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Netanyahu used PMW report in meeting with FIFA President about PA bid to oust Israel

Itamar Eichner  |
Netanyahu used PMW report in meeting
with FIFA President about PA bid to oust Israel

Headline: Report: PA soccer chief 'promotes terror' through sports

Sub-headline: Palestinian Media Watch says Jibril Rajoub, the former Fatah security chief behind a call for FIFA to boycott Israel, has initiated a table tennis tournament named after a terrorist who killed
38 people in bloody 1978 attack.

by Itamar Eichner

Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association and the Palestinian Olympic Committee, is using sporting events to glorify terrorists even while seeking to get Israel banned from the international football federation (FIFA), claims areport by the Palestinian Media Watch organization.

According to the report, Rajoub, the Palestinians' former West Bank security chief before his dismissal in 2002, is "one of the driving forces behind this abuse of sports and continues to promote terror himself. Even the terrorists responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics in 1972 continue to be glorified by the PA and Fatah."

The organization slammed the absurdity of the Palestinian Authority working to suspend Israel while it itself has no respect for the sport or the spirit of the Olympic Games.

The report says that Rajoub initiated a table tennis tournament named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led a terrorist attack on Israel's coastal road in 1978 that killed 38 Israelis, including 13 children, and left another 71 people wounded.

"The Palestinian Authority's abuse of sports is a concrete example of how the PA chooses to further entrench the conflict rather than work to resolve it," says PMW.

"The Palestinian Authority uses sports to send the message that murdering Israeli civilians is honorable and heroic, that all of Israel is 'Palestine', and that peace building or 'normalization' with Israel is prohibited and even criminal."

Other examples, the report says, include a Fatah-organized rally and sports event in memory of Abu Jihad, a terrorist responsible for the murder of 125 Israelis, a Fatah-sponsored chess championship in Hebron named after terrorist Marwan Zalum, who was responsible for multiple deadly attacks, including the murder of Shalhevet Pas in Hebron.

The report also quotes previous violent comments by Rajoub. When Peres Center for Peace organized a football match between Israeli and Palestinian children, Rajoub stated that it was a "crime against humanity."

Rajoub also threatened to impeach Palestinian football team players who agreed to play in Israel. In an interview on Lebanese television, he said: "We do not have nuclear weapons yet, but I swear that if we had such weapons we would use them."

Last week, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with FIFA President Sepp Blatter, he showed him some of the findings in the report.

Blatter may well have greater concerns at the moment, however, with the arrests of a string of senior FIFA officials due to alleged corruption.