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June 11, 2014

Hezbollah World Cup Competition Brought To You By WhatsApp

Update – 6/12/14: As of today, the competition advertisement on Al Manar (see image below), no longer includes the WhatsApp logo.

Hezbollah’s satellite television station, Al Manar TV, has launched an online competition in time for the World Cup called “Expect and Win” that uses the California-based instant messaging service WhatsApp.wolrd-cup-soccer-hezbollah-al-manar-whatsapp

The competition, advertised by the Al Manar TV website, will award a participant who correctly selects the winning team in the World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia on June 12. Participants submit their selection via WhatsApp and a winner will be selected on June 13.

The competition rules say that only Lebanese are allowed to participate by sending their personal information and selection to Al Manar TV through WhatsApp. The competition is sponsored by a group of local businesses in Lebanon, including restaurants and shops. It is unclear what “reward” the winner will receive.

The competition is the latest example of how terrorist groups like Hezbollah use technology to interact with individuals and engage with a younger generation.

Al Manar TV, which is listed by the U.S. government as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist Entity,”first began using the WhatsApp service in January of 2014 as a way to reach and interact with their audience worldwide and to deliver breaking news via texts delivered to smartphones.

Al Manar TV broad­casts Hezbollah’s mes­sages of hate and vio­lence, dis­sem­i­nates anti-Semitic and anti-American pro­pa­ganda and glo­ri­fies sui­cide bomb­ings to mil­lions of view­ers in the Arab world, Europe and South East Asia 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In July of 2012, ADL exposed Al Manar’s efforts to cre­ate free appli­ca­tions for smart­phones avail­able through iTunes and other online stores. The appli­ca­tion was removed from the iTunes store and Hezbol­lah issued a state­ment blam­ing ADL for the removal of its applications.

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January 15, 2014

Chilean Soccer Used As A Platform For Anti-Semitism, Discrimination And Politics

Chilean soccer authorities and FIFA officials have remained silent after reports of the highly politicized and unsportsmanlike conduct of the entire Chilean El Palestino soccer club. el-palestino-jersey-map-of palestine

The team, which is affiliated with the National Association of Professional Soccer in Chile, replaced their standard uniform with jerseys imprinted with the outline of what they see as the map of “Palestine” in place of numerals. The imprinted map of “Palestine” includes the territory that is the state of Israel.

El Palestino team, by using these jerseys in games on January 4, January 11 and again on January 13, 2014, has been voicing the long-held vicious Palestinian propaganda against the very legitimacy and existence of the state of Israel.

In the January 11 game, El Palestino fans cheered their team for their bold political message and some spectators in the stadium even displayed anti-Semitic flags equating a swastika with the Star of David. swastika-el-palestino-chile-match

FIFA regulations clearly require that, “the team of a player whose basic compulsory equipment contains political, religious or personal slogans or statements will be sanctioned by the competition organizer or by FIFA.”  Additionally, Articles 14 and 23 of the FIFA code of Ethics clearly require teams and players to “remain politically neutral” and to refrain from offending “the dignity or integrity of a country, private person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason.”

Soccer, or “futbol”, is Latin America’s most popular sport.  The El Palestino team’s actions remain unchallenged while they play in Chile’s first division; soccer authorities in Chile and internationally need to enforce regulations to prevent further incidents.



Fútbol en Chile: Una plataforma para la discriminación y la política

Las autoridades de fútbol de Chile y funcionarios de la FIFA se han mantenido en silencio después de informes sobre la conducta altamente politizada y antideportiva de todo el club de fútbol chileno El Palestino. El equipo, que está afiliado a la Asociación Nacional de Fútbol Profesional de Chile, reemplazó su uniforme estándar con camisetas impresas con el esbozo de lo que ellos ven como el mapa de “Palestina” en lugar de números. El mapa de “Palestina” impreso incluye el territorio del Estado de Israel. El equipo El Palestino, al utilizar estas camisetas en los partidos del 4 de enero, del 11 de enero y otra vez del 13 de enero de 2014, está articulando la viciosa y antigua propaganda palestina contra la legitimidad y existencia del estado de Israel.

