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PMW welcomes FIFA investigation of Jibril Rajoub
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PMW welcomes FIFA investigation of Jibril Rajoub
  • FIFA announced that it received and is investigating the Israel Football Association’s (IFA) complaint against Jibril Rajoub, for inciting violence against Argentinian football players
  • PMW has resubmitted PMW’s complaints to FIFA’s disciplinary committee against Jibril Rajoub due to his incitement to murder Israelis and glorification of terrorists who killed Israelis. From PMW’s letter to FIFA:
“Should the Disciplinary Committee deal only with the complaints against Rajoub related to Messi and the Argentinian football team, the clear implication would be that while attacks on football stars is unacceptable to FIFA, incitement to murder Israelis and the glorification of terrorist murderers of Israelis is acceptable. This clearly discriminatory and even racist approach cannot and must not be reflective of FIFA’s message.”  
  • PMW calls on the Israel Football Association to also submit PMW’s complaints to FIFA in addition to its own recent complaint. It is important that the IFA expresses as much protest against Rajoub’s calls to murder Israelis as it expressed to Rajoub’s threats of violence against Argentinian players
By Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch
 
The international football association FIFA announced yesterday that following the complaint of the Israel Football Association (IFA) it will be investigating the statements by Jibril Rajoub and the threats that he made against the Argentinian national football team and its star Lionel Messi, which led to Argentina canceling the friendly match that had been scheduled to take place in Israel.
 
While PMW welcomes FIFA’s decision, it is far too little and far too late.
 
In March 2017, PMW submitted a detailed complaint to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee. The complaint provided evidence that Rajoub and the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) breach multiple provisions of FIFA’s statutes by promoting and glorifying terrorism; inciting hatred and violence; promoting racism; and preventing the use of the game of football in order to build a bridge for peace.

PMW’s complaint was subsequently submitted by dozens of others, including over 30 victims of Palestinian terrorism.
 
PMW also submitted a similar complaint, together with the International Legal Forum and Israeli footballers, to FIFA’s Ethics Committee.
 
Shortly thereafter, PMW submitted an additional complaint when the PFA held its annual football tournament named after Abu Jihad - Khalil Al-Wazir, the arch-terrorist responsible for the murder of 125 Israelis.
 
Two weeks ago, prior to the Argentinian announcement to cancel the friendly match against Israel’s national team, PMW submitted another complaint detailing Rajoub’s politicization of football.
 
To this day, neither the disciplinary committee or the ethics committee have completed their reviews of PMW’s complaints.
 
PMW has noted in the past that the international community’s willingness to ignore and forgive Palestinian incitement does not encourage moderation by Palestinians but actually emboldens them to continue inciting.
 
Had FIFA disciplined Rajoub, as its statutes and regulations require, Rajoub or any subsequent head of the PFA might have been deterred from continuing to incite violence in order to achieve political goals, and the Israel-Argentina game might have taken place as scheduled.
 
PMW has resubmitted its complaints against Rajoub and the PFA and has written to FIFA urging them to add the evidence in PMWs complaint to the current investigation of Rajoub:

“Should the Disciplinary Committee deal only with the complaints against Rajoub related to Messi and the Argentinian football team, the clear implication would be that while attacks on football stars is unacceptable to FIFA, incitement to murder Israelis and the glorification of terrorist murderers of Israelis is acceptable. This clearly discriminatory and even racist approach cannot and must not be reflective of FIFA’s message.”  
 
FIFA’s decision to commence disciplinary proceedings against Rajoub was based on a complaint of the Head of the IFA about Rajoub's calls to burn shirts and pictures of Lionel Messi and other threats against the Argentinian team. When PMW submitted its original complaint, copies were also sent to the IFA.
 
PMW is now calling on the IFA to add PMW’s original complaint to FIFA to its current complaint. Whereas, Rajoub’s current statements threatened violence against athletes from Argentina, PMWs complaint documents Rajoub’s explicit calls to murder Israelis. It is important for the IFA to show it is outraged not only by Rajoub’s threats to Argentinian players but also by Rajoub’s calls to murder Israelis.
 
PMW's letter to FIFA can be read here.

 


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