The campaign to demonize Israel is relentless and operates, as I have reported for years on this blog, not just in politics and the media, but in art, cinema, theatre, and sport. Anti-Israel activists - operating under the guise of being 'pro-Palestinian' - prey especially on the ignorant in society who easily believe the lies told to them. One example of such a group being increasingly targeted are professional footballers, because an anti-Israel message from them can have instant worldwide impact. Hence, there has been a steadily increasing number of footballers taking part in what I call the 'football jihad' - and they are by no means all Muslims. The non-Muslims are typical of the ignorant youngsters you see at any university meeting or rally protesting against Israel - with their Hamas supporting T-shirts and kaffiyas, repeating unquestioningly the same lies told to them.
I have decided to maintain a log of these footballer and (as per my log of anti-Israel charities) I have awarded a number of Arafats (rather than stars) to each (where 5 Arafats is the worse possible). The list - ordered by the fame of the player - is by no means exhaustive but will be updated over time.
Portuguese world superstar (Real Madrid and formerly Man Utd). Typical brainwashed non-Muslim bigot supporter of Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Even refused to exchange shirts with Israeli players. However, he actually attracted the wrath of the antisemites by tweeting to say he was in 'Israel' instead of 'Palestine' before the match where he refused to exchange shirts.
Star with Arsenal and Germany who performs a recitation of the Qur'an on the pitch before every match. Being a good Muslim he sportingly declined to shake hands with a FIFA official because of the official's support for Israel. On the day after Hamas - who rule Gaza - broke a ceasfire by firing 50 rockets into Israeli civilian areas (having already fired 2000 rockets the previous week bringing every Israeli citizen under fire) Ozil announced that he was donating his $600,000 World Cup winning prize money from the tournament to Gaza (i.e. to Hamas).
Former Brazilian world player of the year. Proud to be seen in his Palestinian 'death to Israel' scarf. Actually played himself in an Iranian anti-Israel propaganda film about a Palestinian girl who is killed before realizing her dream of meeting him.
Former Man Utd superstar. Typical wealthy French leftist antisemite who actually thinks of himself as a man of culture and intellect. Active campaigner for boycotting Israel, calling it a "racist state, which violates human rights".
Egyptian international now with Chelsea. Refused to shake hands with Israeli players when playing for Basel against Macabbi Tel Aviv. Had to be forced by his club to travel to Israel and then issued a statement saying I am going to play in Palestine and not Israel and I am also going to score and win there. The Zionist flag won’t be shown in the Champions League. More here and here
Real Madrid and Spain. After winning the Spanish Championship in 2010 it is reported that Casillas opted out of the celebrations saying “It’s unthinkable that people take part [in celebrations] and laugh after seeing what is going on in the Gaza Strip,. He apparently also was planning to go on the antisemitic Gaza flotilla.
Marcelo (full name Marcelo Vieira)
Real Madrid and Brazil: Tweeted support for Palestinian terrorism. Close friend of Ronaldo (see above).
Belgium and Chelsea. He was the most high-profile signatory of Fredi Kanoute's campaign to boycott Israel from hosting the 2013 EUFA under-21 championships that attracted 60 international footballers (mainly Muslims) as I reported here. After my intervention with Chelsea the club issued a statement saying that Hazard had not signed the statement and did not wish to be associated with it. However, even today his name still appears on the website as a signatory; this is especially curious as at least 10 players who denied having signed it - including Didier Drogba - did have their names removed.
Rating (based on the failure to have his name removed)
France and many major clubs. A convert to Islam who performed the 'quenelle' to celebrate a goal when playing for West Brom and refused to apologise, claiming he was 'only making a dedication to his comedian friend'. ....who just happens to be the convicted antisemite and obsessive Israel hater Dieudonne ... who just happened to be in court at the time on yet another antisemitism charge.
When interviewed in April 2014 Anelka said the French Premier's objection to the 'quenelle' was due his wife being Jewish.
Samir Nasri and Mamadou Sakho
French internationals who performed the 'quenelle' alongside its inventor convicted antisemite and obsessive Israel hater Dieudonne (see here) Unlike Anelka at least Nasri issued an apology of sorts.
English player, numerous clubs (currently QPR). He is actually a convicted thug who was booted out of numerous clubs for violent conduct, but reinvented himself in 2011 (while playing for Lille in France) as a philosopher, self-appointed expert on the Middle East and generally Hamas spokesman. The 'quality' in his writing can be seen here which includes ".. those innocent children, women and men were being killed in Gaza because of a largely interpreted book that was written more than 2,000 years ago,...there are a group of Jews out there, with extreme beliefs, that think the Old Testament is all fact, which means that Israel belongs to the Jews and the Palestinians must give all of the land back to them".
