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For promoting terrorism Jibril Rajoub deserves gold medal

Jibril Rajoub, Yasser Arafat, Jewish, FIFA, Olympic, Arabs, Muslims

Oped

For promoting terrorism Jibril Rajoub deserves gold medal

Jibril Rajoub chooses to celebrate the “equality of Palestinian women” not by holding up female artists, scientists, athletes, or entertainers as exemplars, but only the most infamous female terrorists, as figures to emulate; one of them, Dalal Mughrabi, took part in the Coastal Road massacre, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Israel’s history, in which 38 Israelis died, 13 of them children. For Jibril Rajoub, Mughrabi is a hero, fully equal to her male counterparts in her ability to kill and willingness to be killed. Writes Hugh Fitzgerald

For his steadfast support of Palestinian terrorists, his incitement of hatred and demonization of Israel, his praise of athletes who have refused to compete against Israeli athletes, Jibril Rajoub, who is not only Secretary-General of Fatah, but the head of the Palestine Olympic Committee, surely deserves a gold medal. A report on his activities that make him worthy of such an award is here: “Jibril Rajoub deserves an Olympic medal in incitement – opinion,” by Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2021:

Fatah Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub’s call for participants in the Tokyo Olympics to forfeit competitions with Israeli contenders was not surprising. The head of the Palestinian Football Association and Palestine Olympic Committee has been an open advocate of terrorism against the Jewish state throughout his career, which included his service as an adviser to PLO chief Yasser Arafat.

Nor has he hesitated to exploit his platform to conduct a demonization campaign against Israel through its athletes. That the sole punishment he’s received for his outrageous behavior was a year-long suspension from soccer matches and a $20,000 fine by the international football association FIFA in 2018 is due to his status as a member of the West’s favorite “victimized” populations.

The above ban followed Rajoub’s urging of fans to burn pictures and jerseys of Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi if he agreed to play in a friendly exhibition match against Israel in Jerusalem. Because of the threat, Messi’s team canceled the game.

Jibril Rajoub whipped up not only Palestinians, but other Arabs and Muslims to demand that Lionel Messi’s Argentinian team cancel a scheduled friendly against an Israeli team in Jerusalem. Threats of violence were made against Messi himself; the result was that Rajoub’s campaign was successful; the match was cancelled. In response, FIFA suspended Rajoub from soccer matches for only one year and fined him $20,000, a drop in the bucket for someone well-known for having amassed, like so many other PA officials, a fortune from dubious dealings.

This was only one among many instances of Rajoub’s having made a mockery of his position. It’s a role, as it happens, for which he won the 2013 Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award from the United Arab Emirates – the Gulf state whose signing of the Abraham Accords with Israel seven years later he and his fellow Palestinian Authority officials would vociferously oppose.

He wouldn’t win such an award from the UAE today; his bitter criticism of the UAE for joining the Abraham Accords have made him persona non grata in the Emirates.

Though his anti-Israel incitement at home and abroad is nothing new, a novel occurrence last week highlighted just how pointless it is for anyone to harbor hope for Palestinian acceptance of, let alone cordial relations with, the Jewish state.

Last Friday [July 24] was the first time that a moment of silence was held during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists 49 years ago at the same event in West Germany.

The tragic irony can’t be escaped. The 1972 Munich Massacre, as it came to be dubbed, is not considered by Rajoub to be a blemish on Palestinian conduct or aspirations. On the contrary, in 2012, he lauded then-International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge for nixing a moment of silence to honor the slain Israeli athletes at the opening ceremony of that summer’s event in London.

According to the research organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), after Rogge denied the request of the families of the victims to mark the mass slaughter, Rajoub wrote him a letter saying, “Sports are a bridge for love, communication and the spreading of peace between nations, and should not be used for divisiveness and the spread of racism.”

To call the mourning of innocent athletes brutally snuffed out by Black September terrorists “divisive” and “racist” is rich, especially when uttered by someone who regularly hails such killers as “heroic martyrs.”

The observance of a moment of silence to remember the Israeli victims of Black September terrorists would be, according to Jibril Rajoub, “divisive.” Presumably he meant that remembering the murdered athletes in such a manner would drive a wedge between those responsible for the murders and all those taking part in that observance. And that would be so unfair. Why bring up an event that is nearly a half-century old, that we had all put behind us, and that if attention is paid to it, it will only prove “divisive”?

Furthermore, such an observance would be “racist,” because it would unfairly target Arabs as responsible for the murders in Munich, when those truly responsible were the Israelis themselves, whose conduct left the Palestinians of Black September with no other choice than to act as they did in 1972. Yes, Jibril Rajoub certainly has a point.

But then, turning the truth on its head is a PA feat of acrobatics worthy of a gold medal. And Rajoub – who in February hailed the “good traits, values and legacy” of Palestinian “heroes” like Munich Massacre mastermind Salah Khalaf (aka Abu Iyad) – can take credit for his success as a top trainer in and promoter of the sport.

Jibril Rajoub, who might have remained silent on the matter, instead has praised the mastermind of the Munich massacre, Salah Khalaf, for his “good traits, values, and legacy.” Shouldn’t such praise of a mass murderer who chose Israel’s Olympic athletes as his victims have led the IOC to denounce Rajoub, and to have banned him from taking any part in the Tokyo Olympics? But it offered no response.

