FIFA Rejects Palestinian Arab Attempt at Anti-Israel Politicization

Press Release – For Immediate Release
October 31, 2017

Media Contact
Nathan Miller or Ilana Blum
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NEW YORK CITY, NY—The Lawfare Project welcomes FIFA’s decision to reject the Palestinian Football Association’s attempt to politicize football through a targeted lawfare campaign against the Israeli Football Association. A number of organizations campaigned to defeat the bigoted Palestinian Arab proposal to unlawfully sanction the Jewish state, including The Lawfare Project, Palestinian Media Watch, and UK Lawyers for Israel.

FIFA said in a statement on Friday:

“The FIFA Council has decided to refrain from imposing any sanctions or other measures on either the Israel FA or the Palestinian FA, as well as from requesting any other FIFA body to do so. The matter is declared closed and will not be the subject of any further discussion until the legal and/or de facto framework has changed.”

This represents a major defeat for proponents of anti-Israel lawfare who have been attempting to get Israel suspended from international football since the FIFA Congress in 2015.

Head of the Palestinian FA, Jibril Rajoub, was furious, stating that FIFA had “received threats” from the Israeli prime minister, without saying what those threats might be, and incongruously referring to the Nazi Holocaust. Before becoming the head of Palestinian football, Rajoub held positions in the Palestinian security services and in a prior career received numerous terrorist convictions, including for hurling a hand grenade at Israeli soldiers. He is on record as saying, “Until now we have not had nuclear weapons but, in the name of Allah, if we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them.”

Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, Brooke Goldstein, said, “I am pleased that FIFA has rejected this boycott proposal, avoided a spectacular own-goal and left BDS supporters sick as a parrot. I am proud of the work done by The Lawfare Project, Palestinian Media Watch, and UK Lawyers for Israel to argue that it is this bigotry, rather than Israel, that has no place in the beautiful game of football. If anyone should be sanctioned, it should be the Palestinian Football Association and Jibril Rajoub, who have cynically used football to indoctrinate and recruit Palestinian Arab children to hatred and violence.”

About The Lawfare Project: Headquartered in New York, The Lawfare Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a legal think tank and litigation fund committed to protecting the civil and human rights of the pro-Israel and Jewish communities in the U.S. and abroad. To learn more, please visit