Sunday, September 14, 2014

PA Officials Call Youth Soccer Match With Israel "Crime Against Humanity"

The Peres Center for Peace sponsored an interfaith soccer match between young Palestinian and Israeli kids. Great, right?  However, the effort to promote coexistence on a kibbutz in southern Israel was met with anger by Palestinian Authority (PA) officials who called it "a crime against humanity."

And these are the folk who are supposed to be moderates.

Jibril Rajoub, the deputy secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and the head of the Palestinian Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, said the match represented “an Israeli attempt to cover up their crimes against [Palestinian] athletes,” according to a Palestinian Media Watch report released Monday.

“Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity,” Rajoub said in a September 6 Facebook post.

The match, the first of a planned series, was hosted by the Peres Center for Peace on September 1 as an effort to build bridges between Israeli and Palestinian youths after a fraught summer of war with Gaza and West Bank tensions.
Not only that, Abd al-Salam Haniyeh, who is a member of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, wants the Palestinians involved with the effort to help Palestinian and Israeli kids to get along punished.

“The [Palestinian] organizers of this match betrayed the blood of the children of Gaza and of the martyrs, which has yet to dry a week after the end of the barbaric Israeli aggression."
 “Immediately interrogate the organizers of the match, settle the account with them and prosecute them on charges of serious treason against the blood of the martyrs [who died in the Gaza conflict] and violating the decisions made by the Palestinian sports community’s leadership."
Over 600 Israeli and Palestinian kids are scheduled to take part in these interfaith soccer matches.

More than 600 children from Israel and the Palestinian territories will take part throughout the year in the Twinned Peace Soccer Schools events. The program creates “twinned” relationships between Israeli and Palestinian cities. Sderot and the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, both down south close to the border with Gaza, are twinned with the Palestinian town of Yatta, which is located south of Hebron in the West Bank.
The tragic thing is that the children are open and willing.

“I love it when we play together like this. I hope that one day there will be peace between Arabs and Jews and that there will be no more wars and death,” a Palestinian boy told AFP after the first event.

They have their parents to thank for the lack of peace in that region.

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