WHILE THE mainstream press and social media persist in obsessing over the withdrawal of US gymnast extraordinaire from the finals – and in turning her personal story into a source of shrill controversy – a taste of Rajoub’s recent remarks, documented by PMW, is in order.

Aside from posting a selfie with Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine, who refused to face off against Israel’s Tohar Butbul, and praising the athlete for his “courageous stance refusing “normalization,” Rajoub has pulled no punches when it comes to encouraging violence against Jews.

Yes, nothing says “sportsmanship” like refusing to compete against another athlete because of his nationality.

On the last day of Operation Guardian of the Walls, Israel’s war in May against Hamas terrorists and infrastructure in Gaza, as the terms of a ceasefire were being finalized, he vowed that “unless the world gives the Palestinians a solution,” the Palestinian Authority “will continue the cycle of blood and killing.”

Rajoub now threatens that not only Hamas, but also the “moderate” PA to which his Fatah faction belongs, will “continue blood and killing” unless its demands are met.

In February, he boasted about women’s rights in the PA, holding up female terrorists as an example of the equality they enjoy with their male counterparts.

“If we didn’t have a culture like this, would we have wanted Dalal Mughrabi and Fatima Barnawi to lead operations?” he asked rhetorically, in reference to two infamous Palestinian murderesses. The former took part in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 38 Israelis, including 13 children, were killed and 71 others wounded. The latter perpetrated the failed 1967 bombing of the Zion Cinema in Jerusalem.

These two paragons of feminism are frequently cited by Rajoub and PA educators as figures who should be emulated.

Jibril Rajoub chooses to celebrate the “equality of Palestinian women” not by holding up female artists, scientists, athletes, or entertainers as exemplars, but only the most infamous female terrorists, as figures to emulate; one of them, Dalal Mughrabi, took part in the Coastal Road massacre, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Israel’s history, in which 38 Israelis died, 13 of them children. For Jibril Rajoub, Mughrabi is a hero, fully equal to her male counterparts in her ability to kill and willingness to be killed.

In September 2020, Rajoub touted the “pride and glory of our people’s sacrifices – our martyrs, our prisoners, our wounded.” Calling Palestinian terrorists “giants,” he said that each of the prisoners in Israeli jails “is a legend, an ethos.”…

Jibril Rajoub has been unwavering in his support for Palestinian terrorists, the “giants” and “legends” of “our people.” This has not evoked any response from the IOC. As the head of a national Olympic Committee, Rajoub’s praising of terrorist murderers is not enough, apparently, for the IOC to take action against him. Now he has been encouraging Muslim and Arab athletes to refuse to compete against Israelis, a direct violation of Olympic rules. Still the IOC has not responded.

Even more incomprehensible is the Olympic Committee’s response, or absence of one, to Rajoub’s violation of every principle of sportsmanship. This is in contrast to the reaction of the International Judo Federation to Nourine’s refusal to compete with Butbul: It suspended both him and his coach, Amar Benikhlef, and stripped them of their accreditation.

What Rajoub reportedly did was to give an interview with an Algerian radio station to strengthen the resolve of those like Nourine….

While the International Judo Federation was quick to suspend the Algerian Judoka, Nourine, for refusing to compete against an Israeli, and his coach as well, stripping them both of their IJF accreditation, the IOC has has done nothing in response either to Jibril Rajoub’s consistent praise of terrorists, or to his lauding of Muslim athletes who have refused to compete against Israelis.

Jibril Rajoub is the head of the Palestine Olympic Committee, yet he has violated every principle of sportsmanship for which the Olympics are supposed to stand. He has constantly praised terrorists, including those who carried out the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He praised the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, for refusing to allow at the 2012 Olympics a moment of silence in honor of the Israelis murdered at Munich, which moment, according to Rajoub, would only be “divisive” and “racist.”

He holds up as examples of “women’s equality” in Palestinian society not artists, scientists, or athletes, but two female terrorists, who were fully “equal” to their male counterparts in their willingness to kill and be killed. He has praised the two Muslim athletes, Algerian and Sudanese, who at this year’s Olympics have refused to compete against Israelis and, as a consequence, were sent home. Rajoub finds their conduct admirable, and urges other athletes to follow suit.

What, one wonders, does Jibril Rajoub have to do for the IOC to remove his accreditation and force the Palestine Olympic Committee to replace him with someone more acceptable? The IOC waited 49 years before it finally offered a moment of silence to honor the murdered Israeli athletes. How long will the IOC wait before it removes as one of its national members Jibril Rajoub, who praised the mastermind of the Munich attack, Salah Khalaf, for his “good traits, values , and legacy”? How long will the IOC put up with a national committee head who praises athletes who refuse to compete against Israeli athletes, undermining the very values that the Olympics are supposed to promote?

Give Jibril Rajoub a Gold Medal — in Sophistry, in Terrorism, in Moral Acrobatics, make up whatever macabre field you want — and show him the door. He should not be needed, nor wanted, at the Olympics any more.

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