Is there any international organization that is not contaminated by anti-Israeli sentiment founded on the denial of the humanity of Isreali Jews and ultimately on anti-semitism? If there is, that organization isn’t FIFA, the body that governs international soccer. As Tom Gross reports for NRO, FIFA has condemned Israel for an air strike on a soccer field in the Gaza Strip used for training exercises by Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, but has refused to condemn a Palestinian rocket attack on an Israeli soccer field last week. To add to the injustice, the Israeli attack occurred when the field was empty. The Palestinian attack occurred when the field was being used. It injured one person and resulted in several people, including children being treated for shock.
FIFA holds itself out as a non-political organization. This, apparently, is its excuse for having turned a blind eye to wide- ranging atrocities pertaining directly to soccer. These include the torture by Saddam’s son of Iraqi soccer players after their failure to advance to the World Cup finals; the Taliban’s use of U.N.-funded soccer fields to slaughter and flog hundreds of innocent people before a mass audience; the decision to name a Palestinian soccer tournament after a suicide terrorist who murdered 31 people at a Passover celebration; and a suicide bombing in Haifa which injured three officials from the leading Israeli soccer team Maccabi Haifa. It’s also FIFA’s excuse for permitting Iran, a sponsor of terrorism with a Holocaust denying president, to participate in the upcoming World Cup. FIFA’s excuse for not including anti-semitism (a feature at soccer matches throughout Europe) in its “kick racism out of football” campaigns is not clear, but anti-semitism on the part of FIFA itself is a prime suspect.
All of which brings to mind the title of Jed Babbin’s book — “Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think.” In reality the rest of the world and its organizational bodies are worse than you think too.
By the way, the Associated Press reported the Israeli attack but not that of the Palestinians. It’s also worse than you think.
Hat tip: Laura Mirengoff