The Palestinian Authority is using its membership in the international arena to attack Israel, this time in the world of soccer.
A petition is being circulation around the internet, demanding that FIFA suspend the membership of the Israeli Football Association (IFA) “until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observes international law, thus enabling Palestinian footballers to play and compete nationally and internationally.”
The petition goes on to whine about the “brutal military occupation of ‘Palestine,’ building illegal settlements and a separation wall on stolen land.”
The dispute now spans half a century and to a large extent can be considered irrelevant, given that Israel has repeatedly sought to reach final status agreements with Palestinian Authority leaders, only to be spurned regardless of the terms it offers.
The petition — posted by Eleanor Kilroy of Winchester, United Kingdom, under the “Change.org” organization — complains that Israel restricts the movement of players within Judea, Samaria and Gaza, preventing them from participating in international competitions.
The problem here is a simple one: all of the terrorist organizations, including the Hamas rulers of Gaza, maintain headquarters in Judea and Samaria, and vow ceaseless efforts to annihilate the Jewish State, including attacks on Jews and Israelis abroad.
This prompts the Israeli government to watch Palestinian Authority athletes closely and examine exactly who is traveling and what their track record is like; they are scrutinized to see whether they have any links to terrorism, and whether they might pose a risk to anyone if they travel abroad.
For Israel, this is an existential issue, not a public relations exercise.
As of Sunday, July 31, there were 21,369 supporters it still had 3,631 left to go till it reached its goal of 25,000, but for some reason the petition was “closed.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, meanwhile wrote in a lengthy article in the Journal du Dimanche (the Sunday Journal), that France has throughout its history and geography maintained “very strong” ties with Islam, the “second-largest” religion in the country.
“Millions of French Muslims live here without necessarily identifying themselves as an Arab-Muslim culture,” he noted, adding that because of this specific French connection, plus the country’s centuries-old connection to Christianity and its long Jewish presence that it has been targed by Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists.
“A terrible poison is spreading,” he warned. “Many Muslims in France are taken hostage by the fundamentalism Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood who use their worship as a banner, a weapon against others.”Hana Levi Julian