Argentina cancels friendly soccer match that was due to take place in Jerusalem
I was rather disappointed to learn last week that the Argentinian national soccer team had decide to pull out of a friendly game against the Israeli national team in Jerusalem.
The decision even sparked the revival of a fake quote from Argentinian star Lionel Messi, which read: “As a UNICEF ambassador, I cannot play against people who kill innocent Palestinian children. We had to cancel the game because we are humans before we are footballers.”
Messi never said it, but it did not stop the quote being shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter. It was reported that he said the quote to TyC Sports, but a reporter from the station tweeted, “What you are writing is false. Messi has not spoken to the media and not with TyC Sports on this subject. Be accurate. During his preparations for the World Cup, Messi is not talking to the press.”
Of course, the vile BDS movement worked in overdrive to clock this up as a huge win for the movement – after all, they had been putting pressure on the team not to play in Israel, and the cancellation could be seen as a victory.
But it definitely is not.
It is become clear that the Argentinian team was responding to threats made on the team, which Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said had exceeded those of ISIS.
Meanwhile, President of the Argentine Football Association Claudio Tapia held a press conference to clear up any misconceptions, saying that “the threats, and everything has led us to take the decision not to travel [to Israel]. So I simply apologise to the Israeli community, it is nothing against the Jewish community, rather the opposite, and I think and I would like that, from this moment, everyone considers my decision as a contribution to world peace.”
But in the meantime, Hamas’ English twitter page posted a “thank-you” of their own to the Argentinian national team. Not sure if that is really the best endorsement – we know which side we would rather be on.
A few days after the announcement, a politician from Argentinian rival Brazil stood up in Parliament and took aim at the Argentinian team asking, “Are they going to attend the upcoming World Cup in Russia? The same Russia that sent military forces that are fighting side by side with Bashar el Assad, that is responsible for genocide of the Syrian people?”
Earlier in the week, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu came out on social media with a video made directly for the people of Iran. Pouring some water from a jug he said, “Today I am going to make an unprecedented offer to Iran… It relates to water… The Iranian people are the victims of a cruel and tyrannical regime that denies them vital water. Israel stands with the people of Iran and that is why I want to save countless Iranian lives… We’ll have to get creative. We will launch a Farsi website with detailed plans on how Iranians can recycle their waste-water. We will show how Iranian farmers can save their crops and feed their families.”
A twitter feud ensued, with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho firing the first Twitter salvo, sharing PM Netanyahu’s video and tweeting “Stinking #Zionist @netanyahu offer water to @Iran; he’s criminal/liar so wouldn’t deliver. Meanwhile he can’t be bothered giving water to #Gaza; he kills them instead”.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon gave the best possible reply in an era of social media, tweeting: “On the bright side- you follow us on Twitter and react. On the negative side- you insult us with no reason. Israel is a peace seeking nation, defending itself against a brutal and hate filled Iranian regime seeking our destruction.”
Every single time you hear someone talk about the “peaceful demonstrations” along the border between Gaza and Israel, it is worth showing them this video starring the vile Roger Waters and the “peaceful protesters” of Gaza.
Emergency session on Gaza at the UN General Assembly
On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Israel for excessive use of force against Palestinians civilians and proposing forming an international protection mechanism in Gaza. 120 countries voted in favour, 8 against(including Australia), and 45 abstained.
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley attempted to add an amendment to the resolution which would also include a strong denunciation of Hamas, but shamefully while 62 countries voted in favour of the amendment and 58 against, it fell short of receiving the two thirds majority it needed.
While the resolution is not expected to lead to action against Israel, it is still pretty shameful that the United Nations could not bring itself to issue any sort of condemnation of Hamas for their leading role in the riots of the last few months.
Ambassador Haley did her best to convince members to pass the amendment, declaring:
“The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of Hamas, who routinely initiates violence in Gaza. Such one-sided resolutions at the UN do nothing to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Everyone recognizes that. But advancing peace is not the goal of this resolution…
… Instead, this resolution holds Hamas completely unaccountable for most of the recent unrest. It blames everything on Israel. But the facts tell a different story. It is Hamas and its allies that have fired over a hundred rockets into Israel in the past month, hoping to cause death to as many civilians and as much destruction as possible. It is Hamas that has used Palestinian civilians as human shields at the boundary fence, seeking to incite violence and overrun the border. It is Hamas that refuses to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority to unite in the pursuit of peace. It is Hamas that calls for the destruction of the state of Israel within any borders. And yet the resolution before us not only fails to blame Hamas for these actions, it fails to even mention Hamas. This is the dangerous, counter-productive decision the General Assembly is about to take.” (Read more)
Thank goodness there is at least one voice of reason at the UN.
Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai hits back at the boycotters!
Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai was interviewed earlier in the week by The Jewish Chronicle and had a thing or two to say about those advocating for Eurovision not to be held in Israel next year.
Of her country she said “Israel is amazing – it deserves all the tourists. I think people should come and enjoy our amazing country. I’ve lived in it for 25 years and I still think it’s the best place in the entire world.”
And to the boycotters she said, “Boycotting, hate and revenge won’t lead to anything. It leads nowhere. Talking, speaking and communicating leads somewhere. Boycotting doesn’t help. That’s it.” (Read more)
Miss Iraq visits Israel, talks world peace in a meaningful way
Sarah Idan was last year’s entrant for Iraq in the Miss Universe competition. There, she forged an unlikely friendship with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, and the two made headlines when they both posted selfies together on their Instagram account, with Idan captioning hers, “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”
Unfortunately for Sarah, she faced so much hatred back at home in Iraq following the incident that she fled to LA, where she has been living ever since.
But this week, she made the trip to Israel, where she was reunited with her good friend Adar.
Here is the stunning speech she gave at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Jerusalem, where she proved that there is so much more in the world that unites us than divides us.