Photo Credit: Efrat Sa'ar / Flash 90
Former President Shimon Peres puts out his hand during the opening of Peres Center for Peace that hosted the "Twinned Peace Soccer Schools" program attended by Israeli and Palestinian Authority children. (Sept. 2014)

The friendly soccer game between Israeli and Palestinian Authority youth and organized last week by the Peres Center for Peace was “a normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy [and] a crime against humanity,” said Jibril Rajoub,, a senior Fatah official and head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association.

Rajoub, besides being secretary of the central committee of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas’ party, he also is chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association.

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Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated and published Rajoub’s remarks that he posted on his Facebook page this week.

“The Palestinian sports leadership and community – the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association – have opposed such activities,” he wrote. ”Normalization in sports with the Zionist occupation is a crime,” and he demanded that “all individuals and institutions distance themselves from such activities, especially because their recurrence would arouse disgust and aversion towards all members of the [Palestinian] sports community.”

Rajoub’s comments were published today (Monday) by Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and were opposite in tone from an AFP report that was published by the Palestinian Authority daily and which reported, “After a summer of brutal war, destruction and fatalities, Palestinian and Israeli children met on Monday [last week] to participate in football matches a few kilometers from the devastated Gaza Strip….

“The Israeli children came from communities located near the besieged Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian children came from Yatta,” which for some reason AFP reported in Gaza but actually is immediately south of Hebron.

“Many of the children had already played in previous tournaments organized by the Peres Center for Peace, which is run by former Israeli President Shimon Peres,” the article stated. It added, “Qusai, 11, said, ‘I love it when we play together like this. I hope that one day there will be peace between Arabs and Jews and that there will be no more wars and death.’”

PMW also translated and published a comment in another PA news agency by Palestinian Olympic Committee member Abd Al-Salam Haniyeh, who denounced the soccer game as “a crime and an unpatriotic and immoral act” and demanded that Rajoub “immediately interrogate the organizers of the match, settle the account with them and prosecute them on charges of serious treason against the blood of the Martyrs and in violation of the decisions made by the Palestinian sports community’s leadership.”

Even more revealing of the two-faced character of Abbas’ party is that the leadership of the “peace partner’s” Fatah movement branch in Yatta held “an urgent meeting to discuss the ramifications of the normalization matches” and “strongly condemned” the event, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

Fatah branch secretary Dr. Kamal Makhamreh said that the participation in the match “was an individual act, conceived by sick souls that agreed to be humiliated for a handful of money,” and he “urged the residents to supervise their children and distance them from these kinds of activities, which damage our cause.”

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17 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a moderate. You tend towards hyperbole. I don’t think you can find an American Liberal who wpuld call a soccer match between children a crime against humanity. You remind me of Senator Joseph McCarthy when he called everybody he disagreed with a Communist. Incidentally, if yoy look at my posts, you will find I wholeheartedly support Israel and oppose extremists of every stripe. I can’t see your posts, so I can’t compare this one to other thongs you have said.

  2. If you would have read my post properly…it said liberal on STEROIDS…in that they are decrying insult, predudice and cruelty where none at all exists. You can support Israel and still be a liberal…it’s ok…embrace it…bc I never came close to hinting that you were anti-Israel did I? Well…did I??? Lol

  3. Those who called the soccer match between Palestinian and Israeli children as a "crime against humanity" are sick.
    They should be told that they can never be involved in any sport again, in the international community. No Olympics no soccer or any other sport. They must be banned totally.
    Those children are the future for peace.
    They want to live in peace with Israel. They are sick of wars.

  4. Does this mean that Rajoub wouldn’t join us for Shabbat lunch?
    Perhaps, he should turn in his Motorola phone, developed in Israel. Or any of the other things that Israel has developed in the medical and technological field? Turn off Israeli electricity to his house?

  5. Does this mean that Rajoub wouldn't join us for Shabbat lunch?
    Perhaps, he should turn in his Motorola phone, developed in Israel. Or any of the other things that Israel has developed in the medical and technological field? Turn off Israeli electricity to his house?

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