Real Madrid’s invite to Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi

October 3, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer sent a letter Sunday to Florentino Pérez, President of Real Madrid, and José Ángel Sánchez, CEO of Real Madrid, to voice concern over the football club’s invitation to Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, who advocates violence against the State of Israel, to be an honored guest at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium over the weekend.
In the letter, Singer wrote:

“The WJC is committed to spreading the message that the spirit of sport must be tolerance and respect, and building bridges, rather than divides. Real Madrid has proven itself to be a proponent of the very same values, as evident in its Foundation’s social welfare activities, international cooperation efforts, and educational programs geared toward marginalized children. As such, it is disappointing to see that it has allowed politics to take a center stage on the football field.


Video: YouTube

“Ahed Tamimi, who was convicted of assaulting an Israeli officer and served eight months in prison after pleading guilty, has openly called for the destruction of Israel. Just last week, on a visit in France, Tamimi said: ‘The goal [of the ‘Palestinian cause’] is not only to remove the Israeli community near Nabi Saleh, our goal is the large-scale settlement, which is Israel.’ Honoring an individual with such an extreme outlook and track record sends a distinct and disconcerting message that Real Madrid has chosen the to take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“There is no place for xenophobia and the promotion of violence in sports, nor is there room for political extremism. Jewish and Israeli supporters of Real Madrid should not have to feel alienated, simply by virtue of the fact that the club that they love has chosen to identify with an individual who espouses an ideology of hatred.

“Anti-Israeli sentiments have become synonymous with antisemitism. Any move to propel these sentiments runs an incredibly dangerous risk of encouraging antisemitism, and this cannot be accepted.

“We sincerely hope that Real Madrid will continue in its quest to promote tolerance on and off the field, and in the future, leave politics out of the conversation.”

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