Sunday 25 February, 2024

Al-Estiklal Newspaper

Through the World Cup Map, This Is How Qatar Scored a Goal Against the Israeli Occupation

2022/08/25 13:08:00 | Reports
“Abraham Accords do not fit with the Doha policy because it does not offer any prospect for ending the occupation.”
Font size

Many Arabs and Muslims felt mixed feelings that they had not had for a long time about their first cause, Palestine, when they saw that the name of the Zionist entity "Israel" had been removed from the website dedicated to buying tickets for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Israelis will not be able to find the name of their entity when they try to get a ticket for the World Cup, which will start in Qatar in November 2022, and they will find in its place the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

This gesture with strong meaning sparked a storm of anger on social media and in newspapers of the Israeli entity in protest against this Qatari policy.

From the first moments, Qatar worked to imbue the world championship with Arab identity by using a headdress inside the championship logo and printing the text mark of the logo Kashida, which is the practice of lengthening certain parts of letters in the Arabic text.

Qatar also made the mascot of the tournament La'eeb meaning "skilled player" in Arabic, which is a model of a cartoon character in an Arab dress, consisting of a white shemagh (the Gulf head scarf).

Then came the disclosure of deleting the name "Israel" from the tournament tickets website to confirm that Doha is keen to implicitly support the Palestinian cause during the organization of the World Cup, which will be held on Arab soil for the first time in history.


Banned Name

On August 10, 2022, a number of Hebrew media platforms, such as the newspapers Yediot Aharonot and The Jerusalem Post, reported that the name "Israel" was not mentioned on the page of the FIFA website.

They stressed that the Israeli citizen would not find the name of their "country" on the site of tickets for the 2022 World Cup, which will be launched in Qatar after several months.

They explained that the only option for football fans in "Israel" if they want to go to the World Cup is to enter the list and choose the Asia and the Middle East region, where all countries are displayed—with the exception of "Israel"—and then choose the occupied Palestinian territories, in this case only reservation can be completed.

The Hebrew newspapers quoted Israeli politicians and businessmen expressing their overwhelming resentment at the replacement of the name "Israel" by the Occupied Palestinian Territories, claiming that this situation was a great disgrace without an official comment on the issue.

The Israeli entity had hoped to obtain a privileged position, especially as it concluded a deal with FIFA in June 2022 that would allow the Israelis to travel to Qatar to attend the World Cup.

It is noteworthy that Qatar is one of the Arab countries that does not allow the granting of visas to Israeli passports, but due to the circumstances of the World Cup, the Israelis will be accepted in Qatar without the use of a passport, where they will be able to apply for a fan ID card online after purchasing tickets.

The identity card will serve as an entry visa and allow the reservation of flights and accommodation in Qatar.

However, it seems that Qatar compensated for this concession without an official announcement by deleting the name "Israel" from the ticket site and putting the Occupied Palestinian Territories instead to provoke a storm of anger there.


Arena of Resistance

On the Qatari lands, various activists are vigorously active in denouncing the practices of the Israeli Occupation and its violations against the defenseless Palestinian people.

There is also the "Qatar Youth Against Normalization" movement, which is an informal youth group that seeks to communicate with Qatari youth who oppose any normalization with the Zionist entity by any Qatari institutions or individuals.

The group also works within the objectives of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement known internationally as (B.D.S).

On November 18, 2021, this movement called on the elected Qatari Shura Council to support the steadfast Qatari popular position in rejecting normalization and activate the Qatari law issued in 1963, which criminalizes commercial dealings with Zionist companies or those supported by them and work to tighten its provisions.

On April 5, 2022, the boycott of "Israel" movement launched a campaign to oppose sports normalization with the Israeli Occupation and raised the slogan "Sports is not above politics, but rather an arena to resist normalization."

In a statement published on its website, the movement cited the words of Egyptian squash champion Ali Farag about the Russian war in Ukraine, with the international sports federations turning against their previous claims not to mix politics with sports.

