Palestinian Media Watch has called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, from all activities and events related to the Olympics, and demanded his removal from his position in the Olympic organization. In a comprehensive report, PMW has documented that Rajoub has consistently supported terror and even incited to murder. The report includes documentation of Rajoub’s support for attacks during the recent terror wave (2015-2016); his use of his title as Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee when glorifying terror; and his prohibiting of Palestinians from participating in peace building sports activities with Israelis.
“As an overt supporter of Palestinian terrorism, Rajoub represents the antithesis of Olympic values,” PMW argues. “At a time when terror is being fought throughout the world, permitting Rajoub to participate in Olympic Committee activities and events disgraces the International Olympic Committee and the entire Olympics community.”
“Rajoub’s statements and activities are diametrically opposed to the positive values that the Olympic Games stand for, among them ‘to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace,'” PMW added, suggesting that “as the 2016 Olympic Games approach, it is unthinkable that a person who glorifies and encourages murder of civilians should disgrace the Olympics by serving as a recognized Olympic official.”
The Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of the International Olympic Committee, Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, wrote in a response to the complaint that Rajoub is acceptable to the International Olympic Committee because the complaint was based on documentation that was two years old or more, and because Rajoub had not used his title as Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee when glorifying terror. He stated further that the International Olympic Committee “understood” that the Palestine Olympic Committee, headed by Rajoub, is working to “improve relations between the two countries [PA and Israel] through sport.”
On October 3, 2015, Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi attacked an Israeli family on their way to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Halabi first stabbed the father to death and then stabbed and killed another Israeli man who tried to help the family. Halabi then stabbed and injured the mother and the two-year-old baby before he was shot and killed by police.
Just a month later, Jibril Rajoub, in his capacity of Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, decided to honor Halabi’s act of murder by naming a sporting event after him. The text on the banner of the event, which also showed two pictures of the murderer Halabi, displayed Rajoub’s decision to endorse the brutal killing:
“Under patronage of the leader Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestine Olympic Committee. Palestine Cup – Martyr Muhannad Halabi Table Tennis Tournament 2015.”
Rajoub’s decision to honor this terrorist murderer was not an exception but is typical of Rajoub, who is an outspoken terror supporter, even while using his title as Palestine Olympic Committee Chairman, PMW insists, noting that during the wave of Palestinian terror attacks in 2015-2016, which was characterized by hundreds of terrorist stabbings, shootings and car rammings, Rajoub was a leading supporter of the terror, publicly blessing terrorist murderers on TV and encouraging them to kill more Israelis.
PMW states in a press release that Rajoub’s incitement to murder was calculated and precise, defining some targets while rejecting others. For example, he rejected suicide bombings on buses in Tel Aviv because “the international community does not agree to a bus exploding in Tel Aviv,” and explicitly stated that “we want to fight in a way that the world and the international community will remain by our side.” He urged the terrorists to Kill Israelis in a politically acceptable fashion, so that the “international community will remain by our side.”
In addition to his role as chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Rajoub holds the titles of Deputy Secretary of the PLO Central Committee (headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas), Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, and Head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth. In these roles, Rajoub not only supports terror and murder of civilians, he actively counters the spirit of Olympic sports by prohibiting peacebuilding sports activities between Arabs and Israelis. Following the 2014 Gaza War, Rajoub condemned a successful peacebuilding event between Israeli and Arab youth sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace as a “crime against humanity.”