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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘FIFA’

PA Official Gets Heavy UN Support in Getting FIFA to Ban Israeli Teams

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

The UN secretary general’s special advisor on sport Wilfried Lemke has been lobbying on behalf of the PA soccer association ban Israeli teams from Judea and Samaria, and sent FIFA a letter advising that all Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is illegal, which includes Jewish soccer teams.

Jibril Rajoub, President of the PA soccer association, has warned the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) that if it would not suspend six Israeli teams from the liberated territories, he’d take the association to court. That’s the Court of Arbitration for Sports conflicts, not the Criminal Court in the Hague, in case you were wondering.

Jibril Rajoub, whose history of terrorism goes back to 1968, and who spent a good chunk of his life in Israeli security prisons, was renowned as one of Chairman Arafat’s cruelest enforcers, when the PLO was invited by a Labor government supported by the Arab parties in Knesset to take over Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Starting in 1994, Rajoub served as head of Arafat’s Preventive Security Force until 2003, when Arafat appointed him his national security advisor. During his tenure, Rajoub was accused of using brutal force and harrassment to quash political dissent, including the frequent use of torture. Witnesses described him as shooting adversaries in their kneecaps in broad daylight.

The same Rajoub, who has moved down from murder to sports, told a press conference that “Israel receives quite a few benefits from FIFA, and some of those benefits also reach the settlements teams, which is unacceptable. Our message to FIFA is clear. The time has come to decide this issue and bring an end to Palestinian suffering, and thereby grant freedom of action to Palestinian sport and football, on one hand, and stop giving legitimacy to clubs active in the settlements, on the other.”

According to FIFA’s bylaws, one country may not allow a team located in the territory of another country play in its league without the other country’s consent, and Rajoub argues that six teams from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate this law: Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, the Jordan Valley and Oranit.

“Until a week and a half ago, we were very worried about what was likely to happen at the FIFA Council meeting,” an Israeli official told Reuters. “Now, we’re more relaxed, and believe that nothing dramatic will happen [during FIFA’s Thursday meeting] aside from a discussion of the issue. The big battle over the issue of the settlement teams will effectively be postponed until the FIFA Congress, which will take place in Bahrain in May 2017.”

According to the same Israeli official, the new FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, reassured the Israelis  that he would not permit a unilateral decision on the issue. Infantino wants to try to get a compromise that satisfies both sides, when he visits Israel and the PA come November.

According to Reuters, the UN secretary general’s special advisor on sport Wilfried Lemke stressed in his letter to Infantino that the UN Security Council has deemed the settlements a violation of international law, and so they have no legal status, and, therefore, “their soccer teams also have no legal status” and don’t meet the requirement of the FIFA bylaw.

In an interview he gave International Catalan Institute for Peace, Lemke counted among his chief achievements during his tenure as head of UNOSDP the active role he played in building “Extension Building for the Indoor Sports Hall” in the PA, to “empower refugee children and provide safe sporting environments for youth.” He has also supported “Sport for Resilience,” a project implemented by UNRWA. In 2014, UNOSDP also supported the Diyar Women Sports Center, a facility that provides PA women with the necessary skills and education required for them to enter the employment market. “The construction of this center contributes significantly to the enhancement of sporting infrastructure, human resources and social programs in Palestine now,” Lemke boasted.

Will the team of PA and UN officials be able to damage six Israeli soccer teams? We’ll find out in May, in Bahrain.

JNi.Media

Palestinian Authority Tries to Eject Israel From FIFA

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

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

Cardiff Kills Exhibition of Jews, Muslims, Christians Playing Together Because It Was Shot in Israel

Friday, September 4th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Cardiff Council Cancelled the Photo Exhibition “Jewish-Arab football: diversity and coexistence through lower-league football,” planned in celebration of a soccer match between Wales and Israel on Sunday, because the photos had been shot in Israel.

But a spokesperson for Cardiff Council stated that the exhibition had been closed less than 24 hours after it had opened — “following a complaint.”

“The Council is aware there are protests planned around the Wales Israel game at the weekend and this was taken into consideration,” the spokesperson said, adding that while “our libraries are buildings which promote free speech,” nevertheless “it was felt that running this exhibition could lead visitors to suppose that the Council was displaying bias.”

The project, created by photographers Gad Salner and Vadim Tarasov, focuses on lower-league football throughout Israel, emphasizing how Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities come together through the beautiful game.

