The NJA condemns the England fans for yelling “Free Palestine” during coverage on December 5 of the FIFA World Cup 2022 held in Qatar.
The NJA notes with concern that these fan’s comments are emblematic of two broader problems: the ill-placed support of Palestinian groups by segments of the British public, and the politicisation of sport.
During the FIFA World Cup 2022, the Qatari authorities, certain national teams, and some fans have attempted to inject pro-Palestinian propaganda, icons, and slogans into coverage of the event.
NJA Vice Chairman Steve Winston said, “At the same time as many Israeli news reporters are being harassed and abused by anti-Israel supporters, it is hardly surprising that an England fan seeking his 15 seconds of fame took a pop when approached by an Israeli journalist. Regrettable as it is, we must remind ourselves that no amount of sloganeering will change the facts on the ground in Israel and the disputed territories.”
These flagrantly political statements are not only ill-placed, but also fail to advance Palestinian causes in any meaningful way, all the while attempting to smear Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East.
The NJA rejects the politicisation of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and denounces attempts to inject pro-Palestinian propaganda into coverage in all its forms.
Press & Marketing Manager
National Jewish Assembly