In the latest Palestinian attempt to politicize an international body to pressure Israel, the Palestinian delegation to the international soccer organization FIFA insisted upon the establishment of a committee to monitor Israeli action on Friday. This came after an initial Palestinian effort to suspend Israel from global soccer, which was withdrawn. The Palestinians instead asked for a vote on a motion that would call for monitoring movement of Palestinian soccer players and equipment, alleged racism and discrimination, and Israeli clubs based in the West Bank. The chairman of the Israel Football Association, Ofer Eini, said, “I want us to work together, I want us to cooperate, I want us to hug and embrace each other.” Eini added that he hoped to “make soccer a bridge for peace.”
FIFA President Sepp Blatter came out against politicizing the organization, stating, “We want to be in sport and not in politics. This would be a very dangerous precedent.” Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu castigated the Palestinian effort, saying, “The thing that could destroy the Football Association is politicizing it. You politicize it once with Israel, then you politicize it for everyone, and it will cause the deterioration of a great institution." Chris Coleman, the manager of the Welsh soccer team, said that the suspension of Israel would affect his team’s points in qualifying for the Euro 2016 tournament and “would be a big blow for us, not just the points but psychologically…I hope it doesn’t come to that and, to be honest, I’d say just leave the group alone.”
In a statement Friday, Netanyahu said, “This Palestinian provocation joins the unilateral steps that the Palestinians are taking at other international institutions.” In April, the Palestinian Authority joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) in a unilateral attempt to pressure Israel. David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said in testimony in February, “The purpose of the ICC is to deal with mass atrocities, and not serve as another politicized UN agency.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference that he supported the "general idea" of the Arab Peace Initiative (API) The Times of Israel reported Thursday.
The Arab Peace Initiative, originally proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, has many problematic aspects to it, the prime minister said, such as its call for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the return of Palestinians refuges to Israel. “There are positive aspects and negative aspects to it,” he told Israeli diplomatic correspondents at a rare on-record briefing. “This initiative is 13 years old, and the situation in the Middle East has changed since it was first proposed. But the general idea — to try and reach understandings with leading Arab countries — is a good idea.”
In the framework proposed by the initiative, all Arab and Islamic states would establish normal diplomatic relations with Israel after the successful conclusion of the peace process with the Palestinians.
The Israeli government has never fully endorsed the plan. But Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that given Iran’s nuclear and regional aspirations, the moderate Arab states and Israel have a common enemy and grounds for increased cooperation.
There was an unconfirmed news report earlier this month that Israel had met with unidentified Sunni Arab states in Jordan to discuss greater security cooperation in order to counter the threat posed by Iran. (via TheTower.org)
It’s a technology event that will show off the best innovation coming out of Israel and from around the world: The Technology 2015 International Exhibition for technological developments In the Industry happening takes place on June 16-18, 2015, in Tel Aviv. Some 300 exhibitors will showcase the latest development in computers and software, automated command and control systems, pneumatics, hydraulics, robotics, propulsion systems, transportations and bearings, compressor motors, batteries, measurement and calibration tools, pumps and generators along with purchasing and the logistics linked to industrial technical supplies, industrial printings, laser technologies, safety and health, and technical education. More than 25,000 visitors are expected to attend the 23rd technology exhibition. In addition to the local technological scene, the exhibition offers a unique platform for foreign companies to introduce and launch innovations to Israel’s professional arena. There will also be a conference discussing emerging technologies and future trends alongside the main exhibition. (via Israel21c)