On Tuesday, the lead headlines coming out of Israel and the Middle East, like a red card, announced the Argentinian decision to cancel its scheduled “friendly” soccer match against the Israel national team in Jerusalem (see the news article on page 12).
The decision is a clear victory for the BDS Movement, and it once again is a stunning loss for the move forward of responsible dialogue and perhaps even peace.
The Argentines, the World Cup favorites this year, behind their all-everything star Lionel Messi, are bending to the Palestinians’ favorite ploy—fire and threats.
The Palestinian soccer head told the world that it should burn Messi jerseys, unarguably the world’s most popular sports jersey. And it was Argentinian team jerseys with red “blood” splattered on them that were held by protesters at a recent game. This and threats to players’ families are what the Palestinians are using.
And if the Palestinian behavior in recent weeks at the Gaza fence is any frontline example, then fire and burning instead of taking care of its people through diplomacy and real peace initiatives is something the PA knows well.
The last thing that any responsible and reasonable participant in world civil discourse should do is capitulate to these threats. The U.S. decides to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Palestinians respond with “days of rage.” And now weeks of fire.
The Argentinian sports authorities had scheduled this upcoming game against Israel as a final tune-up before an opening-round World Cup match against Russia. Argentina is hosting the next World Cup in 2020, and guess what, everyone? The Palestinians have threatened the status of this highly acclaimed event where the world will be watching as well.
So the world is watching now, and what it sees is obvious.
We encourage, in the strongest of terms, Argentina not to bend to a Palestinian pressure that burns, blows up and boycotts instead of negotiate peace and educate its children to want peace. Argentina, which bears the complicit scars of Jewish terrorism victims at the hands of Iran and Hezbollah, is once again providing terror with its game-winning goal.
Sadly for the process of peace, this cowardly act will give the arena of peace exactly what the Palestinians seem to seek when it comes to Israel…nil.
By Phil Jacobs