Saturday, May 4, 2024

Israeli Anger is Growing at Rjoub as a Way to Silence the Truth

        Issam Khalidi

   Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz threatened to revoke Palestine Football Association President Jibril Rjoub's travel pass after he demanded Israel be banned from international competitions over Gaza. Rjoub is working around the clock to remove Israel from FIFA, according to Katz. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Palestine’s Bid to Join the International Football Association FIFA 1945 - 1998


Issam Khalidi

    Throughout different historical stages Palestinians sought through football sense of national identity, independence and world recognition. In 1998 Palestine joined the International Football Association FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association).   Palestinians have been striving to achieve this goal for more than half a century since the 1940s until the 1990s. This achievement was reached after a long process that mirrored Palestinian efforts to be regarded as a sovereign nation and take its rightful place in international sporting events as well as in other international realms. [1] The purpose of this article is to demonstrate Palestine's journey to FIFA as well as the challenges it faced during that journey. Additionally, it highlights the benefits that Palestine enjoys as a FIFA member.


Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Genocide in Gaza - Western Hypocrisy and FIFA’s Double Standard


Issam Khalidi


   In the same way that many others are concerned and outraged about the ongoing genocide in Gaza, I was listening to an Israeli official on MSNBC saying: "the massacre of October 7, and the war in Gaza." For the ethnic cleansing of Palestine to be justified by Israel and its supporters the Israeli narrative of the 'war between Israel and Hamas' (the Genocide) must be accepted by the world. 

   Israel is still arguing that what is happening in Gaza is a war against Hamas who is using the citizens of Gaza as a human shield. There is no need to be a professor of international law to determine whether what is taking place in Gaza is genocide or a war. The 1948 Genocide Convention defined genocide as any act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. The term (genocide) can be defined as "the deliberate killing or severe mistreatment of a large number of people from a particular national or ethnic group in order to destroy that nation or group”. In the present day, we have an abundance of evidence proving that what is happening is genocide as far as we can see.


     In the light of what we see, we can gain a better understanding of the essence of Zionist ideology, its intentions and goals. The statements we hear now from extremist religious leaders are chilling, and it is difficult to believe. What is happening in Gaza has impacts on the world’s consciousness, especially among the young generation. As a result of Gaza's genocide, millions of people around the world have been awakened. Many instances have been documented where people have expressed their gratitude to the Palestinians for allowing them to open their eyes to issues, they had been ignorant of until then. Additionally, they have stated that they were victims of the Israeli media lobby as well.


    For the first time in its history, Israel loses its propaganda war for a variety of reasons. Among them the size of the lies, the extent of destruction, massacres, starvation, forced displacement, etc., in addition to the influence of social media sites, the protests throughout the world, and many more. Israel can’t keep fooling all of the people all of the time. Moshe Sharett, Israel’s first Foreign Minister and later a Prime Minister once said:


I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism.


   Genocide is to annihilate the people physically and morally; to erase people’s hopes and dreams. Israel did not only kill athletes, sports journalist, and administrators, it destroyed the sports infrastructure. A large number of sports clubs have a rich history that goes back many decades and generations. In this regard Hilary Morgan Leatham wrote in Al-Jazeera: “Destroying Gaza’s heritage has far reached social, political, and emotional ramification. It is a concerted attack on the existence of Palestine and its people.”


   There was a time when Gaza was the center of gravity for Palestinian sports. Several of its athletes and teams competed regionally and internationally. Sports in Gaza became a part of young people’s lifestyle, a tradition that has been followed since 1950s. It was through sports that Palestinians in Gaza Sector could release their tensions and relieve the pain of living under siege.


    Oh, how mighty these Gazans are. In the midst of bombing and starvation, I was fascinated to see young men performing acrobatic exercises on the beach. It also reminds me of how Gazans managed to survive before these atrocities. As part of a growing urban fitness discipline known as street workouts, four men performed gravity-defying strength feats. It was not only acrobatic movements, but an expression of rejection of the occupation as well. It was a rebellion against oppression and injustice and a fight for freedom. In spite of the occupation, this was another proof that Palestinians still existed.


