Iran was recently banned from all matches by the judo federation for boycotting Israel, and the time has come to ban the Palestinian Authority from international soccer competition for the same reason!
Israel is riding high on the success of a match this week featuring two of the world’s top soccer players, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, who brought their squads from Argentina and Uruguay for a showdown in Tel Aviv.
While close to 30,000 fans were delighted to an action-packed world-class match, the event almost didn’t happen.
Just 18 months earlier, Messi was intimidated into cancelling a match in the Holy Land between Argentina and Israel, primarily due to the boycott efforts of the BDS movement, which were spearheaded by President of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), Jibril Rajoub.
In 2018, Rajoub very publicly warned Messi that if he played in the Jewish state, he would make sure that the Argentinian superstar’s jerseys were burned throughout the Mideast. Red-paint soaked jerseys, which appeared to be covered in blood, were waived by protesters in the run-up to the match, with Messi cancelling the match just days before it took place, out of fear for fear his safety that of his teammates.
Rajoub attempted to pull the same stunt again when the Argentina-Uruguay match was announced, but Messi and Suarez stuck to their guns, defying rocket attacks on Tel Aviv by Palestinian Islamic Jihad just days before the big match.
FIFA Must Take a Stand Against Incitement
The threats in 2018 earned Rajoub a one-year suspension from the international soccer sanctioning body (FIFA) and a fine of over $20,000 for violating FIFA Disciplinary Code’s Article 53, which prohibits “inciting hatred and violence.”
Rajoub remains unrepentant, however, continuing to spearhead a Palestinian-lead boycott campaign that seeks to delegitimatize and demonize the Jewish state by preventing Palestinians, and any one else Rajoub and his minions can bully, from competing against Israelis in international sports competitions.
According to a report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Rajoub posted the following to Facebook in October: “We have defined what [our ban on] ‘normalization’ with the occupation entails: A. No Arab will participate in any sports activity in Israel, in other words, one that Israel hosts. B. We reject that any Arab or Islamic state host any championship with the participation of Israelis. C. Any athlete who advances a stage and an Israeli is competing against him will not meet him.”
This is almost identical to the policy that Iran foists on its athletes, forcing them to throw matches in international martial arts competitions to avoid facing Israeli athletes.
Recently, both Iranian athletes and the International Judo Federation (IJF) said “enough is enough!” Not only did Iranian judo star Saeid Mollaei defect to Germany in protest of his nation’s Israel policy, the IJF also banned Iran from international competitions until it ends its discriminatory policy targeting Israel.
It’s high time FIFA took the same action to halt Rajoub and the PFA’s virulently anti-Israel campaign!
You can do your part by calling on FIFA to suspend Rajoub and all Palestinian participation in FIFA-sanctioned sport activities until they stop boycotting competitions with Israelis.
FIFA must suspend Rajoub and Palestinian Football Association Over their Hateful Anti-Israel Boycotts!
1. Click here to send FIFA a message via Facebook.
2. Click here to find your local FIFA association to submit a complaint directly to them.
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