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The disgraceful drive to kick Israel out of FIFA

Nothing makes the world stop like the World Cup. Soccer brings people around the globe together more than any other cultural force. Not bad for jocks in shorts kicking around a black-and-white ball.

But some would use it to divide. The Palestine Football Association is pushing to kick Israel out of FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

The proposal’s on the agenda for the organization’s May 29 congress in Zurich. Passage would ban Israel from all international matches, including the World Cup.

Allegations of bribery and corruption surround nearly every FIFA decision, including the siting of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. But at least it’s kept out of world politics.

The only exceptions: It suspended South Africa when the white minority there systematically denied equal rights to the black majority, and Yugoslavia when its government was doing “ethnic cleansing” massacres.

Israel grants full rights to its Arab citizens — indeed, they have more rights than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East. The Palestinian grievance: Israel won’t join a “peace settlement” that would spell its doom.

Any FIFA vote to bar Israel would be a statement of power and prejudice, not justice — and would leave the sport open to endless “grudge” resolutions.


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