  Following Gaza's ongoing atrocities, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and Citizens International have teamed up with 60 organizations to demand FIFA ban Israeli teams. Just recently, an open letter was sent to FIFA asking it to suspend Israel as it did Russia following Ukraine's invasion in 2022. According to UEFA, there are no plans to sanction Israel because it is a different case.


   In a letter to FIFA, the Palestine Football Association (PFA) demanded that (May) Congress consider "appropriate" sanctions against the Israeli Football Association (IFA) and its clubs for because of "unprecedented international human rights and humanitarian law violations” in the war on Gaza. 


   In general, FIFA’s position is no different from the West's. Whenever the West preaches democracy and human rights, but acts in a way that violates them, it is hypocritical, especially when it comes to US and Europe’s relations with Israel. In general, double standards refer to a discriminatory behavior that arises when one group is treated differently from the other. In spite of the fact that the Palestinian situation differs from the Ukrainian situation, the West continues to treat the Ukrainian issue as a human issue, while ignoring the long-standing Palestinian issue. As a "civilized" Western nation, Ukraine has more privileges than the "backward" Arab and Middle Eastern nations. FIFA used its influence on pressure Iran (to allow women to watch men's soccer matches) and Russia for its Ukraine’s invasion but failed to sanction Israel for its genocide. This double standard is due to the fact that the West will only take a moral stand when its fundamental interests are not at risk. There is nothing more important to the West than its own interests.


   These double standards are closely associated with Western arrogance and political hegemony in regions such as Africa and the Middle East. Furthermore, there is also a perception that the people of these regions are considered inferior to their Western counterparts. In spite of the fact that the West is a primary cause of their misfortunes, their cases are not given justice. It has always been the Western strategy to achieve its strategic goals at all costs and to put pressure on weak nations.

    FIFA probably is afraid of another scandal or a corruption documentary. To be impartial in issues related to the genocide in Gaza, FIFA has confirmed and stood by the occupation. In order to satisfy Israel's demands, FIFA abandons the principles laid down in its statutes, sacrificing its own values and integrity for the sake of political expediency.


Saturday, February 10, 2024

Why is Palestine's FIFA Membership Important?


Issam Khalidi


   During my interview with Palestinian martyr journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in November 2021, I was asked several questions as part of our interview, but this one stood out as most noteworthy of them all: What does Palestine's FIFA membership mean to us as Palestinians? In our conversation regarding this membership, I raised a few critical issues. Nevertheless, I kept thinking about this question and decided it would be a good idea to write a post about it.


أهمية عضوية فلسطين في الاتحاد الدولي لكرة القدم - الفيفا


عصام الخالدي  


     خلال لقائي الصحفي مع الشهيدة شيرين أبو عاقلة في تشرين الثاني عام ٢٠٢١ طَرحَت عليّ سؤال له معنى كبير وهو: ماذا تعني بالنسبة لنا كفلسطينيين عضوية فلسطين في الاتحاد الدولي لكرة القدم؟ وقد ذَكَرتُ في هذا اللقاء بعض الأمور المهمة لهذه العضوية، ولكن هذا السؤال استمر يرن بأذني ليدفعني إلى كتابة مقالاً بهذا الخصوص.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Ideological Aspects of Palestinian Sports

           Issam Khalidi

   It is not unusual to see Palestinian culture (literature, art, and sports) infused with national characteristics. There is a reason for this: the pain, the dispossession, and the displacement of the Palestinian people. As a form of social consciousness, Palestinian culture was not isolated from political conditions.  Since this culture has been involved in catastrophes (Nakbat) for over a century, it is often perceived as politicized and ideological.


