“We say to you: If you return [to sin], we will return [to punishment],” the Palestinians threatened Minister Erdan.
An op-ed which appeared in the official Palestinian Authority (PA) directly threatened Israeli Minister for Public Security Gilad Erdan over his actions to have Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub, the driving force behind the Palestinian campaign against Israel in sports, suspended from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Rajoub, a convicted terrorist, currently serves as the head of Palestinian Football Association (PFA) as well the Palestinian Olympic Committee and as the PA’s representative to the IOC.
Erdan last week sent a letter to Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), calling for Rajoub’s suspension from the IOC.
Erdan wrote that “Rajoub was suspended and fined by FIFA for inciting violence. I call on the International Olympic Committee to follow suit.”
In an op-ed in the PA’s Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published on Friday, Palestinian football coach and journalist Abd Al-Fattah Arar wrtites that “if this threat (Erdan’s actions at the IAC) is meant to frighten us so that we will not again defend our cause, we say to you (in plural -Ed.): ‘If you return [to sin], We will return [to punishment],” reported Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
This verse from the Quran that Arar chose to quote is part of Sura 17 which talks about the “Children of Israel” and their various punishments for their “sins.” The verse following the warning quoted in the op-ed promises “Hell for the disbelievers.”
“[Then Allah said], ‘It is expected, [if you repent], that your Lord will have mercy upon you. But if you return [to sin], We will return [to punishment]. And We have made Hell, for the disbelievers, a prison-bed,’” the Quran states.
It is unclear whether the writer meant that the Palestinians, or Allah, would “return to punish” Erdan and the Israelis.
The op-ed further identified PMW, which monitors Palestinian incitement, as the organization exposing the PA’s messaging, and asked PMW to convey the threat to Erdan.
“We hope that the unit that monitors the Palestinian media, Palestinian Media Watch, will pass on this message as it has passed on other messages in the past,” the op-ed said.
PMW did in fact notify Erdan of the threat in the official PA daily.
FIFA: Rajoub ‘Incited Hatred and Violence’
Rajoub has already faced international sanctions over his anti-Israel activities
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, ut was then rescheduled for later this year in Haifa.
“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[s] 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.”