Israel and the World Cup: Always Scores High

by Haitham Sabbah

Congratulations to all football lovers, the countdown has finally come to end and now we can all watch the new edition of the World Cup. Football was always one of the few things that brings the world together. Well, everyone but Israel. It seems that Israel has an allergy to sports, joy and good times, especially if those who are trying to enjoy are Palestinians.

Of course, Palestine like all other nations, loves football and has always tried to build a national team that can compete and reach global tournaments. But how can this dream come true if we know that Israel misses no opportunity to shatter these dreams in ways such as denying players from travel or even killing them.

A couple of years ago, Palestinians expressed their national pride through a football team that decided to make history with its first ever international home game. Although Palestine has been a FIFA member since 1998 it has been denied a home ground and it has been forced to train and play overseas due to Israeli occupation.

Unable to compete in international matches, but still wanting to share the excitement of playing with other nations, the 16 teams in Gaza, 200 players altogether, were part of the “Gaza World Cup“, with matches against 200 internationals living or present at the time in Gaza who formed teams. For the Gazan players it may not have been quite the same as being able to compete with players of the same level of expertise, but one thing is certain, it was a victory for everyone, no matter which team was winning the matches.

But the picture was not always rosy. Israel respects no one and spares no one. Many players and athletes were denied traveling, but that’s not the worst that Israel has done. Killing youngsters is the best game Israel plays. In fact they have won the terrorists’ cup by killing thousands of children and civilians. Some of these children were just playing football, others where enjoying the sun and water on a Gaza beach before they got slaughtered with Israeli missiles.

Four years ago, on the eve of the World Cup 2006, a day like this day, Huda and her family were trying to enjoy their outing on Gaza beach when the Israeli navy decided to practice the game they play best, the massacre is still know as the Gaza beach massacre. Huda’s brother, sister and parents were blown to pieces on that bloody sunny day. Who knows, maybe Huda and her family were passing a football to each other, a game the Zionist soldiers hate to see without practicing their sport of killing by aiming at the ball and hitting the goal by killing seven innocent family members.

But Israel claims to love football! In fact in their infamous mobile phone ad, we saw them putting aside their killing skills to enjoy a football match “over the wall”, the Apartheid Wall. But it did not take much time to put their sport skills to test, and guess what? The killing instinct woke up when the Palestinians tried to test that advertising and did throw a football over the Wall to the Israeli Occupation Forces. They did not get their ball back, but they were treated with tear gas and bullets. The only game the Israeli knows how to play well.

The advert:

The reality of Israel sport:

Today, on the occasion of World Cup 2010, Bil’in activists tried to test Israeli football skills again, but you can guess, the result was still the same:

Demonstrators in Bil’in today formed their own Palestine national football team, coinciding with the start of the World Cup, to highlight their right to be an independent nation. The players, together with dozens of other Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, marched to the annexation barrier at the edge of the village, where a goal was constructed and a game was begun. Several footballs were kicked over the fence onto land once owned by the village. Israeli soldiers responded to this entirely non-violent activity by firing volleys of tear gas at the participants. They then came through the fence, and arrested 6 journalists, four of whom were soon released. Two – one Palestinian and one international – remain in detention at the time of writing.

The tear gas canisters fired also caused large fires on the dry ground around the olive trees. Soldiers fired more canisters, aiming for the groups of villagers attempting to put out the flames.

It seems that Israel does not have a sense for football like all other nations. Only time and new matches can tell how many more lives they will “score”.


1 Comment

  1. Fred said,

    June 11, 2010 at 23:43


    Is there nothing Zionists will not steal?

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