Saturday, December 23, 2023

الرياضة الفلسطينية وأيديولوجيا التحرر الوطني


    عصام الخالدي 

     تعرف الأيديولوجية بأنها مجموعة منسقة من الأفكار والمعتقدات خاصة فيما يتعلق بحياة الإنسان أو ثقافته، كما يمكن تعريف الأيديولوجية بشكل أكبر على أنها تحتوي على محتوى صريح وافتراضات ضمنية. [i] وقد توجد الأيديولوجيات في كل ثقافة وفي أشكال مختلفة دينية وعلمانية، وترتكز معظمها على أفكار غير قابلة للاختبار ومتأصلة في القيم والافتراضات الأساسية لكل ثقافة. ورغم أن الأيديولوجيات ترتكز على افتراضات غير قابلة للاختبار، فإن تأثيراتها واضحة للغاية، فهي تقوم بتوجيه وعينا وسلوكنا وعواطفنا ووجودنا الاجتماعي .


Saturday, December 16, 2023

Sports in Palestine: Writing History According to Zionist Standards

          Issam Khalidi

    As we browse Israeli sports historians' research, we are not surprised to find that they present Palestine as a place devoid of Palestinians. If such histories mention the Palestinians, they invariably depict them as lacking any cultural or social aspect. According to them, Zionists populated the region and brought civilization to it; that their efforts brought sports to primitive people who had never experienced them before. Efforts to distort reality and rewrite history are not new. In fact, up until 1948, Arab sports clubs in Palestine numbered about sixty-five clubs, of which fifty-five were members of the (Arab) Palestinian Sports Federation. 


Monday, October 9, 2023

School Physical Education in Palestine 1900 – 1948

Issam Khalidi


   School sport played a pivotal role in the Palestinian sports movement throughout its history. It was at the core of this movement from the very beginning. As schools in Palestine existed before clubs, sports activities were generally practiced in schools before clubs were established. Schools formed their own football teams and competed against one another. They met with teams from social-athletic clubs and the British military. At the same time school graduates formed their own teams and clubs that competed with Palestinian clubs in sporting activities. Annual field day has been held by all public and private schools in Palestine since the early 1920s. School physical activities and competitions strengthened the bonds between Palestinians in different villages and cities.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Physical Inactivity: An Overlooked Side Effect of The First Palestinian Intifada (1987 - 1993)


Issam Khalidi


   In 1987, with the start of the glorious Palestinian Intifada in the West Bank and Gaza, the occupation forces stormed social and sports clubs and arrested their members. As a precautionary measure, the clubs were closed within a short period of time. The suspension of sports activities had a negative impact on the growth of sports in Palestine. As national festivals, sports games were one of the biggest events to be held during the occupation period.


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

مؤرخو الرياضة الإسرائيليون : تدوين التاريخ الرياضي في فلسطين وفق المعايير الصهيونية


  عصام سامي الخالدي


   بعد عام 1948 سعى الصهاينة إلى تبرير جرائمهم التي ارتكبوها ضد الشعب الفلسطيني مستخدمين كل الوسائل من أجل إخفاء ومحو وتشويه تاريخه ، وكان من ضمنها مصادرة الكثير من الكتب والوثائق والصور وحبسها في المكتبات والأرشيف الإسرائيلي ، بالإضافة إلى كتابة التاريخ في سياق مفبرك يخدم في النهاية الفكر الصهيوني ويتوافق مع معاييره العنصرية الشوفينية. وليس بالغريب أن نرى أن المؤرخين الإسرائيليين قد لعبوا دوراً في تنفيذ هذه المهمة ، فعندما نتصفح الابحاث والمقالات عن تاريخ الرياضة التي يكتبها باحثون ومؤرخون رياضيون إسرائيليون يأتي إلى مخيلتنا هذا الانطباع وكأن فلسطين كانت خالية من شعب عربي فلسطيني كان يعيش على هذه الأرض لقرون عدة ، يمارس نشاطاته وحياته العادية. وتدل الحقائق التاريخية أن عدد الأندية الرياضية العربية في فلسطين حتى عام 1948 قد بلغ حوالي خمس وستون نادياً كان منهم خمس وخمسون عضوا في الاتحاد الرياضي الفلسطيني. [1] 