En el juego del 11 de enero, seguidores de El Palestino glorificaron a su equipo por su audaz mensaje político y algunos espectadores en desde las galerías del estadio incluso sacaron banderas antisemitas equiparando la esvástica con la Estrella de David.

Reglamentos de la FIFA establecen claramente que, “el organizador de la competición o la FIFA sancionará al equipo de un jugador cuyo equipamiento básico obligatorio tenga mensajes políticos, religiosos o personales”. Además, los artículos 14 y 23 del Código Ético de la FIFA claramente requieren que los equipos y los jugadores “mantengan una posición política neutral” y que se abstengan de ofender “la dignidad o integridad de un país, de una persona o de un grupo de personas mediante palabras o acciones despectivas, discriminatorias o denigrantes, por razón de su raza, color de piel, etnia, origen nacional o social, genero, idioma, religión, posicionamiento político o de otra índole, poder adquisitivo, lugar de nacimiento o procedencia, orientación sexual o cualquier otro motivo”.

El Fútbol es el deporte más popular de América Latina. El equipo El Palestino continuará con sus acciones mientras juegue otros partidos de la primera división chilena a menos que las autoridades de fútbol de Chile como a nivel internacional hagan cumplir las normas y regulaciones para evitar nuevos incidentes.



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January 7, 2014

United Arab Emirates Bars Another Israeli Athlete from Sporting Competition


Dan Mori

Update: On January 12, 2014, the Vitesse football team issued the following statement:

“In retrospect, different organizations have said there were options to make it possible to travel to the UAE with Mori, who is Israeli. The complexity around organizing travel to countries with specific entry procedures in a short space of time meant not all the options were utilized. Vitesse regrets the commotion and offers apologies to everyone who feels in any way affected by the decision to exclude Mori.”

Once again, the United Arab Emirates has reportedly acted to prevent an Israeli athlete from entering the country to participate in a local sporting event. According to news reports, Dutch soccer team Vitesse Arnhem was informed on Saturday that Israeli squad member Dan Mori would not be allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi for upcoming soccer matches, despite previous assurances that Mori would be admitted. Vitesse Arnhem decided to travel to the UAE without Mori, a move that drew criticism from Dutch politicians and organizations.

The most well-known incident involving an Israeli athlete being barred from the UAE occurred in 2009 when tennis player Shahar Peer was refused a visa to participate in the Dubai Tennis Championship. As a result, a number of international tennis stars, including Venus Williams, publically condemned the visa rejection, and Andy Roddick, the 2008 men’s singles champion, withdrew from the tournament. The Dubai tournament was heavily fined for its actions. Although Peer was granted a visa to participate in subsequent years, her access and mobility were severely limited by the UAE.

A more recent episode occurred in December 2013, when the Israeli under-18 chess team competed in the World Youth Chess Championship in Dubai. According to reports, the UAE had initially refused to allow the Israeli team to compete, but reversed its decision after FIDE – the World Chess Federation – threatened to nullify the tournament.

The difficulties encountered by Israeli athletes exist not just in the UAE but across the broader Arab world, and even when Israelis are permitted to participate they often encounter severe prejudice. An example of this occurred during the October 2013 FINA Swimming World Cup tournament in Doha, Qatar, when organizers reportedly removed an Israeli flag from outside the aquatic center where the event was taking place, and TV coverage of a race involving an Israeli swimmer covered over the Israeli flag on the screen. And during the same month, the Tunisian Tennis Federation was suspended from the Davis Cup for one year after Tunisian player Malek Jaziri refused to play a Davis Cup match against Israeli Amir Weintraub.

Most international sporting associations require that hosts facilitate the participation of all athletes, regardless of ethnicity or nationality.

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