Jewish pride on his sleeve.

But believe it or not, he received a yellow card for it, and has landed in hot water.

Wellington Phoenix and the A-League’s independent match review panel are expected to look into Israeli striker Tomer Hemed’s controversial goal celebrations during Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Melbourne City, even though the club has defended the player’s actions.

The former Premier League player scored twice to secure a point against the A-League leaders but it was his celebrations, rather than the goals themselves, that created the biggest talking point from the game.

“We respect people’s rights for their expressions but at the same time we have to be very sensitive to what is going on in the Middle East and the human tragedy that is happening there,” Phoenix general manager David Dome said on Monday, as the team arrived back in Wellington.

“We’ve already spoken to Tomer about that and over the next couple of days we will look into it in more detail and come up with a response about how we’re going to handle it on the day as well.

“I don’t expect a punishment but I think we will get a ‘please explain from the league’.”

During a time of violent conflict between Israel and Palestine, Hemed, a former Israeli international, used his moment in the spotlight to show support to his home country.

“This game is dedicated to you my dear country. My heart is with you. May the peace return soon amen,” Hemed posted on social media after the game.

Hemed was immediately issued a yellow card, the mandatory sanction for covering the face or head with a mask or other covering.

“I know for a fact that when he does that celebration he’s praying for peace,” Dome said. “He doesn’t see it as an insensitive celebration at all.

“He’s proud of his country and as an Israeli abroad he’s trying to express solidarity with his country, but I also think we have to look at the flipside of it as well and there’s a very real human tragedy that’s going on in that part of the world and we have to be sensitive to both sides.

“In a secular society like New Zealand we have to be seen doing the right thing and have to do the right thing, and I think we’ll look into it in more detail this week.”

Meanwhile, Leicester City soccer players Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana did this after winning England’s FA Cup final on Saturday. Fans are encouraged to book their Everton vs Liverpool tickets online at

without any repercussions.

This seems to be a way more overt political statement than Hemed’s, which could be interpreted as praying for peace. All he did was place a yarmulke on his head, which is a Jewish article of clothing.

Which just goes to show you how the haters really do have a problem with Judaism.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media