Thursday, November 26, 2020

Frustration after Palestine Football tables motion to suspend Israel from FIFA

By Editor - May 31, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [BDS] [PFLP] [Internet Activism ]

Palestinian Jibril Rajoub (left) and Israeli Ofer Eini shaking hands Friday at FIFA's congress in Zuirch.


The Palestine Football Association and its president, Jibril al-Rajoub, have come under criticism following the PFA’s last minute decision to drop a motion to suspend Israel from football’s international governing body at the annual FIFA congress in Zurich this week.


Prior to the vote in Zurich, the PFA’s campaign to “Red Card Israeli Racism” had gained traction at home, abroad, and online, with one petition circulating social media gaining tens of signatures within only 48 hours.


The PFA’s last minute decision to table a motion to have Israel suspended from FIFA, drew widespread criticism, and prompted an online counter-petition titled “Red Card Jabril Rajoub.” The petition's creators accuse Rajoub, a senior Fatah and PA official, of retracting the motion unilaterally and without transparency.


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was among the most vocal critics of the PFA’s decision to drop a bid to have the Israel’s Football Association suspended from FIFA.


The PFLP charged yesterday that the PFA’s decision was an, “outrageous deviation from our values, principles and efforts to expose the Israeli occupation's crimes and to oust Israel from international organizations,” the leftist group issued in a statement Saturday.


Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one retired Palestinian politician speculated to the Palestine Monitor that, “it’s not fair [of the PFA] to raise the expectations of the public. People were hoping and left with the impression the the PFA was taking on the fight. It’s unfortunate that not only we did not win, but we did not even fight.” He went on to speculate that Rajoub’s, “credibility was hurt in the outcome of this failed bid.”


Following the failure of the PFA’s bid to got to vote, Israel's Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu congratulated the efforts of international parties and the president of Israel's Football Association who worked in order table the Palestinian bid.


“This Palestinian provocation joins the unilateral steps that the Palestinians are taking at other international institutions, Netanyahu charged. “So long as they take these steps they will only push peace further away instead of bringing it closer,” he added.


PFA President Rajoub told FIFA members he would drop the bid to have Israel suspended moments before congress were due to vote on the motion. “I decided to drop the suspension but it does not mean that I give up the resistance,” Rajoub said. “A lot of colleagues who I respect and I appreciate explained to me how it is painful for them to hear in this family about the issue of suspension.”


Two-hundred and nine FIFA members voted instead to create a “multi-lateral monitoring] group to work directly under the rules of the FIFA Ethics, Legal, and Discrimination committees, and will be composed of International Observers,” to oversee and monitor any future Israeli infringements on the PFA.


Activist Wisam Abul-Haijaa wrote on Facebook of the dropped bid,“We have to tell the Palestinians frankly that Al-Rajoub’s step was a blow to all the popular efforts made to isolate Israeli occupation,” Days of Palestine reported.

“The real representatives for Palestine are those who continue putting pressure on the Israeli occupation aiming to isolate it, not those who throw the lifeboat for it,” Wisam concluded. 


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