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Rajoub condemns Israel-Argentina match in Jerusalem: We’ll target Messi. Burn your Messi shirts, he shouldn’t “beautify the fascist occupation's image”

Jibril Rajoub, Facebook  |


Posted text: “#Jibril_Rajoub during the protest vigil in front of the Argentinian Representative [Office in El-Bireh], condemning the decision to transfer the friendly match between the Argentinian and Israeli national teams to Israel”

Fatah Central Committee Secretary and Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub: “Clearly, the match that will be held between the Argentinian national team and Israeli national team [on June 9, 2018] has turned from a sports meet into a political instrument, in an attempt by the government of Israel to give a political tone to this sports event. This is because it insists on holding the game in Jerusalem – and everyone knows that according to UN decisions, East Jerusalem and its west are under international patronage…
The Israelis insist that this game be part of their activities for the 70th anniversary of the destruction of Palestine, the Palestinian cities and villages, and among them Al-Maliha (i.e., a neighborhood of Jerusalem), in whose territory the stadium that will hold the game is located…
We came today with a group of children whose families were uprooted from the village of Al-Maliha, and gave a letter to the ambassador of Argentina. This is a double letter, intended for the government of Argentina and the Argentine [Football] Association, but it is also intended for [Argentine football player Lionel] Messi – Messi, who is a symbol of love and peace, and who is a UNICEF ambassador for spreading love and tolerance (i.e., a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador). We demand that he not serve as a means to beautify the fascist occupation's image and its racist policy…
We won’t in any way agree that this game [between Argentina and Israel] take place. 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 is a symbol and a great thing for them. We will target Messi, and will demand that everyone burn their [Messi] shirts and pictures and renounce him – but we still hope that on Thursday, Messi will not come and will not be exploited to whitewash the occupation's crimes… I do not think that there is a difference between what is happening today and what happened in Europe in the 1930s."
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Jibril Rajoub also holds the following positions: Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).


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