The cancellation of an event as well-publicized in the media as the World Cup soccer warm-up match between Argentina and Israel requires an immediate PR counterattack from Israel and the Jewish world. What unfortunately succeeded in frightening superstar Lionel Messi and the other members of the Argentine soccer team is a mix of lies and death threats against the players.
This is what the BDS movement is in its entirety: an arsenal of intimidation and lies disguised as justice, and supported mostly by Europeans.
The game between Argentina and Israel was supposed to be about nothing more than friendship and sport.
However, words of condemnation were issued by Palestinian leaders, who tend to focus on destroying others rather than building up their own wretched people. If their objective had been sport and not causing damage to Israel, then they could have used the visit to invite the Argentine team to appear in their own territory.
The person who stood behind the effort to cancel the game is no less than convicted terrorist Jibril Rajoub. This gangster, who has murdered people with his own hands, bragged about the torture and murder of the Israeli sportsmen at the Munich Olympics, and denounced any request to hold a memorial ceremony for them as “racist.”
Rajoub, who was released from an Israeli jail with another 1,150 terrorists in a prisoner exchange in 1985, threatened Messi with verbal violence worthy of a mafia leader rather than the head of a sports federation. By the way, Messi should not be criticized for his fear. To be able to withstand the bloodthirsty talk of the boycotters, you need to be Israeli.
Why was Israel singled out?
However, there is another player who did not react with fear, but expressed support for boycotting Israel. Striker Gonzalo Higuaín told ESPN that the cancellation “was the right thing to do.”
Yet the right thing to do is to ask the question of why the legitimacy of one country out of 200 should be dismissed.
Judeophobia—hatred of the Jews—has existed for more than 2,000 years. Now given the misnomer of “anti-Semitism,” it is the phenomenon that the Europeans export to the world with varying measures of success. Today, it is used less to attack the Jewish citizen or his community and is mostly targeted against the Jewish state.
It may not be a coincidence that the specific player that did speak against Israel, Gonzalo Higuaín, is the French player on the team.
The cancellation of the friendly soccer game with Argentina is not the first insult that Israel has sustained, and it represents nothing new in the ongoing attempts to slander us. However, it represents an opportunity to begin removing the costume of justice from the boycotters and showing them in their true colors: as terrorists who are expert in the art of intimidation and murder, even of world-champion sportsmen who only want friendship.
Gustavo Perednik is an Argentinian-born Israeli author and educator.