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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem

News Digest: Argentina cancels football game [1]


“Mukaber News Network: The Director General for the Ministry of Sport in the Occupation government Yossi Sharabi: ‘Argentina’s cancellation of its match against the Israeli [football] team is a first class terrorist attack.'”

– Mukaber Net


"Don’t be sorry for me, Argentina.

We should have woken to a different morning, one in which we are united, with a clear stance that Argentina came out of this situation as small as Messi did. Specifically, because Argentina chose not to play in Israel, because they made a cowardly political decision and caved in to terror and incitement. Every person that loves sports and loves his country should have woken up to a sad morning in which the bad guys won.

But for some reason, this isn’t what happened. Instead of solidarity and unity, we awoke to a morning of cynicism, mixed in with some gloating, internal wars and hatred. All this while the arrows should be pointed at those that chose not to come to the capital of Israel.

Why did this happen?

It happened because the people who live here feel that the game was not actually for them. They feel that they’ve become pawns in the hands of politicians who wanted to earn a few more political points at their expense. They feel like they've became subjects, ruled by masters, a long time ago. They feel that they’ve taken soccer, something is supposed to be 'the people's game', a game where any child with a ball and two stones can become Messi for a moment, and transformed it into a closed club for the rich and the well-connected. In their despair, in their frustration at the fact that they will never be a part of that inner circle, they find some measure of solace in the fact that if they’re not there, at least the masters aren’t there either.

The people who love Jerusalem with all their heart, those who do not doubt for a second that it is their capital, feel that those that purport to bring the game to Jerusalem aren’t really doing it purely to support the city, but are motivated by political interests. [They feel that] before anyone attempts to force Messi to come here, to a game that they can’t afford to attend, the smaller and simpler things should be done. For example, moving the government’s offices to Jerusalem including the Culture and Sports Ministry, whose employees received tickets for the game, while Jerusalemites would have received nothing but traffic jams and roadblocks.

Don’t cry for us, Argentina, we manage that very well without you."

– Itamar Farhi, West Jerusalemite

"To you, Argentina’s national team, and to the cursed Israel-hater Messi: You can go too…May God protect bless everyone…You don’t have the right to step into the Holy Land. Bye…"

[Selected Comments:]
– "Why the dirty language? You can criticize without cursing."
– "Hopefully, they won’t even reach the World Cup’s second stage."
– "That’s it, they’re done for."
– "They were probably afraid we’ll win LOL."
– "The headlines here are distorted and mislead the public. In the midst of all the commotion, they forgot to mention that Hamas leaders threatened the team’s players and their families’ lives if they chose to come to Israel. That is in addition to the fact that they asked to avoid this hassle before the World Cup."


MK Moses: "Congratulations to the Argentina team for canceling the game"
“…Those who were happy that the game was cancelled were the Haredi Knesset (Parliament) members. Not everyone was willing to talk about the subject, but MK Menachem Eliezer Mozes actually spoke on air on the subject saying that he "congratulates the Argentina team and Argentina for canceling the game. It saved us a lot of headaches, even coalition-related ones [2]. I understand that it hurt some people’s ego, but it's very good. "

"Hundreds of Jewish policemen and security guards were supposed to be in the entire area of the Teddy Stadium [3] from the morning hours of Shabbat, and only to think about the thousands of people who would come out from all over the country in the midst of the holy Shabbat [4]. If you take a family from Tiberias up north to Jerusalem to participate in the game, they would have to leave in the afternoon, because the game was supposed to begin an hour after Shabbat.”


0202 Editor's Note:
[1] Argentina was due to play a pre-World Cup friendly exhibition match with Israel in Jerusalem this coming Saturday 9 June. Argentina's soccer association announced the cancellation of the match on Wednesday 6 June. The match was originally scheduled to be played in Haifa, but Culture and Sports Minister, Miri Regev relocated the event to Jerusalem, claiming that such a high profile event must be held in the nation's capital. The sold-out Jerusalem game was protested by many Palestinians.
[2] The issue of Shabbat in the public sphere is often the cause of political crises, mainly raised by Haredi parties.
[3] Teddy Stadium is Jerusalem’s soccer stadium.
[4] Shabbat (Saturday) is the Jewish holy day of the week. It’s practice in the public sphere in Israel is continuously debated within Israeli Jewish society. The soccer game would have caused many actions that, according to religious rules, are prohibited during Shabbat, such as driving, manual activation of electricity, etc’.

#Argentina #Sport #BDS #Politics #Shabbat