Regev: "I hope Argentinian national team will not yield to terrorism'

Regev: "I hope Argentinian national team will not yield to terrorism'

05/06/18 - 20:28 - After BDS pressure leads to planned Argentina-Israel match in Jerusalem to be cancelled, negotiations are underway to reach a compromise.

"I hope the Argentinian national team will not yield to terrorism," said Culture Minister Miri Regev after learning that soccer players on the were sent threatening images and death-threats should they decide to play in the Israeli capital this Saturday.

Regev stated that any allegations that the game was cancelled because she insisted it would take part in Jerusalem are "nonsense" and that "some MK's are acting like Trojan horses."

Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat said that Minister Regev should realize that "the international community will not yield to the Israeli government...Israel...does not deserve an award but [is deserving of] punishment." 

Erekat thanked Argentina for cancelling the planned game.

Argentina cancelled the final World Cup warmup match against Israel, striker Gonzalo Higuain confirmed on Tuesday.

"They've finally done the right thing," Higuain said in an interview with ESPN, confirming reports the game had been cancelled following political pressure.

عاجل | #فلسطين: رئيس الفيدرالية الفلسطينية في أميركا الجنوبية: ميسي وماسكيرانو والمدرب ضغطوا لإلغاء المباراة مع "اسرائيل"

— الميادين عاجل (@AlMayadeenLive) June 5, 2018

Lebanon based television channel Al Mayadeen tweeted that the head of the Palestinian Federation in South America stated that the pressure to cancel the game with Israel came from Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and team coach Jorge Sampaoli.    

Argentinian media said the decision came after pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated in Buenos Aires and Barcelona against the  pre- World Cup match being played in the city.

"This is a Palestinian victory one nil at the 90'th minute," said Join List MK Ahmad Tibi, "all due to a self-goal from [Culture] Minister Miri Regev."

"[I want to } thank Messi, he and his team-mates made the right decision in favor of sport and against politicization," he said. 

Head of the Palestinian soccer association Jibril Rajoub told the press that if the Argentinian national team will arrive in Israel and play, even in a different city than the capital, "we will act to ensure they will not be able to offer themselves as hosts to the 2030 World Cup."

Calling the Argentinian decision to play in Israel "handing oneself over to politics" Rajoub claimed the Israeli government desires that "Palestinian children will see their heroes play [soccer] over the graves of their fathers."

Joint List leader Ayman Odeh said that "the Israeli government might win Trump, but it loses the entire world". Stating it's impossible to enjoy games when millions of Palestinians don't enjoy "human rights" Odeh said that "there is only one way to win, ending the occupation and having a real peace treaty, which is still possible."   

Regev pushed to move the friendly match from the original location of Haifa to the Israeli capital, she also claimed Argentinian world-class soccer player Lionel Messi will visit the Kotel and shake her hand. 

Yesh Atid MK Pnina Tamano-Shata lamented the cancellation saying "it was a high-point for many children and adults."

"It began with the discussion over the Independence Day ceremony, continued with unending arguments regarding the next Eurovision contest and now the cancelled game with the Argentinian team," she said, "this is not sport nor culture, it's the finest ugly politics possible."

אז ארגנטינה מבטלת. כל כך הרבה כסף, קומבינות ושקרים, חיבוק דוב כל כך מסורבל בצרוף לחץ מטורף לשחק בירושליים, ולקינוח המלמול הזועם של רגב ״אני רוצה לראות אם מסי לא ילחץ לי ולראש הממשלה את היד״. את תראי, את תראי.

— שלי יחימוביץ (@Syechimovich) June 5, 2018

Labor Party MK Shelly Yachimovich took to twitter to write: "So Argentina is canceling. So much money, trickery and lies, a clumsy bear-hug with added insane pressure the game should be held in Jerusalem. And for dessert, Regev mumbling in anger: "I want to see if Messi willl not shake my hand as well as the hand of the Prime Minister." You will see, you will see."     

The match in Jerusalem's Teddy Kollek Stadium was to be Argentina's final game before they kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia on June 16.

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