Saturday, April 1, 2023

Sunday, November 6, 2022

الجسد الفلسطيني: عماد الوجود والهوية والمقاومة



Tuesday, November 1, 2022

الأخبار الرياضية في صحيفة (الحياة) 1930 – 1931


Sunday, April 24, 2022

الرياضة الفلسطينية ودورها في حركة المقاطعة وسحب الاستثمار وفرض العقوبات BDS


     عصام الخالدي

     من الصعب تجاهل الدور الذي يمكن أن تلعبه الرياضة في وقتنا الحاضر في محاربة العنصرية وفي حركة التحرر الوطني ، وقد اثبتت التجربة الفلسطينية أن الرياضة لم تكن وسيلة في إبراز الهوية الوطنية فحسب، بل أيضاً أداة للتصدي ومواجهة الاحتلال وفضح ممارساته القمعية التعسفية ، كما وأصبحت الرياضة لاعباً فعالاً في حركة المقاطعة Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions BDS  وسحب الاستثمار وفرض العقوبات   في عام 2005 ، دعت منظمات المجتمع المدني الفلسطيني إلى المقاطعة كشكل من أشكال الضعط غير العنيف على إسرائيل ، وتم إطلاق حركة المقاطعة من قبل 170 نقابة فلسطينية وشبكات اللاجئين والمنظمات النسائية والجمعيات المهنية ولجان المقاومة الشعبية وهيئات المجتمع المدني الفلسطينية الأخرى. هذه الحركة مستوحاة من حركة جنوب إفريقيا المناهضة للفصل العنصري ، تحت دعوة المقاطعة الفلسطينية (BDS) للضغط غير العنيف على إسرائيل حتى تتماثل أمام القانون الدولي. [1]   

Saturday, March 19, 2022


الاتحاد الدولي لكرة القدم (الفيفا): أخلاقيات النفاق وازدواجية المعايير

   تؤكد لنا احداث روسيا – اوكرانيا والتعاطف الدولي مع "القضية الأوكرانية" نفاق العالم الغربي وازدواجية المعايير في التعامل مع هذه القضية بالمقارنة مع صمته وتعامله الفوقي مع قضية فلسطين والقضايا الاخرى العراق ، سوريا ، افغانستان ، اليمن ، وليبيا. وعلى الصعيد الكروي نرى بوضوح كيف كانت وما زالت "الفيفا" ونظيرتها "اليويفا" تمنعان الرياضيين والجمهور الذي كان يتعاطف مع فلسطين وغيرها تحت شعار عدم خلط الرياضة بالسياسة، ليصبح التعاطف مع أوكرانيا جزء من طقوس المباريات وأخلاقيات هاتين المؤسستين ، فنحن قبل هذه الاحداث كنا نعلم جيدا مواقف الغرب هذه، ولكن ما اعترانا الآن هو الشعور بعمق وتزايد خيبة الأمل والاشمئزاز تجاه هذا السلوك الغربي بسبب النفاق وازدواجية المعايير . ومن المؤكد أنه سيكون لهذه المشاعر آثارها على كيفية تعاملنا مع الغرب ومؤسساته في المستقبل .


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunday, June 13, 2021

هل أراد الصهاينة التعاون مع العرب في المجال الرياضي في فلسطين الانتدابية؟


   عصام الخالدي  


  يدعي المؤرخون الإسرائيليون دائما أن قيادتهم  الرياضية الصهيونية في فلسطين كانت على استعداد دائم للتعاون مع العرب ، وأن الثاني كان يصر على رفض التعاون معهم في المجال الرياضي . نعم ، كان هناك رفض من الجانب العربي للتعاون مع الصهاينة في المجال الرياضي لأسباب اهمها أن الصهاينة لم يبدوا النية الصادقة للتعاون مع العرب ، وحتى لو أبدوا النية في التعاون مع العرب فإنها كثيرا ما كانت تبقى ضمن نطاق محدود أو أنهم كانوا مرغمون بسبب متطلبات الاتحادات الدولية.  

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Origin of Palestino Club's Shirt

This article examines the connection between the shirt of the Club Deportivo Palestino (in Chile) and the St. George School's athletic team in Jerusalem in 1920s.