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August 08, 2013

Polishing Jibril Rajoub's Image

Jibril Rajoub

The Spanish soccer team, FC Barcelona, visited Israel and the West Bank as part of its Peace Tour. Much of the media presented Fatah official and Palestinian Soccer Association head Jibril Rajoub as a peace lover opposed to hatred and hostility. According to AP, for example:

Rajoub described the visit as a historic moment for his people. "We are hugely respectful of this visit being paid by Barça (FC Barcelona)," he said. "It is a big step towards our desire for peace."

Ha'aretz attributed similar comments to Rajoub:

“Sport is the best way to overcome hate and hostility,�? said Rajoub, who described the visit as a "historic day."

But is Rajoub really such a peace advocate?

According to the Times of Israel, Rajoub's attitude toward Israel was far from peaceful. He took advantage of "the most important event in the history of Palestinian sports" to express hositlity toward and call for a sports boycott against Israel:

At a press conference in Ramallah last Wednesday, [Rajoub] told journalists that he had withstood immense pressure to produce a joint photo of Israeli and Palestinian players with the Catalan team.

"You have no idea what pressure was placed on me so that a photo emerge with Shlomo, Muhammad and Messi. We insisted that the photo include Messi and Muhammad. Shlomo — [representing] this occupation — will not be present that day, only Barcelona and the Palestinians.

"We are not racist, we are realists. We will not give this occupation a fig leaf with which to cover its nudity, to cover its crimes against the Palestinian people and especially against the Palestinian sports movement," Rajoub said.

Rajoub, went on to justify his objections and subsequent cancelation of a match between Barcelona and a mixed Israeli-Palestinian Team, saying that it was “impossible for [the Palestinians] to permit any joint activities with the symbols of our suffering and pain, the Israeli occupation.�?

The Jerusalem Post quoted an Israeli official who commented on the implications of Rajoub's stance toward Israel :

"Despite public proclamations about the desire for peace and reconciliation, the Palestinians refused to entertain the idea of a joint football team, and refused to have Israelis go to the West Bank to watch a match," the official said. ‘"This just shows the challenges we face now in moving the process forward.’�?

But the mainstream media glossed over this, preferring to romanticize him as a peace advocate.

There's nothing romantic and peace loving about the Fatah official. Rajoub's comments to a non-Western press make this abundantly clear. Palestinian Media Watch describes how during an interview with Lebanese TV channel, Rajoub explained that the only reason negotiations were being held with Israel was because the Palestinians currently lack military strength. He declared:

"I swear that if we had a nuke, we'd have used it this very morning."

Posted by mw at August 8, 2013 03:17 PM


Jibril Rajoub is another Rejectionist Palestinian Hatemonger. I can see Jodi Rudoren calling him a moderate.

The liar Rajoub has claimed that all of Israel is occupied Palestine.
'All of Israel is occupied Palestine, from the river to the sea'
June 11, 2013

Posted by: Ken Kelso at August 8, 2013 04:35 PM

Rajoub has also stated that it is racist to commemorate the Israeli athletes who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Olympic Massacre and has equivocated a terrorist throwing a hand grenade and building schools as forms of legitimate activism.

Posted by: Ken Kelso at August 8, 2013 04:40 PM

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