Friday, 28 April 2017

FIFA! KICK TERRORISM OUT OF FOOTBALL!





     Complaint to FIFA Disciplinary Committee about the exploitation of football for 
     the promotion and glorification of terrorism by FIFA Delegate, Jibril Rajoub, 
     the Palestinian Football Association and its officials.
                              KICK TERRORISM OUT OF FOOTBALL!
    The Israel Institute for Strategic Studies researches and exposes important regional and 
    global strategic and security developments. These include issues relating to terrorism.
    We are writing to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to highlight a history of more than fifteen 
    years of the exploitation of football for the promotion of terrorism by Jibril Rajoub, the 
    Palestinian Football Association, its officials and teams.
    We are certain that, given the facts, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee must come to the 
    inevitable conclusion that the above parties have been in a prolonged and serious breach of 
    FIFA ethics and rules and that their behavior is in grave contravention of the traditions and 
    purity of football.
    If it was right for FIFA to launch a campaign to Kick Racism out of Football, how much
    more important is it for FIFA to launch a similar campaign to KICK TERRORISM OUT 
    OF FOOTBALL.
    With the racism campaign, FIFA acted to protect people being insulted or racially
    abused at football events. How much more serious is it when people are killed and maimed
    by terrorists glorified at Palestinian football events, by their clubs and leading officials?
    Here are a few examples of terror-promotion inside Palestinian football;
1.                In 2007, a football tournament was organized in the Palestinian-controlled town of Tulkarm.
           This tournament was held in the honor of Ziyad Da’as. Da’as was the leader of the Tanzim
           terror faction of Fatah. He planned and executed a terror attack on a Bat-Mitzvah (a Jewish
           13th birthday) celebration in Hadera which left six dead and dozens wounded on January
           17, 2002. Da’as also participated in the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli citizens,
           Etgar Zeituni and Moti Dayan, in Tulkarm in January 2001.  Yet this terrorist is hailed as a
          hero and a martyr in Palestinian football.
2.            On August 5, 2008, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official Palestinian daily newspaper reported
           that the Islami Silwan Football Club won the Dalal Mughrabi Football
           Championship organized by the Palestinian football champions, the Hilal 
           Al-Quds football team. This event was held under the auspices of the Palestinian
           Authority to commemorate the anniversary of the birthday of Dalal Mughrabi.  Mughrabi
           was one of thirteen (13) Fatah terrorists that hijacked an Israeli bus between Haifa
           and Tel Aviv on March 9, 1978. As a result of this terror attack, 37 Israeli civilians were
           killed including 12 children and 70 were wounded. She is considered a hero and martyr
           and has been celebrated in football events.
3.               In March 2011, the Al-Amari Palestinian Youth Center announced a football tournament in 
           honor of Wafa Idris. Idris was the first Palestinian female suicide bomber.
4.           On April 28, 2014, according to the official Palestinian daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,
           a two day football tournament was held in honor of the perpetrator of the Munich
           Olympic massacre in which eleven (11) Israeli sportsmen were killed. The Jalazone
           Refugee Camp Martyrs Internal Football Tournament was held under the patronage of
           the District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh.  Two of the teams that progressed to
           the second round were the Martyr Abu Iyad (the terrorist planner of the Olympic
           Games Massacre) and Martyr Abu Jihad (the terrorist mastermind responsible for the
           deaths of 125 Israelis).
5.             In October 2014, another football competition was held in the Palestinian territories at
            Tapuach in which teams were named after terrorists including Ahmed Yassin, the founder
            of the Hamas terror organization, and Fathi Shaqaqi, the founder of Palestinian Islamic
            Jihad. Shaqaqi’s terror organization killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis including a
            suicide bomb attack in the Maxim Restaurant in Haifa, a double suicide bombing attack at
            the Beit Lid bus station, others at the Megiddo junction, the Dizengoff shopping mall in Tel
            Aviv, two suicide bombings at Netanya’s HaSharon shopping mall, a bombing at the Tel
            Aviv central bus station, and an attack on an Eilat bakery.
6.                     On April 24, 2015, the Ansar Al-Quds Palestinian football club hosted the 21st Youth  
              Football Tournament in honor of both Abu Jihad (see item 1)  and Abu Iyad.  Abu Iyad
              was the founder of the Fatah terror group and the head of the infamous Black 
              September terror group that was responsible, in March    1973, for the kidnapping and
              murder of US Ambassador to Sudan, Cleo  Noel, Jnr, the Deputy Chief of Mission,
              George Curtis Moore, and the Belgian Charge d’affaires, Guy Eid.  They were
              also responsible to the death of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games                     in September 1972. These murderous terrorists are celebrated annually in 
              Palestinian football events.

