17 August 2015
Israel and Palestine are playing political football, with Palestinian football as the ball. It is a match which Israel is unlikely to win and that could prove to produce a bruising loss.
The stakes for Israelare far higher than for Palestine. Israel is effectively on probation as it seeks to definitively defeat Palestinian efforts to persuade world football body FIFA to suspend Israeli membership as part of a broader Palestinian campaign to isolate the Jewish state in international organisations.
Israel narrowly evaded suspension in May as a result of an intensive lobby campaign that convinced the Palestinians to withdraw a resolution at a FIFA congress in May in exchange for Israeli concessions. FIFA agreed to appoint a commission that would oversee Israeli implementation of its promises to ease restrictions that inhibit the development of Palestinian football. The committee is supposed to regularly report back to FIFA’s executive committee.
… James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 18/08/2015