Under the leadership of Jibril Rajoub—a member of Fatah’s central committee who has personally carried out attacks on Israel—the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) recently petitioned FIFA (the international organization governing soccer) to suspend its Israeli counterpart. The motion failed, but, as Aiden Pink explains, a much larger effort is afoot:
Rajoub’s [FIFA] gambit was another facet of the Palestinian Authority’s escalating efforts to isolate and delegitimize Israel in bodies like the UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court—politicizing organizations that could theoretically serve a noble purpose if they weren’t so consumed with anti-Israel animus. . . .
In addition to the PFA, [Rajoub] also heads the Palestinian Olympic Committee, which he has used as a perch to demand Israel’s expulsion from the global sports movement. Unlike most sports administrators, who believe in (or at least talk publicly about) the capacity for sports to unite people of different backgrounds, Rajoub has promoted no such pretense—he has said that Palestinian sports are “one of the methods of resistance” against Israel, and has emphasized that Palestinian youth—over whom he holds a good deal of influence as the PA’s sports czar—have a key role in creating a “permanent state of confrontation.”