Monday, April 27, 2015

  • Monday, April 27, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Inside World Football:
A rightwing Israeli non-governmental organisation has stepped up the propaganda war of words over the treatment of Palestinian footballers in the West Bank and Gaza by blaming Palestinian football leader Jibril Rajoub for deliberately stirring up trouble.

Mattot Arim has responded to Rajoub's call for Israel to be suspended by FIFA by urging world football's governing body to expel Rajoub instead because, it claims, he is a front for promoting terrorism.

Responding to the demand for Israel to be thrown out of FIFA unless restrictions on Palestinian footballers travelling between the West bank and Gaza are lifted, Mattot Arim says such restrictions are necessary because of ongoing security concerns, accusing Rajoub of "openly mis-using sports venues at which to praise terrorism and present murderers as desirable role models."

In emailed correspondence containing extremely uncompromising language, Mattot Arim, formed in 1992, refutes what it describes as Rajoub's "baseless accusations" saying the head of the Palestine Football Association is in no position to complain about racism because "he himself" has publicly referred to "Jews, Satans, Zionist sons of bitches."

In its hard-hitting letter to FIFA, part of which has been seen by Insideworldfootball, Mattot Arim takes Rajoub to task on a number of issues. One of these is a claim that Rajoub personally opposed a match between Palestinian and Israeli children even though it was sponsored by the so-called Israeli Peres Centre for Peace.

"FIFA's mission is 'developing football for all...building a better future for all through football'," the letter to FIFA says. "But Rajoub's philosophy is exactly the opposite. Suspend Rajoub - not Israel."

Whether Mattot Arim's rant - similar in tone to many of Rajoub's personal attacks on Israeli behaviour - can be taken seriously is open to question given its staunch rightwing status. But it illustrates the depth of feeling on both sides and comes at a highly sensitive time in FIFA's attempts at mediation, with the FIFA Congress just over a month away.
Pointing out Rajoub's support for terror becomes an invalid point if  it comes from a "rightwing" source?

I received a copy of the entire letter written by Mattot Arim:

Dear FIFA leadership,

re: FIFA - Suspend Rajoub - not Israel!

Next month, Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Association (affiliated with FIFA), will ask the FIFA Congress to suspend Israel from international soccer.

We ask that you suspend Rajoub, instead. Here's why:

FIFA's mission is "Developing football... for all ...promote it globally in the light of its unifying...value.... unite and inspire the world through ...competitions ....Football can ...break down barriers.... building a better future for all through football." But Rajoub's philosophy is the exact opposite.

3 examples:

1. "[A]ny activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity. ... the Palestinian sports leadership ...- the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association - have opposed such activities....I demand that all individuals and institutions distance themselves from such activities".
(Rajoub's statements were made in response to a football match between Palestinian and Israeli children sponsored by the Israeli Peres Center for Peace).
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 8, 2014; also posted to Jibril Rajoub's official Facebook page, Sept. 6, 2014.

2. "Rajoub ... noted that the Palestinian teams that are under the responsibility of the Olympic Committee ...will not play under any circumstances, inside the Green Line" (i.e. in Israel).
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 16, 2012.

3. "Something that has no place in the dictionary of Palestinian sportsmen is ...normalization with the occupation (i.e. with Israel). Impossible, impossible, impossible...I understand by normalization that ...we'll play [sports] together .... I say to you: Under no circumstances will there be normalization. Next time we are prepared to bring the Executive Committee in helicopters... so they will see no Jews, no Satans, no Zionist sons of bitches."
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, May 17, 2012.

Even worse, Rajoub routinely abuses sport competitions, using them as venues at which to praise terrorists and present murderers as desirable role models. 3 examples:

1. Dalal Mughrabi hijacked a bus in 1978, killing 37 civilians, 12 of them children. She was glorified in a women's ping pong tournament sponsored by Rajoub in 2013. ("The Martyr (Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi Women's Table Tennis Tournament ... will be sponsored by Chairman of the Olympic Committee Jibril Rajoub" - Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, Sept. 26, 2013).

2. Hassan Salameh planned the murder of 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics in 1972. The official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, reported on "the Second Palestine Boxing Tournament for youth and men in Hebron" held "In the presence of Rajoub" and "named ... after Shahid Ali Hassan Salameh, the 'Red Prince.'" (Aug. 9, 2010).

3. Abu Jihad, also known as Khalil Al-Wazir, planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks, including the 1978 hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children. The Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, reported on June 11, 2010 that the "Khalil Al-Wazir (Abu Jihad) 16th Football Tournament for youth" would be held "under the supervision of the Palestinian Football Association" and in the presence of a "representative of Jibril Rajoub". The newspaper referred to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida as "The Prince of Shahids (Martyrs)".

Note that Rajoub's revolting endorsements of terrorism are reported by Palestinian news sources using his organizational affiliation! For example, Ma'an, a Palestinian news agency, reported on July 17, 2013 that "Chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub" eulogized Ahmad Jabarah Abu Sukkar (a mass murderer), as "patriotic" and a "caring father of generations of struggle". Rajoub even praised the mass murderer's "pure soul" and spoke of "our adherence to the principles and goals that he dedicated his long life to protect". Ahmad Abu Sukkar planned a bombing attack in 1975 in which 15 were killed and over 60 were wounded.

Rajoub has even explicitly and publicly encouraged murder of civilians ("Am I stopping you from slaughtering a settlement? No one is stopping anyone. ...No one is stopping anyone", Awdah independent Palestinian TV channel, Aug. 13, 2014). Rajoub has never retracted (or been called upon to retract) this statement.

Rajoub links FIFA, and world football, to terrorism. He is a stain on your organization. Please suspend him.

S. Dym, spokesperson on behalf of Mattot Arim an Israeli NGO working toward peace-for-peace since 1992 
(h/t YK)

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