PA and far-left call for Israel's ouster from FIFA

Far-left organization joins PA official Jibril Rajoub in calling for teams from 'settlements' to leave Israeli league or face consequences.

Shimon Cohen,

Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub
Flash 90

Adam Keller, spokesman for the far-left organization "Gush Shalom", publicized a call to join with Head of PA Football [soccer] Association Jibril Rajoub's demand that Jewish soccer clubs from Judea and Samaria be expelled from the Israeli league because they are "operating on Palestinian land."

In a statement entitled "Give Settlements the Red Card," Keller claims that if these Israeli teams aren't expelled from the Israeli league the entire Israeli league may find itself expelled from FIFA, soccer's scandal-ridden international governing body. He says that the "settler" teams require the permission of the Palestinian soccer league in order to play in the Israeli one, and they never asked for such permission.

The far-left activist mentions that in May of the last year Jibril Rajoub had demanded that Israel be ousted from FIFA. "In the end Rajoub agreed not to bring the matter up for a vote in the FIFA committee, in return for FIFA establishing an investigative committee to look into Israel's conduct in soccer-related matters, including possible violations of international law and FIFA regulations. Among the matters brought up were arrests of Palestinian soccer players and restrictions on their freedom of movement, anti-Arab racism in the Betar Jerusalem team and especially the fact that there are six teams playing in the Israeli league that are located in occupied territory," Keller writes.

He adds, "Palestine is a full member of FIFA, and all the land conquered by Israel in 1967 is considered sovereign Palestinian land by the international community. Therefore, the Palestinian Football Association has the same standing in FIFA as the Israeli Football Association.

"According to FIFA regulations, every soccer team which is located on land belonging to a certain country needs to play in that country's league. Therefore, teams located in settlements on land belonging to the state of Palestine need to play in the Palestinian league. The very fact that they play in the Israeli league is a violation of FIFA regulations. They would have needed to obtain special dispensation from the Palestinian league, and no such dispensation was ever even sought, never mind granted."

Keller reports that ahead of the publication of the findings of FIFA's investigative committee into Israel's conduct, a rising tide of world public opinion is condemning Israel. He says that nearly 150,000 people have signed a petition initiated by the "Avaaz" organization that "calls for FIFA to expel settlement teams from the Israeli soccer leagues, or to compel them to move to within the green line. Failure to comply may bring about Israel's expulsion from FIFA, thus preventing it from taking part in international competitions," Keller threatens.




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