Incriminating PMW Report calls on FIFA
to show PFA Chairman Jibril Rajoub the red card
by Itamar Marcus
At the FIFA council meeting in Zurich this week, the world football's governing body is expected to come to a decision regarding a Palestinian bid to expel Israeli football clubs based in the West Bank. Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) Jibril Rajoub has led this anti-Israel campaign for months.
However, this Palestinian Media Watch report indicates that Jibril Rajoub is the last person who should be talking about violations of FIFA’s statutes. The Rajoub File has been sent to the following FIFA officials:
- President Gianni Infantino
- Secretary General Fatma Samoura
- Tokyo Sexwale, Chairman of the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine
- Cornel Borbély, Chairman of the FIFA Independent Ethics Committee
The 20-page report exposes Rajoub’s incitement and glorification of terror over the past five years. The report argues that Rajoub's current bid at FIFA is motivated by his overt anti-Israel and anti-peace ideology. Statements by Rajoub to mainstream Palestinian media include Antisemitic references to Jews as "Satans" and "Zionist sons of bitches."
Rajoub’s terror promotion during the terror wave that took place in Israel from 2015-2016 is highlighted in the PMW report. In an interview on Palestinian Authority TV, Rajoub described these terror attacks as “individual acts of bravery,” adding, “I am proud of them. I congratulate everyone who carried them out.”
The report also documents that Rajoub is adamantly against "normalization" with Israel in sports and opposes joint peacebuilding activities for Palestinians and Israelis. He referred to a friendly football game between Palestinian and Israeli youth as "a crime against humanity."
FIFA’s mission states its commitment to enabling the global community to play football without discrimination or prejudice. Allowing Rajoub to use the title of chairman of a FIFA association when he supports terror and glorifies terrorists makes a mockery of FIFA’s principles. PMW’s Rajoub File calls on FIFA to hold Rajoub accountable for violating FIFA’s code of ethics by demanding that the PA remove him from his position and replace him with a chairman who supports peace.
Below is the introduction to the Rajoub File.
This report documents Jibril Rajoub’s hate promotion, terror support, and terror glorification with examples spanning several years. It demonstrates that his terror promotion and incitement to murder reflect his fundamental ideology as an opponent of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
In appearances on the official Palestinian Authority TV, Rajoub has promoted the shooting and stabbing of Israeli civilians. Rajoub also glorifies terrorists by naming sporting tournaments and events in their honor. Last year, Rajoub referred to murderers of civilians as “heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian.” In a TV interview, he said, “If we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.”
This report further documents that in his various political and leadership roles, Rajoub prohibits peacebuilding sports activities between Palestinians and Israelis, actively countering the spirit of FIFA as set forth in its mission statement. For example, following the 2014 Gaza War, Rajoub condemned a successful peacebuilding event between Israeli and Palestinian youth sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace as a “crime against humanity.”
Currently, Rajoub claims that his complaints about Israel are focused on Israeli sports teams and stadiums in the West Bank. However, looking at his behavior and statements over the past five years, it is clear that Rajoub has an anti-Israel agenda and this is merely a pretext. Already in 2013, Rajoub expressed his goal to “screw” Israel by isolating it from international sports through expulsion from FIFA. It had nothing to do with the location of Israeli football teams and everything to do with his inherent prejudices against Israel:
“Fascists can learn a lesson from this state [of Israel]. This government -- there is none more brazen in human history... We'll suspend their [FIFA] membership and this way we'll screw them... I won't agree to any joint game between Arabs and Israel."
[Official PA TV, July 1, 2013]
Rajoub is now trying to gain international support for this political agenda by asking FIFA to adopt his anti-Israel policies.
Jibril Rajoub currently holds the following positions: Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee (headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas), and Head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs. Rajoub is also one of Mahmoud Abbas’ possible successors as Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.
Rajoub abuses his status as the representative of a FIFA member to further his own political agenda. Furthermore, Rajoub’s statements and activities are diametrically opposed to the positive values that FIFA stands for, among them “to inspire communities and break down barriers" and "to touch, unite and inspire the world through its competitions and events.” It is unthinkable that a person who glorifies and encourages the murder of civilians should disgrace FIFA by serving as the chairman of a FIFA member association. Permitting Rajoub to participate in activities related to FIFA when he cheers Palestinian terrorists for murdering Israeli civilians brings disgrace on FIFA and its other members.