Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a soccer enthusiast

After Sunday’s revelation that Kan, Israel’s Public Broadcasting Corporation, won’t be allowed to broadcast the international soccer matches—including games featuring Israeli teams and the national team—in Judea and Samaria, Kan informed the American media corporation CAA Eleven, which handles the sale of broadcasting rights by the European Football Association (UEFA), that Israel waives the tender to broadcast the European Championship qualifiers and the preliminaries of the World Cup games, Yedioth Aharonot reported on Monday.

A Qatari company has acquired the broadcasting rights for the Middle East and North Africa, including what CAA Eleven defines as “the Palestinian territories.” This means that the entire pre-1967 area is being served by the Qataris, which and an Israeli signal reaching, say, the city of Ariel, in Samaria, or Maale Adumim in Judea, would violate the Kan contract.

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Kan sent a letter to CAA Eleven on Sunday, saying, “In recent months, we have emphasized, both in talks and in writing, that we would not be able to comply with your demand to segregate any areas from the rest of Israel. Our broadcasts must be received in these areas, too.”

Kan continued: “We’ve also emphasized our great importance, as a public broadcasting corporation committed to the Arabic speakers, and our need to include the Arabic-language broadcasts in the agreement. At the time, you told us that UEFA has to resolve the matter with the Arabic-language rights holders. To date, we have not received an answer, and now we have learned during the talks that there is an additional holder of these rights. Such a state of uncertainty prevents us from planning the broadcasts ahead, and contacting sponsors for the national team games, which has caused Kan damages.”

“Therefore, under these circumstances, we cannot wait any longer for your answers and are pulling out of the tender for the broadcasting rights to the Euro 2020 qualifiers and to the World Cup 2022 preliminaries,” Kan concluded.

MK Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid) requested an urgent debate of the matter in the Knesset Economics Committee. “No Israeli broadcasting organization will employ a double standard in serving Israeli citizens,” he said.

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev also issued a statement attacking the UEFA demand: “The borders of the State of Israel will not be determined by sports organizations,” she stated, adding, “It is time for them to understand that Judea and Samaria are an inseparable part of the State of Israel.”

She is wrong, of course, since her party leader and the prime minister of Israel for the past decade, Benjamin Netanyahu has been reluctant to establish Israeli sovereignty in the liberated territories. Perhaps she should address her rage to him. We understand he is a soccer enthusiast (see pic).

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