UPDATES 10 am Israel time, Thursday, August 8 2013:
*The situation remains tense on the Lebanese border this morning following the IED attack on IDF soldiers yesterday. All four soldiers who were wounded have survived–but one remains in critical condition.
*The closure of the Temple Mount to Jews continues with the Jerusalem Police acting in concert with the Islamic Wakf to make the Mount judenrein (free of Jews).
*The war at the Wall was again won by the orthodox yesterday as hundreds of young orthodox girls prevented the self-proclaimed “Women of the Wall” from praying near the Wall itself.
It was supposed to be a “Peace Tour.”
The world famous Barcelona football (soccer) team came to Israel and the “Palestinian territories” this past week. Led by their stars, Lionel Messi, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, and Neymar, the Barcelona team proclaimed themselves as “emissaries of peace.”
During their whirlwind two-day schedule, the team:
1. went to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity
2. went to Ramallah to visit unelected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
3. held a soccer clinic in a soccer stadium near the Palestinian settlement of Dura
4. went to Jerusalem’s Old City to stand at the Western Wall
5. attended a reception at President Shimon Peres’ Jerusalem residence
6. gave a training and skills exhibition in Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv in front of 12,000 Israeli Jewish and Arab children
The latter event in Bloomfield was organized by the Shimon Peres Center for Peace. At the event at his home in Jerusalem and later at Bloomfield, Peres lauded the club and its players: “You are ambassadors of peace. You brought light to our people, hope to our children, and a message of peace to the Middle East.”
What a joke.
It was revealed yesterday that the Barcelona trip was actually supposed to have been paid for with a $1,000,000 payment of Israeli taxpayer money–paid directly from the Israel Ministry of Education to the Barcelona team. One can only suppose that this was the brainchild of Shimon Peres himself in much the same way that Peres orchestrated the $500,000 payment to former U.S. President Bill Clinton to come give a 45 minute speech extolling Peres at Peres’ lavish birthday party.
But at least the Ministry of Education included one sentence in their contract with Barcelona that read that the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, would have to played before the session in Bloomfield started. And so, one of Israel’s leading singers, David D’Or was chosen to sing the anthem.
But oddly, no Israeli anthem was played in Bloomfield on Sunday. The only anthem that was played was the Catalonian national anthem. It was especially odd because back in Dura on Saturday, the Palestinian national anthem had been played and sung by all those in attendance.
And why wasn’t Hatikvah played? Because of Shimon Peres and the Barcelona team.
It turns out that on Friday, Peres called a meeting of various Israeli government representatives and announced that playing Hatikvah would be insulting to Palestinians who might be in attendance in Bloomfield on Sunday.
Speaking for Barcelona, Peres declared that if Hatikvah were to be played, then the Spanish, Cataloninan, and Palestinian anthems would have to be played as well (never mind that only the Palestinian anthem was played in Dura).
Unbelievably, representatives from the Israel Foreign Ministry decided to go along with Peres and Barcelona and to not play Israel’s national anthem in Israel’s national soccer stadium because of the “awkwardness” it would cause.
Can you believe this? Your humble servant cannot.
And neither can officials from the Education Ministry who announced yesterday that the $1,000,000 that was supposed to have been paid to Barcelona will not be paid because of breach of contract.
In sum, the extraordinary willingness of the Foreign Ministry officials of this country to kowtow to the likes of Shimon Peres and the Barcelona football club is outrageous and disgusting. Everyone in the Foreign Ministry who participated in this scandalous decision should be sacked immediately.
Were it only possible to sack Shimon Peres as well.