Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)Flash 90

The Cardiff city council is under fire on Friday, after it removed an Israeli exhibition about diversity due to anti-Israel pressure. 

The exhibit, entitled "Low football – Jewish-Arab football: diversity and co-existence through lower-league football," opened at the Cardiff central library earlier this week, to coincide with the Israeli soccer team arriving Sunday to play Wales in a European Championship qualifying match. 

The photography exhibition demonstrates the ability of soccer to bring Israel's diverse populations together - and it has been pulled just before the team is due to arrive.

The city council and library claimed that the exhibit would have showed "political bias." 

“From an operational perspective it is important that our buildings are open and accessible to all and it is important that at no time should we be in a position where any exhibition could lead visitors to suppose that the council could be seen to be displaying a political bias," it said. 

The Israeli embassy in London's chargé d’affaires, Eitan Na’eh, stated to the Guardian that Cardiff had capitulated to extremism. 

“Tolerance towards intolerance is cowardice, and this is the unfortunate sight we witnessed in Cardiff, in the face of vile threats by a small group of thugs,” Na'eh said.

“Football is the one sport that can bring peoples and nations from around the world together," he explained. "Ahead of the game, a photography exhibition was opened at Cardiff’s central library, which aims to promote coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel, as they live and play football together."

“It’s these pictures of coexistence that intolerant thugs wish to erase, so that no one might realize that there is one country in the Middle East where such coexistence exists," he fired. "Britain has long been the home of a people who have shown the world the meaning of determination and bravery: in Wales this week we witnessed a surrender to the forces of extremism.”

Philip Kaye, Israel's consul in Wales, also condemned the "very bad" move as a poor reflection on Cardiff and Wales. 

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)