by Yousef Aljamal
This following article by Palestinian rights activist, creator, and translator Yousef Aljamal is crossposted from Politics Right this moment.
Because the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicked off on November 20, 2022, and with a whole lot of hundreds of soccer followers throughout the globe making their option to the Gulf nation to attend the numerous sports activities occasion, Israel appears to be the one loser of the match. Right here is how Israel misplaced the battle of public opinion on the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The solidarity with the Palestinian individuals expressed each within the streets of Qatar and within the stadiums through the World Cup was exceptional. The Palestinian flag, keffiyehs, and chants for the liberty of the Palestinian individuals have been repeatedly reported to the shock of Israeli reporters who travelled to cowl the worldwide soccer occasion.
4 Arab groups had certified for the World Cup, specifically Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Tunisia, and the solidarity with Palestine expressed by the waving of Palestinian flags or carrying the normal Palestinian keffiyeh was very seen not solely on the matches of the Arab groups however at matches of different groups in addition to within the streets. Soccer followers who got here from all around the world persistently expressed solidarity with Palestine.
Israeli media protection of the World Cup has proven that followers from Japan to England have expressed solidarity with the Palestinian individuals by both chanting “Free Palestine” or refusing to talk to Israeli media about their expertise through the World Cup.
Ought to we be stunned?
The reality is that many Palestinians are astonished that Israeli media crews have been stunned by the therapy they obtained on the World Cup. There isn’t any rationalization for the Israelis’ shock aside from the final feeling of isolation many Israelis expertise as we speak on account of being out of contact with actuality and their lack of ability to see the implications of 74 years of occupation and displacement, and what these years have meant for the Palestinian individuals.
In distinction, Palestinians will not be stunned by this wave of solidarity, which was particularly exceptional this yr because it coincided with the Worldwide Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Folks on November 29.
Israeli successive governments have traditionally normalized ties with sure Arab governments, however not with the Arab peoples. The Israeli authorities, and a few individuals in Israel, have been at all times conscious of this truth, however they tried to promote a special narrative to the Israelis, specifically that the publics within the area are additionally fond of getting ties with their state in its present type. The World Cup in Qatar has simply proved the precise reverse.
Israel’s ongoing violations
Within the span of 1 week from November 28 to December 3, Israel has killed 10 Palestinians. The most recent of Israel’s victims was Omar Manaa, 22, who was killed close to the West Financial institution metropolis of Bethlehem. This yr, Israel has killed round 150 Palestinians and its forces proceed to interrupt into Palestinian cities and cities daily, abandoning extra wounds that point can not heal.
The way wherein the Israeli soldier killed Omar Manaa, which was caught on digicam, reveals with out a shadow of a doubt that Israeli forces really feel fully immune. Omar clashed with an Israeli soldier and through the conflict wherein Omar posed no risk to the Israeli soldier, the soldier determined to take out his pistol and kill him. It’s sure that the Israeli soldier knew very nicely that he won’t be held accountable for the crime he was about to commit.
Quite the opposite, in truth, he may need felt that he could be rewarded for his motion. Itamar Ben Gvir tweeted that he helps the soldier’s “heroic act.” That is the present state of Israeli politics: Palestinians have to decide on between right-wing politics and excessive right-wing politics. Ben Gvir, who was as soon as banned from training legislation for his radical views and later defended settlers who assault Palestinians when the ban was lifted, is almost definitely to function Israel’s subsequent nationwide safety minister with limitless powers.
On December 4, Palestinians wakened once more to the sounds of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, focusing on the coastal enclave, which has been underneath a good Israeli siege since 2007. The discourse of Israeli politicians as we speak resembles that of the founders of Israel who have been extra open about their Zionist ideology that was primarily based on the removing of the Palestinian individuals by pressure to ensure that the Zionist dream to come back true. Right this moment, we’re again within the period of the iron wall, the place Israel brags about the usage of pressure to get Palestinians to give up.
Solidarity with Palestine and the best way ahead
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar has proven as soon as once more that the problems of Palestine and the injustice its individuals have been and are nonetheless struggling are alive within the hearts of many individuals throughout the globe. The World Cup in Qatar despatched the message to Israeli leaders that lasting justice will solely be realized when Palestinians are given their rights again and the wrongdoings of the Nakba are reversed with out additional delay.
Soccer followers in as we speak’s world can’t be separated from politics. In truth, stadiums have at all times been used to precise political messages and the message from the stadiums in Qatar was loud and clear: the Palestinian individuals will finally be victorious and have equal rights on their land.
Palestinians weren’t stunned by this transnational wave of solidarity, as this has at all times been the case. Israeli leaders must lastly get up from their Zionist dream, hand over its unique ideology that denies the Palestinian individuals their rights, and confront the fact on the bottom.
That actuality ascertains that a lot of the world is fed up with Israeli practices and insurance policies that are uncovered to the remainder of the world through social media each day, and defending killing Palestinians for no cause has change into more and more clear and unsustainable.
Even Israel’s shut allies can now not clarify its habits. Because the tide is altering, it’s excessive time to finish the unique system Israel has created and permit Palestinians to take pleasure in their full rights. Most probably, Israeli leaders will proceed to lecture the world from their ivory towers.
Nevertheless, as the worldwide solidarity with Palestine on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar has proven us, this method has grown outdated, and Palestinians may in truth take pleasure in their full rights sooner somewhat than later regardless of the desires of right-wing politicians in Israel.
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