Threat Of Sports Boycotts Present Israel With New Challenge Off The Field
While the "so-far fruitless peace talks hang by a thread, the effort to delegitimize Israel by Palestinian authorities continues relentlessly, even in sports," according to Allon Sinai of the JERUSALEM POST. Since the FIFA Congress in Mauritius last summer, the Palestinian FA, headed by Chair Jibril Rajoub, "has threatened to seek the expulsion of Israel from world football’s governing body." The PFA "is demanding that Israeli security forces ease the travel restrictions on players and officials, with a recent incident in the West Bank bringing to the forefront the plight of Palestinian players, or their involvement in terrorist activity, depending on who you choose to believe." There "is no argument regarding the fact that Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, were shot in the feet by Border Police troops." The Border Police spokesperson said that "they were seen just seconds before, throwing bombs at security forces." The fact that the two were football players "was exploited by Rajoub." The Israel FA "has done its very best to remain diplomatic on the matter and refused to comment on whether FIFA has handed it an ultimatum." The IFA said, “The Israel Football Association is adamant that there is no place to mix politics and sport. The Israel Football Association is working continually, professionally and in cooperation with FIFA on this subject" (JERUSALEM POST, 4/2).