update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Euro 2024 organizers turn blind eye to PLO flag in stadiums

The soccer championship sees surge in pro-Palestinian displays despite ban on political propaganda.

A man displays a PLO flag during the international friendly soccer match between Germany and Turkey at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin in preparation for the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament, Nov. 18, 2023. Photo by Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images.
A man displays a PLO flag during the international friendly soccer match between Germany and Turkey at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin in preparation for the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament, Nov. 18, 2023. Photo by Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images.

Euro 2024 regulations stipulate that flags of non-participating countries and political propaganda are prohibited in stadiums. However, it quickly became apparent that organizers are not enforcing these rules.

Turkish supporters initially exploited this leniency by waving scarves featuring the PLO flag. Upon realizing there was no intervention, they began hanging PLO flags in the stands without hindrance.

Israel did not qualify for the Euro 2024 (official name: the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship) now underway in Germany, which may explain its lack of protest against these displays. Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian advocacy continues to operate and capture the hearts and minds of various national team supporters who have traveled to the Federal Republic.

In recent days, anti-Israel activists, seemingly of Turkish origin, have found a new way to promote their agenda. The trend began in Stuttgart, where, en route to matches, many fans received free white hats printed with watermelon designs from these activists.

“This is our way to increase solidarity with the Palestinian people,” the activists said, explaining that the colors of the watermelon match those of the Palestinian flag.

Scottish, German, Ukrainian, French and many other fans are accepting and proudly wearing these hats without questioning their significance. In doing so, they become vehicles for pro-Palestinian propaganda that spreads across social media, disseminating an anti-Israel message.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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