The exhibition’s alleged “bias” was expressed in its intro: “From forgotten Arab villages in the north to dusty Jewish neighborhoods in the south, we visit places where the seemingly ever-present tension between cultures evaporates, and where diversity is embraced, encouraged and celebrated. The exhibition puts more emphasis on the human, urban and cultural landscapes of our divided and diverse society, and less on the pitch action itself.”

One of the subjects is the Betar Nordia Football Club in Jerusalem, a small, fan-owned club that promotes diversity and sportsmanship, while opposing violence and racism in football. The club’s Jewish participants play alongside their Arab Muslim and Christian colleagues.

The Israeli Embassy in London has condemned the Cardiff council decision as “outrageous,” and a spokesman for the Embassy said: “This is a boycott against peace and coexistence, in line with the destructive and belligerent aims of the movement to delegitimize Israel. Removing an exhibition showing how football promotes friendship between people of different backgrounds in Israel turns a celebration of coexistence into an ugly politics of division.”

Adam Johannes of Stop the War Coalition, one of the groups that organizes a demonstration against the Israeli national team’s participation in the soccer tournament, said, “We welcome Cardiff council’s decision to cancel an exhibition sponsored by the Israeli Embassy that whitewashes the reality of football in the Middle East. Israel wages war on Palestinian football. How can a country be allowed to compete in international matches when it prevents another Fifa member from playing football freely?

Johannes also claimed that the Israeli Football Association had reorganized youth leagues along race lines in the Samaria region, so that nearly all Arab children’s teams were now racially segregated and did not play with Jewish teams.

JNi.Media

Gaza Dedicates Football Teams to Kidnapping of Killed IDF Soldiers, No FIFA Officials in Sight

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Do you wonder why Israelis are moving politically rightward, and see no prospects for peace on the horizon with their depraved neighbors?

The answer, in part, has to do with the self-inflicted daily decline of humanity of the Gazans.

While terror chief and local PA soccer representative Jibril Rajoub was trying to stick Israel in the dock at FIFA, as usual no one was checking out what’s really going on in the “Palestinian” sports scene.

To help boost attendance at the Sunday game, the Gazans decided to link the game to their only “victories” in the war they initiated last summer.

On Sunday, in the final Gaza Cup soccer game, the two city’s teams, Team Itchiad Shujaiyeh and Team Khadmat Rafiach morbidly represented themselves based on the two dead Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped in their respective cities and whose remains Hamas still hold on to.

Team Itchiad Shujaiyeh is now “represented” by the capture of First Sergeant Oron Shaul who was killed in the APC attack near Shujaiyeh and his dead body then stolen by Hamas.

Team Khadmat Rafiach is “represented” by the capture of Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin who was killed when Hamas attacked IDF troops during a “cease fire.” Hamas then dragged his body into a terror tunnel underneath Rafiach.

The Gazans say the team’s cities are the backbone which allowed for the kidnapping of the bodies of the soldiers.

But hey, not a FIFA official is in sight.

Which team won? They both lost.

Will it ever be possible to rehabilitate the Gazans and restore them to the ranks of humanity?

Jameel@Muqata

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Resigns Amid Corruption Scandal

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has resigned amid the growing scandal over massive arrests of top international soccer federation officials on charges of corruption and racketeering.

Blatter, 79, stepped down from his post just four days after being elected to a fifth term. He announced his decision at a news conference in Zurich after several more FIFA officials were arrested by the FBI at a hotel in the Swiss city six days ago.

Blatter has been at FIFA for 40 years, and served as president for 17 years; the third longest to head the sports group.

Last Wednesday, The New York Times reported U.S. authorities were preparing to charge FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, Blatter’s second-in-command, in connection with a questionable transfer of $10 million.

The money was allegedly paid to “a high-ranking FIFA official” from the South African Football Association in 2008 as that country was bidding to host the 2010 World Cup. One of the top officials named in the U.S. Justice Department indictment a week ago voted in favor of South Africa at the time.

FIFA had denied that both Valcke and Blatter knew anything about the transaction – but as investigations by the U.S. government and Swiss officials move closer to the top, Blatter appears to be growing more uneasy.

New elections are to be called to choose a new leader.

Hana Levi Julian

Rajoub Warns He May Try to Oust Israel from the Olympics

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian Authority’s FIFA soccer official who failed to remove Israel from the organization last week, now is going for the Olympics.

He told a welcome home crowd of 2,000 people in Jericho last night:

 If Israel does not change its attitude towards the settlements and continues to be racist against Palestinians, there will be an acceleration of moves with the possibility of ousting it from the Olympics.

