Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Tuesday urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to suspend Palestinian Olympic Committee chairman Jibril Rajoub.
In a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach, Erdan pointed out that Rajoub had previously been suspended for a year from soccer body FIFA for inciting hatred and violence, after he called on soccer fans to target the Argentinian Soccer Association and burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi when he was scheduled to play a friendly game in Israel.
"Rajoub called on soccer fans to burn shirts and posters of soccer player Lionel Messi - just because he expressed a desire to play in Israel," the minister wrote in his letter.
"In professional international organizations, there should be no place for someone who supports terrorism and violence and makes threats and intimidation. Rajoub's behavior goes against all the values of Olympic sports, and therefore the Olympic Committee must prove that it is a professional international sports body that operates for practical reasons and is not a political body,” Erdan added.
The letter was sent ahead of a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires.
After his suspension from FIFA was announced, Rajoub blamed Israel, claiming the suspension was caused by “unilateral media reports in addition to misinformation from right-wing organizations in Israel.”
He later announced he would appeal the suspension, which he blasted as biased and “absurd.”
Rajoub, along with several anti-Israel organizations, has in the past attempted to force FIFA to ban six Israeli teams based in Judea and Samaria. He claims that their presence there is in breach of FIFA statutes, which forbids another member association playing on another territory without permission.
Last October, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced his organization would not intervene in the issue and that it considers the matter closed.
Rajoub later accused FIFA of caving to Israeli pressure, saying Infantino “did not deal appropriately” with his complaints against Israel.
Earlier this year, Rajoub was filmed as he verbally confronted Border Police officers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron, telling one of them to "shut up, go to hell."