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from Elder Of Ziyon – Israel News.
AFP reported on September 1:
After a traumatic summer of war and death, Israeli and Palestinian children squared off on Monday for games of football, just kilometres (miles) away from the devastated Gaza Strip.
The Israeli children came from villages surrounding the besieged Palestinian enclave while the Palestinians were bused in from Yatta in the southern West Bank.
The tournament was part of an initiative launched 12 years ago and aimed at bringing together Palestinians from Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem and disaffected Israeli youths.
Many of the boys had played together before at other such gatherings organised by the Peres Centre for Peace, which is run by former president Shimon Peres.
Initial apprehension was obvious on both sides, but the young players’ enthusiasm for the game soon took over.
“It’s great to come back here after weeks stuck at home during the war, and to have some fun,” said 11-year-old Ofir from Sderot in southern Israel, one of the towns most hit by Gaza rocket fire.
“The Arab kids aren’t mean, and there are some who want peace like me,” said the curly-haired blond boy.
Eleven-year-old Qusay agreed.
“I like it when we play together. I hope one day there will be peace between Jews and Arabs, and no more war or death,” he said.
Jibril Rajoub, head of the PA Supreme Council for Youth and Sports as well as president of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and head of the Palestinian Federation of Football, called this friendly game to foster peace a “crime against humanity.” He strongly condemned the young Palestinians who enthusiastically played soccer with their Israeli counterparts.
I guess, along with genocide and torture and enslavement and rape, we have to add “playing soccer with Israeli Jews” to the list of crimes against humanity.
Rajoub isn’t only a marginal sports figure. He is one of the Palestinian Arabs’ historic leaders and used to head the security forces under Arafat.
It is not too remarkable that officials from the “moderate” PA say such outlandish, insane and anti-peace statements. That has been happening for years.
But the lack of criticism from within the so-called “progressive” pro-Palestinian community against these sorts of moronic statements is very, very revealing. After all, anyone who truly wants peace should be the first ones to slam such a statement as being hateful and completely, absolutely wrong.
Statements like Rajoub’s are taken in stride and condoned. No Palestinian NGOs will dare speak out, no European newspapers will publish an op-ed about …read more