Farag said in mid-March 2022, after winning a tournament in London: "We were not allowed before to talk about politics in sports, but suddenly now it is allowed.

"As long as it is allowed, people may want to look at the persecution that is happening everywhere in the world; I mean, the Palestinians have been going through this persecution for the past 74 years. As long as we can talk now about Ukraine, then we can talk about Palestine as well," he added.


Denied Normalization

With Qatar entering the final days stage in preparation for hosting the World Cup, its Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on May 20, 2022, announced that his country would welcome visitors from different countries of the world and that his country would not prevent anyone from attending the World Cup and enjoying a generous hosting in Doha.

However, he called on all arrivals to respect the culture and traditions of the Qatari people in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz.

Qatar has refused to this day to engage in Gulf normalization with "Israel," or what is known as the Abraham Accords, which were signed on August 13, 2020, between the Israeli Occupation on the one hand and the UAE and Bahrain on the other.

On September 15, 2020, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Lolwah al-Khater announced that her country was under great pressure from the administration of US President Donald Trump to engage in the axis of normalization.

On October 13, 2021, the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, announced that the Abraham Accord is not compatible with Doha's policy because it does not offer any prospect for ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

It is noteworthy that this despite the fact that Qatar was one of the first Arab countries to open direct contacts with the Israeli side to strengthen relations, which culminated in secret and public visits, including the visit of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in 1996, in addition to launching the Israeli commercial office in Doha, which was later frozen.

In mid-February 2022, the Qatari foreign minister reiterated, in an interview with Axios website, his country's refusal to normalize its relations with "Israel" in the absence of a real commitment to the two-state solution.

"Qatar had maintained certain relations in the past when there were possibilities for peace with the Palestinians, but his country lost hope after the 2008-2009 Gaza war and is currently content with a working relationship with the Israeli entity to help the Palestinian people," he said.

On his part, sports journalist Muhammad Abbasi said, "Qatar has set an example in adhering to the Arab and national identity. We are facing a world that does not recognize the right of 5 million Palestinians—at home and the likes of them abroad—to their lands or to have a state; then, they want the Arab and Islamic world to recognize the entity that usurped their lands and robbed their rights."

"The 2022 World Cup is the Arab World Cup and the first World Cup to be held in an Arab and Islamic country, so the Arabs have the right to declare their identity and rights and reject everything that affects identity and religion, whether the issue of Palestine or the rejection of promoting homosexuality," he added to Al-Estiklal.

Mr. Abbasi went on to say: "With the approach of the World Cup, crises of this kind against Qatar increased, as if it were a test intended for it, and some players, coaches, and heads of federations attacked it."

"As did the German football player Philipp Lahm, who announced that he would not attend the World Cup, claiming that Qatar does not have human rights, and it arrests opponents," he continued.

"Although Lahm himself participated in the World Cup in Russia in 2018, which is one of the world's most violating countries of human rights and the arrest of journalists, Lahm did not speak at the time, and this represents a big mystery," the sports analyst added.

"The Israeli entity showed a state of grumbling by canceling the name of Israel from the map of countries and replacing the phrase Occupied Palestinian Territories, at a time when they bombed Gaza and killed dozens of children and civilians. How is it acceptable for an Arab and Islamic country to recognize such an entity under the pretext of sports and the World Cup?" Mr. Abbasi said.





FIFA hospitality site removes ‘occupied Palestinian territories’ from sales agent list


The Qatar World Cup 2022 angers the Israelis.. What is the reason? [Arabic]


“Qatar youth against normalization” call on the Shura Council to activate the law banning dealing with Israel [Arabic]


Qatar clarifies its position on normalization with Israel, even if there is pressure from Trump [Arabic]


Israel’s absence from FIFA website to book World Cup tickets sparks outrage [Arabic]


Sport is not above politics, but rather an arena to resist normalization! [Arabic]

Tags :

"israel" abraham accords doha fifa occupied palestinian territories qatar the israeli occupation world cup world cup qatar 2022