Egyptian international formerly with Milan and Spurs among many other clubs. When actually supposed to be playing for Barnsley in 2012 he instead went to an anti-Israel demonstration in London where he tweeted "In London against Israel ... Oh Lord burn them". The irony is that he had previously gained widespread support from the FA when he claimed fans were being 'Islamaphobic'. Despite a promise from the FA (made to yours truly) to investigate Mido's call to genocide the FA never did investigate and did not even issue a statement of condemnation.
France and numerous clubs around Europe. Long history of association with Islamic fundamentalism and Israel hatred. He is the player who organised the campaign to boycott Israel from hosting the 2013 EUFA under-21 championships that attracted 60 international footballers (mainly Muslims) as signatories, including Eden Hazard as I reported here.
Chris Sutton (then Celtic and England): Allegedly called his Israeli team mate Eyal Berkovic "baby-killer" in 2001 after taking in the standard Hamas blood libel that Palestinian babies had been deliberately killed by Israel. Although this was quite a big news item at the time I can find no traces of the story on the Internet. Irrespective of this particular story Sutton was a nasty piece of work, whose career was dogged by controversy. In 2000 he was convicted of two charges of common assault and fined after an incident outside a restaurant in which he spat in the face of another man
Algeria National Football team at the FIFA World Cup 2014
On the day after it was confirmed that Hamas - who rule Gaza - had kidnapped and murdered three Israeli schoolboys - the Algerian team (who had been relatively successful in the World Cup) announced that it was donating its $9 million in prize money from the tournament to Gaza (i.e. to Hamas). Within two days Hamas was firing hundreds of missiles a day at Israeli cities including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Chile's Palestine Football Club
Made news in January 2014 when they adopted a strip that contained the map of 'Palestine' with Israel obliterated. Despite censure and a substantial fine from the Chile FA they have continued to wear the strip.
Dubai (United Arab Emirates) supported by West Ham United, Bolton Wanderers, Swansea City, Vitesse Arnham
European teams (such as those mentioned above) often like to take a mid-winter 'team bonding' session in a warm climate and Dubai is one of the most common destinations. Yet Dubai - like almost every Muslim country - refuses to allow players with Israeli passports to enter the country. Despite this all the above teams have insisted on booking trips to Dubai when they had Israeli players who were duly banned from going (for example see e.g. here, here, here). Although this has been going on for years, each time it happens the clubs are somehow 'suprised' and 'disappointed'. But never once have they been sufficiently 'disappointed' to choose a different location and hence finally call out the racist Arabs and push FIFA to do abide by their own anti-racism rules. You would have thought that the clubs would have the decency to pick a civilised place where ALL its employees could go for its mid-winter 'jolly'. In fact, choosing a location where some of its employees are excluded on racist grounds is actually a clear breach of EU employment law by the clubs and could have been challenged had the Israeli players had the inclination to do so (none did). West Ham and Bolton deserve special criticism because with them it has happened more than once. Indeed in 2006 West Ham even had two Israeli players (Yossi Benayoun and Yaniv Katan) - and they still went ahead with the trip despite the fact that Benayoun was their captain and most important player. Bolton were 'stung' in 2006 (when Tal Ben Haim was banned) and again in 2009 (when Tamir Cohen was banned).
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas
They have long used football as a Jihad/political weapon. If they are not firing rockets from their FIFA funded football grounds (and then demanding that FIFA expel Israel when Israel responds by hitting the fields where the rockets were fired from) they continually concoct stories in which terrorists whose 'freedom of movement is restricted' or who are injured while attacking Israelis are claimed to be key players from the Palestinian national team. Apparently the Palestinian national football team has approximately 25,000 key players.
FIFA (and EUFA)
Despite continued breaches of FIFA's own regulations on racism, they have never brought to book the many Muslim countries who have refused to allow even individual Israelis to play in (or even enter) their countries even when those players were playing for non-Israeli teams. Nor have they brought to book the Muslim countries (all 58) who simply refuse to play Israel in international tournaments. On the contrary they have punished Israel for this by forcing them (since after 1970) to play in the very difficult European qualifiers for the World Cup while the Muslim countries play in the much easier Asia (or Africa) qualifiers. Hence, while Israel has failed to qualify for the World Cup finals since 1970, a continual stream of inferior Arab and Muslim countries have qualified. The ultimate act of footballing Jihad was FIFA's award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar which means that FIFA will have to 'ensure' that Israel is unable to qualify for that tournament. Yet, while neither FIFA nor EUFA has condemned the blatant racism of its Muslim members, it has continually singled out Israel and threatened expulsion from both FIFA and EUFA for trumped up charges involving 'freedom of movement of Palestinian footballers' (see previous item).