'The Israel-hating, anti-Semitic terror supporters won'

Defense Minister slams decision by Argentinian soccer team to nix game in Israel, vows that Israel won't give in 'to anti-Semites'.

David Rosenberg,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Flash 90

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman lamented the decision by an Argentinian soccer team to drop out of game in Israel, scheduled for Saturday evening.

The planned game between the national teams of Israel and Argentinian, was to have taken place in Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium.

On Tuesday night, however, Argentinian soccer officials notified the Israeli embassy that the game would not take place, citing “threats and provocations” against star player Lionel Messi.

"The threats and provocations against Lionel Messi, which logically raised fears against holding the game, are not foreign to the daily lives of the Israeli population, whose athletes have often been the target of violence and terror attacks," the embassy said in a series of tweets.

On Wednesday, Liberman expressed his disappointment in the decision to cancel, and excoriated BDS activists who pressured the Argentinian team to drop out.

"It's a shame that Argentina's footballing nobility did not withstand the pressure from Israeli-hating inciters,” wrote Liberman, “whose only goal is to harm our basic right to self-defense and to bring about the destruction of Israel. We won’t give in to a bunch of anti-Semitic terror-supporters.”

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) later said a statement that terror groups had threatened the Argentinian team’s players and their families with explicit threats. Among other things, the players were sent videos and pictures of children's bodies.

Minister Regev said, "I hope that Argentina's players will not succumb to the terror threats and to the BDS organizations."