Argentinian Soccer Team

In Win For Boycott Movement, Argentine Soccer Team Cancels Match In Israel

Of course, we praise Argentina for supporting the BDS movement, but … keep in mind that even the BDS serves the Zionist plans. Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, stated that the establishment of a “Jewish” state would cure anti-Semitism, but at the same time promoted anti-Semitism to further his cause. In his diary, he stated: “It would be an excellent idea to call in respectable, accredited anti-Semites as liquidators of property. To the people, they would vouch for the fact that we do not wish to bring about the impoverishment of the countries that we leave. At first they must not be given large fees for this; otherwise, we shall spoil our instruments and make them despicable as ‘stooges of the Jews.’ Later their fees will increase, and in the end, we shall have only Gentile officials in the countries from which we have emigrated. The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.” (The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl. Vol. 1, edited by Raphael Patai, translated by Harry Zohn, page 83-84)

Argentinian Soccer Team Argentine soccer players Lionel Messi (2nd from left), Marcos Rojo (2nd from right) and Sergio Aguero (center) attend a training session at the FC Barcelona “Joan Gamper” sports center in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on June 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images
“In win for boycott movement, Argentine soccer team cancels match in Israel,”
JERUSALEM — In what might be the biggest victory yet for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, Argentina’s national soccer team announced Tuesday that it was canceling a friendly match against Israel’s national team after facing political pressure.
Protesters outside the team’s Barcelona practice facility have displayed soccer jerseys dabbed with red paint resembling blood stains, and players and their families, particularly star player Lionel Messi, have reportedly received death threats. These were also among the reasons cited by Israeli leaders and Argentine representatives as to why the team decided not to go ahead with the match, which was scheduled for Saturday in Jerusalem.
For the BDS movement, which aims to pressure Israel into complying with international law vis-a-vis its policies toward the Palestinians, however, the cancellation of the highly anticipated match is perhaps its biggest coup to date.
The game, just a week before the opening of the 2018 World Cup soccer tournament in Russia, was politically charged almost from the start.
Initially, it had been slated to take place in the northern city of Haifa, but Israel’s minister of culture and sports, Miri Regev, decided to switch the venue to Jerusalem. The move angered Palestinians who do not accept Israeli sovereignty over the city. But Regev said that, as Israel’s capital, Jerusalem was the appropriate venue for such a prestigious game. About 30,000 tickets were sold for the match.
On Sunday, Regev told Israel’s Army Radio that Messi’s visit to Israel was an incredible public relations coup for the country and that he would “kiss the Western Wall” and “shake hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
 
But Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, said the Palestinians would not allow the game to take place. At a protest Sunday outside the offices of the Argentine representative in Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital, he said he had sent a letter to the Argentine Football Association urging it to cancel the match.
The letter was also “intended for Messi,” he said, “who is a symbol of love and peace, and who is a UNICEF ambassador for spreading love and tolerance. We demand that he not serve as a means to beautify the fascist occupation’s image and its racist policy.”
 
“Starting from today, we will begin a campaign against the Argentine [Football] Association, and we will personally target Messi, who has tens of millions of fans in Arab states, Islamic states, in Asia, in Africa, and in states that are friends of the Palestinian people,” he said.
He called on “everyone to burn their Messi shirts and pictures and renounce him.”

Waking up to the news Wednesday that Argentina had canceled the match, Israeli leaders denounced Rajoub, saying it was his incitement against Messi and the Argentines that caused them to withdraw. They called Rajoub’s messages “terror threats.”

In her initial response, Regev said that “since they announced they would play against Israel, various terror groups have been sending messages and letters to players on the Argentina national team and their relatives, including clear threats to hurt them and their families. “These included video clips of dead children,” local media reported.

Israel’s Football Association said it would send an official complaint against Rajoub’s actions to FIFA, world soccer’s governing body. “The association views with severity the physical and brutal threats that crossed every red line made by the head of the Palestinian association, Jibril Rajoub,” wrote Ofer Eini, the head of Israel’s Football Association.

In an attempt to get the match back on track, Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday night. But the South American leader said he did not have the ability to influence the national team’s decision, at least if the match took place in Jerusalem.

Tensions have been high between Israelis and Palestinians over the past few months, following a decision by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv. The move has been fiercely protested by Palestinians and seen as illegal by most of the world.

In addition, Israel has faced sharp international criticism for its lethal response to ongoing protests along its border with the Gaza Strip. Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Palestinian enclave in 2005. But after the militant Islamist movement Hamas, which has been labeled a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States, took control of the strip more than a decade ago, Israel imposed a land and sea blockade on the territory. Egypt also has kept its crossing into Gaza closed for much of the past 10 years.

A growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza has pushed its residents to start protesting. In late March, thousands began weekly protests demanding both a right to return to the land that is now inside Israel and a solution to the crisis facing more than 2 million residents. Israel has said that Hamas has used these protests as cover to breakthrough the border fence and infiltrate into Israel.

On May 14, the day the U.S. Embassy was officially inaugurated in Jerusalem, tensions were further inflamed, and Israeli forces killed more than 60 Palestinian protesters and wounded thousands.

The images of Palestinians killed and injured juxtaposed with Trump’s daughter Ivanka at the central event opening the new embassy drew strong condemnation, and international calls to hold Israel accountable have increased. There is often pressure on celebrities and high-profile individuals not to perform in or visit Israel.

In recent years, several artists have canceled tour dates in Israel, either for political reasons or because of ongoing violence. Last December, New Zealand singer Lorde canceled her scheduled concert dates in Israel, and in 2010, the Pixies decided not to perform after the Israeli military raided a Turkish ship bringing aid for the Gaza Strip, an operation that killed nine people. (The band later played in Israel in 2014.)

Elvis Costello also canceled two shows in Israel in 2010, saying that “sometimes silence in music is better than adding to the static.” In 2014, when Israel was waging a 50-day war with Hamas-governed Gaza, several artists — including Lana Del Rey, Neil Young and the Backstreet Boys — postponed or canceled shows.

The Israeli government, which says that the boycott campaign actively promotes the country’s demise and denies Israel’s basic right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, has ramped up efforts in recent years to fight back against BDS. Last month, the Giro d’Italia international cycling event kicked off in Jerusalem.

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