Rajoub deserves the idiot’s gold medal for failure and buffoonery.

He also deserves to be in jail, at best, for terrorist attacks against Israel and for which he was sentenced to life, which in Israel means a few months or years before being released in exchange for a hostage or dead bodies.

Rajoub also is a former head of the security forces of Yasser Arafat before he was fired.

Today, he wears three kefiyahs. He heads the Palestinian Authority Soccer organization, is minister of sport and is chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas reportedly opposed Rajoub’s attempt to remove Israel from FIFA and wants to oust him from his position, and for good reason.

Rajoub’s mouth, or more accurately his so-called mind, has made the Palestinian Authority look even more of a disaster than it is.

Last year, he said that if he had a nuclear weapon in his hands, he would drop it on Israel.

In 2012, called a request for a minute of silence to remember the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics by Palestinian militants in 1972 “racist.”

And a year before, he called as speech by President Barack Obama “idiotic” and that it sounded like a speech of a student leader in a university.”

He may right on the last count, but that is beside the point.

Like Arab “victories” after disastrous wars against Israel, Rajoub is claiming his defeat last week was a triumph because FIFA agreed to establish a committee to discuss Palestinian Authority claim.

According to Rajoub:

The world supports the Palestinian Authority move against Israel but wants proof and set up a committee to examine racism in Israel and its teams in the settlements [Judea and Samaria]. If the investigative committee confirms the charges of Israeli racism in soccer, there will be a vote to expel Israel from FIFA.

Yaakov Finkelstein, an Israeli diplomat from the Foreign Ministry’s team in Zurich, said the result at the FIFA Congress “was more of an achievement to Israel than the Palestinians. The Palestinians scored our own goal by putting too much pressure on suspending Israel from FIFA and eventually when they realized that they do not have the necessary majority, they decided to back off.”

Rajoub deserves the last word, and he has it with a sensational statement he made last night:

Sport  should be separated from politics.

Isn’t that funny? That is exactly what FIFA president  Sepp Blatter said in his objections to  Rajoub’s move to mix politics and sport.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Britain and France Boycott Israeli Military Expo

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Britain, France and several Scandinavian countries have prohibited their countries’ defense officials and private contractors from exhibiting at the 7th annual Israel Defense Expo that opened today at Tel Aviv.

Maariv reports that the Foreign Ministry officials warned that the boycott is only the first reaction to last week’s FIFA debacle in which the Palestinian Authority failed to win its campaign to force Israel to ban soccer teams in Judea and Samaria or be ousted from the corrupt organization.

The problem with the theory of Israel’s answer to the U.S. State Dept.’s Foggy Bottom foreign policy pencil pushers is that there is no way that Britain and France acted so quickly between last Friday and today.

The more likely explanation is that the countries indeed are sending a message to Israel that they are steadfast in their belief that if Israel simply would hand over Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority, the world would be a better place for London and Paris, and never mind Jerusalem and Ramallah.

But that has nothing to do with the soccer silliness. In fact, the European Union voted not to expel Israel from FIFA.

It is true that Israel is losing potential deals with defense contractors at the exhibition, but it is equally true that the countries that are boycotting Israel are shooting themselves in the head. They are losing out on possible sales and contacts with companies from all over the world.

They may be hurting exports from Israel, but trade works in two directions.

One Spanish contractor, banned by Spain from exhibiting in Israel, simply appeared in Tel Aviv under a different name, a security official told Maariv:

They have no will to be identified as a company selling offensive weapons to Israel.

But when asked if their absence damages Israel, the official did not answer.

The reaction of the Foreign Minister officials is not surprising in light of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent moves to put some common sense and unity back into the ministry that is over-staffed with people from the days of the Rabin-Peres government, when the Oslo Accords were supposed to bring eternal peace to the Middle East.

His selection of Tzipi Hotovely as Deputy Foreign Minister and former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold to direct the ministry have thrown Israel’s establishment media into a trauma.

Hotovely absolutely shocked some of the Foreign Ministry middle-tier staff when she gave them a short lesson of Torah and said that the policy to explain Israel’s position to the world should be based on God’s having granted the Land of Israel to the Jewish People.

The idea of re-inventing the wheel is so revolutionary, or in the minds of the lefties so archaic, that Israel’s leftist oriented establishment media went all out last week to try to convince its readers that Prime Minister Netanyahu is destroying the Foreign Ministry.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/britain-and-france-boycott-israeli-military-expo/2015/06/02/

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