Palestine Olympic Committee chairman Jibril Rajoub has publicly encouraged Olympic athletes to boycott Israel and forfeit matches against Israelis.Rajoub posted photos of himself with Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine on social media, writing that he appreciates Nourine’s “courageous stance refusing normalization.”
Nourine refused to face off against Israel’s Tohar Butbul.
Olympics... but the Palestinian cause is greater than all of this,” he told Algerian television.“We worked a lot to reach the
The International Judo Federation suspended Nourine and his coach, Amar Benikhlef, who then lost their Algerian Olympic Committee accreditation.
Nourine’s stance “reflects the persistence of the Algerian people with Palestine and all that it has suffered from hostilities and official Israeli terrorism,” Rajoub said in an interview with an Algerian radio station that he posted on his Facebook page.
“There is no place for meetings with whoever is connected to this official terrorism, not in sport or outside of it,” he added. “I hope that this message goes out to all the Arabs who are normalizing… and even those who, unfortunately, sign agreements with branches of Israeli sports, in light of the oppression and the difficulties that Palestinian players face.”
Rajoub repeated his lament against Arab states that cooperate with Israel in sports, emphasizing that some Israeli sports leagues have activities in the West Bank.
Rajoub is also the head of the Palestinian Football Association and campaigned to have FIFA, the international soccer association, boycott Israel.
In 2018, FIFA fined Rajoub $20,000 and banned him from the association for inciting hatred and violence against Argentina, which had agreed to play a friendly match in Israel. Argentina canceled the game following the threats.
Rajoub “glorified terrorism,” encouraging soccer tournaments and teams to be named after Palestinian terrorists, and compared Israelis to “Satan and Nazis,” FIFA’s chief of investigations said.
Sudanese judoka Mohamed Abdalrasool also withdrew from the Olympics on Monday before his scheduled match against Butbul, without giving a reason.
Butbul said Abdalrasool had said he had a shoulder injury, but the Israeli team was not convinced, the AP reported.
Sudan and Israel established diplomatic relations last year.