Kick Extremism Out of Football: Show Jibril Rajoub the Red Card
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Sports are a unique way to bring diverse peoples together through shared passion. International sporting events like the World Cup are wonderful examples of this. Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority has used sports to indoctrinate children with hatred for the state of Israel, instead of allowing football, and other sports, to peacefully bring together Israelis and Palestinians of all ages. Some examples are:
- The Hilal Al-Quds club held a tournament for 12-year-olds named after Dalal Mugrahbi, the leader of a terror. The “Dalal Mugrahbi Championship."
- The Al-Amari youth center announced a soccer tournament named the “Martyr of Honor Wafa Idris Tournament.” Idris was the first Palestinian female suicide bomber.
- Eighteen teams from the Tulkarm District took part in a “Martyrs and Prisoners Soccer Tournament” at the Irtah High School. “All of the teams were named after Martyrs [terrorists],” the PA official newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, reported proudly. The top prize was the “Martyr Abu Jihad Trophy.”
- In the town of Fara’a, there is a soccer field named after Salah Khalaf, aka Abu Iyad, leader of the “Black September” gang that kidnapped and murdered 11 Israeli Olympic team members, including an American-born weightlifter, at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
One of the most egregious examples of this disturbing trend is the head of the Palestinian Football Association, head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, and former convicted terrorist Jibril Rajoub, who has been on a personal mission to suspend Israel from FIFA.
Rajoub was convicted of terrorist activities against Israeli in 1970, was released in a prisoner exchange, and rearrested for continued terrorist activity in 1985. He spent two years in prison. Following his release, he continued his path of terrorism and was deported for his activities. After the Oslo Accords, he was appointed to a position of leadership by Yasser Arafat and has "served" in the Palestinian Leadership ever since.
Rajoub has repeatedly condoned acts of terrorism and encouraged violence against Israelis. He has overseen children's football matches in the Palestinian communities that were named after murderers of Israeli civilians, he has been an outspoken advocate against any normalization or coexistence with Israelis and his statements are a direct violation of everything that both FIFA and the Olympic Games stand for. In response to a friendly match between Israeli and Palestinian children, Rajoub stated, "Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity."
Rajoub stated about the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that “[I]f we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them." In summer 2014, while he was serving as the head of the Palestinian Football Association, Rajoub stated, “Fatah has decided that our relations with the Israelis are relations between enemies...am I stopping you from slaughtering a settlement? No one is stopping anyone."
Rajoub is a member of the Palestinian organization Fatah who is the parent organization of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade - the terrorist organization responsible for the horrific 1972 murder of the Israeli Olympic team at the Munich games. In 2012, he opposed holding a minute of silence at the London Olympic Games for the 1972 slain Israeli Olympic team stating to remember them would be "racist."
It is appalling that such an individual is a part of anything related to FIFA or the Olympic Games.
We call for Jibril Rajoub's immediate suspension from FIFA and all activities related to the International Olympic Committee immediately.
Sports should bring people together, not encourage racism, bigotry, and violence. Kick extremism out of football: show Jibril Rajoub the red card!
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