PA Olympic official praises judoka athlete who refused to compete against an Israeli competitor at the Olympics
Video and text posted on the Facebook page of Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee Jibril Rajoub
Posted text: “[Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee] #Jibril_Rajoub to the #Algerian Oran radio [station]. He relates to Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine withdrawing (i.e., refusing to compete against an Israeli) and honors his heroic positionopposing normalization [with Israel].
Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee Jibril Rajoub: “First, this (i.e., Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine refusing to compete against an Israeli) expresses the real and deep-rooted Algerian affiliation with Palestine, with the cause of Palestine. It also reflects the Algerian people’s firm decision that Palestine and the official Israeli aggression and terror that Palestine is facing- There is no place for meeting with anyone who is connected to this official terror, not in sports and not outside of sports.I hope that this will be a message to all the Arabs who are normalizing and those who are rushing [towards normalizing ties with Israel] (see note below -Ed.). Unfortunately, some of them are even rushing to make contracts with Israeli sports in the shadow of the oppression, the blockade, the complications, and the limitations that it is imposing and to which the Palestinian athletes are being subjected. Sir, the best of blessings to the Algerian people and blessings to this great athlete [Nourine]. We wish you all the best, calmness, and stability. Unfortunately, there are Arab institutions that signed cooperation agreements with the Israeli sports organizations, even though the Israeli sports organizations do not take upon themselves the Olympic Charter and do not honor it. First, [they dishonor it] by holding sporting activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, as per the decisions of the UN’s legitimate international institutions. Secondly, the fact that ‘the fait accompli regime,’ the occupation regime, is limiting our activity paralyzes our capabilities. We will continue in sports, we will spread it, and we will work to develop it. I think that there is enough justification for the Arabs, the Muslims, and even all the people who believe in freedom and democracy to stand against this Israeli terrorist behavior.”
Jibril Rajoub also serves as Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).
Israeli peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain (the Abraham Accords), Sudan, and Morocco – an agreement normalizing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was announced on Aug. 13, 2020, under the mediation of US President Donald Trump. Following the UAE, Bahrain reached a similar peace agreement with Israel, as was announced on Sept. 11, 2020. The agreements were signed at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020, by Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. Pursuant to the Abraham Accords, Israel and the UAE will discuss bilateral cooperation on a number of topics. In exchange for the agreement, Israel agreed to suspend its previously announced plans to apply Israel's civilian law to parts of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley as per the Trump peace plan. The US announced that “Muslims throughout the world who wish to come in peace to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, will now be able to fly to Tel Aviv through Abu Dhabi to do so and will be welcomed.” On Oct. 23, 2020, Sudan also formally agreed to normalize relations with Israel. Israel reached a similar normalization agreement with Morocco on Dec. 10, 2020.