7.                    During June and July 2015, a youth football tournament was organized in Abu Dis in
             which several teams were named after Palestinian terrorists including Abu Jihad (see
             item 1) Khaled Nazzal who was responsible for the terrorist murder of 22 schoolchildren
             and 5 in Maalot, and Mutaz Hijazi who shot and seriously wounded Rabbi Yehuda Glick
             on October 29, 2014.
8.              On October 3, 2015, a 19 year-old Palestinian terrorist, Muhannad Halabi, attacked Jews
             in an alleyway in the Old City of Jerusalem as they were walking from prayers at the
             Western Wall. As a result of his attack, Rabbi Nehamia Lavi and Aharon Bennett (Benita)
             were killed. Aharon’s wife, Adele, lay bleeding and badly injured. Their two year-old son
             was injured in his stroller. One month later, on November 2, 2015, the Palestinian Bal’a
             football club organized a football tournament in Jenin in honor of this terrorist murderer.
             This event, as with every football tournament glorifying Palestinian terrorists, was reported
             in the official Palestinian media.
9.              On October 12, 2015, two Palestinian teenagers, inspired by the Palestinian incitement
              to terrorism, went on a knifing rampage in Jerusalem. Two persons were injured in this
              stabbing attack. One of the victims was a 13 year-old boy, Naor Ben Ezra. The other was
              21 year-old Yosef Haim Twitto. The following month, on November 21, 2015, the
              Palestinian held a football tournament in honor of 13 year-old terrorist, Ahmad Manasrah.
              The Ahmad Manasrah Football Tournament was organized for football teams from
              Ramallah and El-Bireh schools to honor this knife-wielding teenager. This tournament
              was reported in the official Palestinian Authority media.
10.          On February 3, 2016, 19 year-old Hadar Cohen was knifed to death in Jerusalem. Her
              killer, Muhammed Kmeil, was the captain of the Qabatiya football club. He was described
              by his club as being a person of “high morals.” One of his accomplices in this deadly
              terror attack was Ahmad Zakameh who was described by the club administrators as
              being one of the team’s outstanding fans.
11.           On April 23, 2016, the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported
              on the 22nd ‘Prince of Martyrs’ Abu Jihad indoor football tournament organized by the                  Al-Ansar football club, under the supervision of the Palestinian Football 
              Association’s central branch. This event in which fourteen (14) Jerusalem football
              clubs competed to honor the 28th anniversary of the death of a major terrorist, Abu Jihad,
              was sponsored by the Pontifical Mission of the Vatican!! This football competition is
              held annually.
12.           On April 29, 2016, fourteen (14) Palestinian football clubs participated in the ‘Khalil Al
              Wazir Abu Jihad’ football competition under the supervision of the Palestinian
              Football Association. This was the 22nd time this competition had been held in the name
              of Abu Jihad, the leader of the Fatah terror group, who personally planned and executed
              the murder of 125 Israelis in various major terror attacks.
13            On June 17, 2016, the Palestinian football clubs, Al-Amid and Al-Ghazalan, held a
              football match for the Basel Sidr Cup in honor of Basel Sidr who was killed by Israeli
              security forces on October 14, 2015 as he attempted to stab Israeli policemen outside
              the Old City of Jerusalem.
14.            On October 9, 2016, Musbah Abu Sbeih murdered three (3) Israeli citizens and injured
               five (5) others in three drive-by shooting attacks. On the day of the attack Sbeih was
