Over 30 families who have lost a family member to terrorism signed a letter of complaint to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), addressing the letter to its Disciplinary Committee. In the complaint, the families said that the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) and its president, Jibril Rajoub, breached two provisions of FIFA’s Statutes and two provisions of FIFA's Disciplinary Code.
The detailed complaint, based on evidence gathered by Palestinian Media Watch and signed by dozens of bereaved family members, charged that the PFA and Rajoub glorify terrorists by naming sporting events after them and allowing clubs that are members in the PFA to glorify terrorists on a regular basis. The PFA holds, for example, an annual Football Contest named after Halil Al Wazir-Abu Jihad, one of the founding members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) who, according to Palestinian sources, is responsible for the deaths of 125 Israelis. Rajoub himself is on record saying that acts of terrorism perpetrated during the recent wave of terrorism are "Individual acts of bravery" and "That he is proud" of the perpetrators.
The letter continues to claim that Rajoub incites terrorism, quoting him congratulating Hamas for the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and, in February 2014, calling for similar abductions. Shortly after his proclamation, Hamas terrorists commenced the planning of the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens Gilad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach.
Additionally, the letter states that Rajoub refers to Israelis with racist and derogatory language, calling them "the satan" and invoking Nazi-era language by saying that "Were Hitler to come, he would have learned from them how to oppress humans."
The petition was signed by families of terror victims during a weekend retreat organized and sponsored by OneFamily, an organization that offers support to bereaved family members. Among the family members who signed the complaint are Brenda and Nachum Lemkus, whose daughter Dalia was murdered in November 2014; and Doron Mizrachi,whose son Ziv who was murdered in November 2015.
Brenda Lemkus said: "Our darling daughter Dalia was murdered as a result of the constant incitement of the Palestinians and their glorification of terrorists. When we heard that the incitement and glorification of terrorists was so widespread in Palestinian soccer we didn't think twice about joining the campaign and signing a complaint. The incitement has to stop."
OneFamily CEO Chantal Belzberg says: ""Soccer is a game played all over the world. It is supposed to unite people from different backgrounds and promote peace among nations. Sadly, the PFA has opted to turn it into a weapon of terrorism. We know what it means for a bereaved family to suddenly discover that the terrorists who slayed their loved one are ‘heroes’ whose actions are promoted by the PFA on football fields. We're determined to put an end to these shameful activities."