Sunday, May 31, 2015

FIFA, EU, UN and the next Holocaust

FIFA, the international soccer organization (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) sags under a corruption scandal (“Fifa corruption crisis: Sepp Blatter downplays US indictment”, BBC, May 30, 2015). The charges against at least seven FIFA officials include bribery, money-laundering and racketeering (ibid). The bribery charges alone amount to at least $100 million USD.

There’s another set of allegations. These focus on Russia and Qatar. These FIFA members may have used bribes to win their bids to be the host city for the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) World Cup Games.  

The scandal has become so severe that the head of the US Internal Revenue Service has called FIFA the ‘wold cup of fraud” (Eliott C. McLaughlin and Greg Botelho, “FIFA corruption probe targets 'World Cup of fraud,' IRS chief says” CNN, May 28, 2015).

At least one news outlet has stated that corruption at FIFA goes deep (Libby Nelson, “Let's count all the ways FIFA is corrupt”, Vox, May 28, 2015). Corruption and human rights violations associated with FIFA seem to go back to the 1970’s (ibid).

This year, the FIFA Congress meeting (which just ended), was marred not only by arrests for corruption, but also by an  incident involving Israel. The ‘Palestinian’ delegation moved to have Israel kicked out of FIFA. The ‘Palestinians’ claimed Israel restricts the free movement of ‘Palestinian’ players and refs. For that, Israel should be expelled. Israeli officials said  they have no problem with 95 per cent of ‘Palestinian’ players. But they do have security concerns for the remaining 5 per cent—and Israel has the right to defend itself.

The ‘Palestinians’ disagree. They said, essentially, Israel doesn’t have that right.

‘Palestinians’ behave this way at the UN. They behave this way with the EU. Now they’ve done it at FIFA.  All three international organizations have had the same reaction: they  accept ‘Palestinian’ claims without question.

Accordingly, they clearly believe Israel has no right to defend itself. That’s wrong.  It’s immoral. A sovereign state always has the right to defend itself.

The ‘Palestinian’ claim had nothing to do with soccer. FIFA should have rejected it. It didn’t.

In the end, after furious negotiations, the ‘Palestinians’ agreed to take the vote request off the agenda. In its place, it agreed to let the UN decide the matter.

Israel agreed. I have no idea why. By the time the compromise was discussed, there were rumours that the ‘Palestinian’ vote wouldn’t pass anyway. Why go for a tainted compromise (the UN is no friend to Israel)?

What makes the effort to expel Israel for the ‘sin’ of restricting travel movements of ‘Palestinians’ so outrageous is a different allegation against someone else which wasn’t made. This allegation wasn’t about ‘travel rights’. It was about the potential deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of foreign workers brought into Qatar to build the stadium to be used in the 2022 World Cup Games.

Remember, Qatar already stands accused of using illegal bribes to get to be the host for those Games. Now, there could serious human rights violations against Qatar.

Both the Washington Post and Mother Jones reported on these ‘death’ allegations. They wrote that, since 2008, the death numbers for construction workers on the Qatar project far exceed the death numbers connected to stadium building projects for other, similar events.

For example, for the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, 6 construction workers died; 2010 Vancouver Olympics: 1 death; 2010 South African World Cup: 2 deaths; 2014 Sochi Olympics: 60 deaths; Brazil 2014 World Cup: 10 deaths; Qatar 2022 World Cup: so far, 1,200 deaths. Estimates say the final tally could be 4,000 deaths (ibid).

To be fair to Qatar, we don’t know if these numbers apply to the Qatar World Cup stadium project alone or to all construction deaths in Qatar. It’s unclear what the numbers refer to—or if they’re accurate.

Nevertheless, FIFA should investigate. Its name is associated with that stadium. It won’t investigate.

That’s playing with fire.

We see the same behaviour in the UN and the EU. All three entities—FIFA, UN, EU--allow ‘Palestinians’ to use misrepresentations and sometimes outright lies to delegitimize Israel. Each ignores horrific human rights violations in other places. Each fails to understand what happens when you combine such blatant anti-Zionism with such an utter disregard for real human rights horrors.

Each of these international entities has chosen a very clear, unambiguous path. Each will enable often scurrilous attacks on the world’s only Jewish state while at the same time each abandons human rights protections for the truly at-risk. None of these organizations understands that such a cruel combination—promoting anti-Zionism while abandoning the at-risk--sows the seeds of a new Holocaust.

Holocausts don’t appear out of thin air. They appear because good men choose to ignore hate and hateful national behaviours. This is exactly the behaviour we see in the UN, the EU and FIFA.

We’ve already seen one Holocaust. We all know what it means for humanity.

This new Holocaust won’t be any different. But it’ll be different on one point: it won’t destroy Jews. Instead, this new Holocaust will destroy everything the EU, UN and FIFA cherish.



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