              due to hand himself in on charges of inciting terror and supporting the Hamas terrorist                    organization. Instead, he went on a rampage which killed Levana Malachi, a
              grandmother, and 29 year-old Yosef Kirma. Two days later, on October 11, the players
              and officials of the Hilal Al-Quds football team were photographed holding up a large
              banner carrying the picture of the terrorist Sbeih praising him and calling him the  
              “Lion of Jerusalem.”  The Hilal Al-Quds football club is the leading Palestinian champion
              soccer team. Days after this exhibition, the coach of this club, Maher Abu Sneineh,
              was arrested by Israel on charges of displaying a public support for terrorism.
15.            Our records on the promotion of terrorism through Palestinian football go back fifteen
              (15) years to 2002 when the Palestinian Authority sponsored a football competition in
              Tulkarm to celebrate their terrorists.  In this tournament, eight football teams were
              named in honor of a terrorist. One of the teams was named after Mahmud Marmash, a
              suicide bomber who murdered five Israeli citizens and maimed 74 others when he
              exploded his suicide belt outside the entrance of the HaSharon shopping mall in
              Netanya. My wife, Carol, narrowly avoided death. She was on her way to the mall
              when I called her and asked her to return to our office. Had she continued she would
              have arrived at the entrance at the same time as this suicide bomber honored as a hero
              and a martyr in his Tulkarm football tournament.  
              Another terrorist honored at this football competition was Abu al-Basset Oudeh. Oudeh
              was the suicide bomber that travelled from Tulkarm to my hometown of Netanya and blew
              up twenty nine (29) people and injured another 64 civilians in the Park Hotel as
              they gathered to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover.  This event became known
              as the Passover Massacre. Among the killed were Holocaust survivors. It was as a
              result of this outrage that I became a co-founder of the Netanya Terror Victims
              Organization to help the bereaved families of the dead and the injured.
              Meanwhile, Palestinian football events and Jibril Rajoub celebrate their “heroes” and
              glorify their deeds!
        Article 3 of the FIFA Statutes states that;
       “FIFA is committed to respecting all internationally recognized human rights and shall 
        strive to promote the protection of these rights.”
        The basic principle is reflected in Article 24 of FIFA’s Code of Ethics which states;
       “Persons bound by this Code shall respect the integrity of others involved. They shall 
        ensure that the personal rights of every individual whom they contact and who is affected 
        by their actions is protected, respected and safeguarded.”
        Jibril Rajoub, as the highest responsible official in Palestinian football and a FIFA
        Delegate, has been deliberately delinquent in abusing FIFA’s Code of Ethics and conduct
        and, in his words and actions, has promoted violence, terrorism and insults that have
        harmed and killed hundreds of Israeli civilians, men, women and children.
        Jibril Rajoub has indoctrinated and educated Palestinian children and youth to praise
        and glorify violence and terror.
        Here are some of the statements made by Jibril Rajoub;
1.              On July 17, 2013, the Ma’an independent Palestinian news agency reported: “Chairman 
              of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, eulogized released prisoner,  
             Ahmad Jabarah Abu Sukkar, saying, ‘Before his pure soul, we emphasize our 
             adherence to the principles and goals that he dedicated his long life to protect.’”
    
