Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Palestinians welcome after Argentina cancels Israel game

Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Patty Aguilar | 08 June, 2018, 15:23

"It will cost Israel NIS 50 million ($14 million) and is created to market the country".

He added: "This year's Quds Day is special; this year, in addition to being the 70th anniversary of the occupation of Palestinian land, we are witnessing that Bayt al-Maqdis, which is respected by all Muslims, has been announced as the capital of the occupying Zionist Regime by the United States against all global rules and regulations".

The request comes against the backdrop of the cancellation of a friendly match between the Argentinian and Israeli national soccer teams, which had been scheduled to take place at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem on Saturday.

Minister Regev is the same person shown in a video laughing as football fans around her sang "may your village burn!" during a football match in Jerusalem. The personal threats against the players from Palestinians who demonstrated outside the Barcelona training ground with blood-drenched Argentinean soccer shirts proved too much.

"Messi is a symbol of peace and love", Rajoub said. "We will not yield before a pack of anti-Semitic terrorist supporters".

Lionel Messi will not be leading Argentina onto the pitch for a World Cup warm-up against Israel after the game was called off following protests by pro-Palestinian groups.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Wednesday that organizers could face increased pressure from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to cancel various other events in Israel following Argentina's decision to scrap the game.

Susan Shalabi, the deputy director of the Palestinian Football Association, told Arab News that the PFA had contacted all world sports federations to inform them that Argentina was being used by Israel for political purposes.

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Regev, who it seems has become extremely bitter by the humiliation has thrown a tantrum and demanded that next year's Eurovision song contest be held in Jerusalem, which appears to be another attempt by the Israeli politician to turn a cultural event into a political statement. Shortly after the victory both Barzilai and Regev said the competition would be held in Jerusalem.

He had also objected to having the match played in Jerusalem.

On Thursday, the association tweeted: "Israel FA has filed a complaint to FIFA only against the Palestinian FA and the president of the PFA, Jibril Rajoub". "It's my responsibility to take care of the health and physical integrity of the entire delegation". Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, and Iran says the day is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians.

Rajoub had accused Israel of playing politics with the game, by moving it from its original location in Haifa to Jerusalem, and by trying to link it to celebrations surrounding Israel's 70th anniversary.

At a press conference in Ramallah on Wednesday he appeared next to a giant picture of himself with Messi and a sign reading: "From Palestine, thank you Messi".

Instead, he spent 22 paragraphs partly peddling an alternate conspiracy theory: that Argentina canceled not for political reasons, but because the team feared "violence" from Palestinians.

Despite Israel's aggressive worldwide lobbying to ensure BDS activists are sanctioned, in recent months Palestinians and the global solidarity movement have celebrated great victories.

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