“There should be no room in respected international organizations for those who support terror, promote violence and employ threats and intimidation,” Erdan stated.
Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan on Monday sent a letter to Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), calling for the suspension of Palestinian Football Association (PFA) chief Jibril Rajoub from the IOC.
Rajoub currently serves as the head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and as the PA’s representative to the IOC.
A day before the IOC’s Executive Board convened in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, Erdan wrote that “Rajoub was suspended and fined by FIFA for inciting violence. I call on the International Olympic Committee to follow suit.”
In September, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) sanctioned Rajoub for inciting fans against Argentine superstar Lionel Messi.
Rajoub was banned from attending football matches for a year and was fined $20,000 for calling for violence against Messi following plans by the Argentine soccer team to play in Israel in May.
FIFA said Rajoub “incited hatred and violence,” and the punishment marks an embarrassing blow for Rajoub, who has long lobbied FIFA to sanction Israel for what he claimed was a restriction of movement of Palestinian players.
In his letter, Erdan highlighted the fact that Rajoub was suspended and fined by FIFA for inciting violence against players and families of the Argentinian national football team.
As a result of Rajoub’s incitement, a planned friendly match between Israel and Argentina in Jerusalem was canceled but was then rescheduled for later this year in Haifa.
Direct Opposition to Olympic Values
“Rajoub called on football fans to burn shirts and posters of Argentinian National Team player Lionel Messi, simply because Messi was in favor of playing in Israel,” Erdan wrote.
“There should be no room in respected international organizations for those who support terror, promote violence and employ threats and intimidation,” Erdan stated in the missive.
Rajoub’s conduct “stands in direct opposition to the values of the Olympics,” Erdan wrote, and therefore “it is essential that the IOC demonstrate that it is a professional body, guided only by the values of international sport, and not a political body which allows a person who supports violence and terror to be a member.”
He vowed that Israel will “continue to work with our friends in the international community to expose the truth about those who incite against Israel and promote anti-Israel boycotts.”
Rajoub, who served time in an Israeli prison for acts terrorism, is the driving force behind the Palestinian battle against Israel in the world of sports.
“Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity,” Rajoub stated in 2014.
In 2012, slamming the idea of organized sports activities with Israelis, Rajoub stated on PA TV that he would bring Arabs by helicopter to events instead of crossing through Israel “so they will see no Jews, no Satans, no Zionist sons of bitches.”