        The “principles and goals” that Abu Sukkar set were that, in 1975, he loaded a
        refrigerator full of explosives and detonated it in the center of Jerusalem killing fifteen
        (15) people and injuring over sixty (60) people. After this terrorist’s death in 2013, Jibril 
        Rajoub vowed “to continue his way of struggle.”  Two months later, Jibril Rajoub,
        in a speech that was aired on the official Palestinian Authority TV channel, said that
        Abu Sukkar was “a legend who walked on earth, the most noble among the 
       noble…I cannot but say that Abu Sukkar lived as a giant and died as a giant.”
2.              On November 20, 2013, Jibril Rajoub attended an event held at the Halhul Municipality
              in honor of three released terrorists. A published photograph (see PMW Complaint
              document, page 7) shows Jibril Rajoub with three terrorists. Two of the terrorists,
              Ziyad Mahmoud Ghneimat and Mustafa Ghneimat, had each been given life sentences
              by an Israeli court for the shooting and murder of two Israelis, Meir ben Yair and Michal
              Cohen in a forest on June 27, 1985. Michal Cohen was a 32 year-old nurse who left a
              husband and two small children. The third terrorist, Najeh Muqbil, was serving a
              sentence of 38 years for the murder of Yaakov Shalom on May 20, 1990.  They were
              released early by Israel as part of a deal to persuade the Palestinian to return to
              peace negotiations. Instead, Jibril Rajoub glorified these murderers and presented
              plaques in their honor.
3.              Leila Khaled is a Palestinian terrorist who was arrested and convicted of two plane
              hijackings. In one of her hijacking attempts she was overpowered by Israeli security
              guards as she was holding hand grenades in her hands while the plane was in the air. 
              On August 16, 2015, Jibril Rajoub said on official Palestinian Authority TV, “ I spoke 
              about Leila Khaled, the fighter, the hero, the symbol…There are three sacred things
              that should not be maligned – the fighter, the Martyr, and the prisoner, They are sacred. 
              We should always speak positively about them, whether they are from PFLP, 
              Fatah, Hamas, etc.”
4.               On October 17, 2015, during a wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israeli
               civilians, Jibril Rajoub appeared on official Palestinian TV and referred directly to the
               terror attacks calling them “individual acts of bravery, and I am proud of them. I 
               congratulate everyone who carried them out and I say to you, we are 
               proud of you…Whoever confronts, fights, dies as a Martyr, is arrested or injured, his 
               identity is known. What I mean is that the fighter, the prisoner, or the Martyr, they are 
               assets to the entire Palestinian people.”   
5.                On January 6, 2016, Jibril Rajoub appeared on official Palestinian TV and on the
               Fatah-operated Awdah TV channel to “bless and encourage” terrorists, again
               referring to terrorist murderers as “heroes.” He said;
         “I say that whoever carried out individual acts of heroism (terror) we in the Fatah 
         movement bless and encourage them. We consider them heroes and a crown 
         on the head of every Palestinian…beginning with our brother Muhannad Halabi.”
         Muhannad Halabi killed Rabbi Nehamia Lavi and Aharon Bennett (Benita) as
         they were walking from their prayers in Jerusalem. He also seriously wounded Bennett’s
         wife, Adele, and injured their two-year old son. (See item 6 in the terror incident
         complaint above)
         This leaves us, and FIFA, to ask what is the difference between Jibril Rajoub’s promotion
         and incitement to terrorism and that of ISIS’s Omar Al-Baghdadi, or Osama Bin Laden’s
         past exhortations to Al-Qaida terrorism? 
         Based on the evidence, does Jibril Rajoub have any place as a FIFA Delegate?
         The time has come for FIFA to KICK TERRORISM OUT OF FOOTBALL. 
         As stipulated in Article 111 (2) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, we hereby request
         that the Committee hold a hearing on these claims and complaints against Jibril Rajoub,
         the Palestinian Football Association and their officials and their gross misconduct
         in the administration of Palestinian football.
         Please inform us of the date set for a hearing on this matter so that we may appear
         before the committee to give evidence and to hear about the investigation and findings
         of your Disciplinary Committee into the disturbing conduct of the said persons
         and Association.

         Respectfully,
   
         Barry Shaw,
         Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy,
         Israel institute for Strategic Studies,
         Israel.





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