Israeli symbols out of sight as Palestinian flags wave at World Cup
The Israeli occupation is struggling to be seen at the World Cup, with the Palestinian cause dominating the stadiums as Israelis are facing harsh rejection.
Palestinian flags and pro-Palestinian banners have become a staple at the Qatar World Cup as barely any expression of support for the Israeli occupation is being seen at the biggest sporting event in the world.
The chief reason behind the absence of flagrant pro-Israeli sentiment is the World Cup being held in an Arab country, where there is an almost century-old anti-Israeli sentiment.
Though several Arab states have normalized ties with the Israeli occupation, Qatar not included, the Arab fans at Qatar's World Cup stadiums are embracing the Palestinian cause and portraying their solidarity with occupied Palestine in various means.
Israeli media commented Sunday in a very disgruntled manner on the way the Arabic crowds are reacting to Israeli correspondents showing up in Qatar under the guise of reporting on the World Cup and trying to get positive statements that serve the process of normalization from the Arab fans there.
The Israelis clarified that they saw for the first time they saw a large-scale experience of rejection, neglect, hatred, and the non-acceptance of Israelis in an Arab-Muslim country.
One fan shouted against the Israeli occupation at a reporter for Israeli public broadcaster KAN, saying: "There is only Palestine, there is no Israel... you are not welcome here."
Many Arab and international fans are making loud and clear pro-Palestinian statements, yelling "Long Live Palestine" in front of Israeli television cameras.
From #Arab, #Brazilian, and even Japanese #WorldCup fans, Israeli media seem to be having trouble during the big event. It seems that "Israel's" long history of colonialism, occupation, and massacres against #Palestinians is not going unnoticed by people around the world. pic.twitter.com/5bA0GMqAOX— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) November 27, 2022
There are football fans all over the stadiums sporting armbands of the Palestinian flag and the Palestinian keffiyeh, the head-dress indigenous to Palestine, with the Palestinian song "Ali El-Keffiyeh", which translates to Raise the Keffiyeh, playing regularly in fan zones.
"Some foreigners do not know the Palestinian flag and ask us about it," said Yahya Abu Hantash, a 33-year-old Palestinian living in Doha, hinting that the World Cup is being used to raise awareness about the Palestinian struggle.
"This is a golden opportunity to introduce our cause," Abu Hantash added as he was holding a Palestinian flag.
Qatar itself has criticized the normalization agreements signed between the Israeli occupation and various Arab nations, such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco.
"This is a series blow to anyone who thought normalization was right at the corner and that normalization with Arab countries was just a matter of time," the author wrote.
"This is a serious blow to anyone who thought normalization was right at the corner and that normalization with Arab countries was just a matter of time," an Israeli journalist at Israel Hayom wrote in an article entitled "The World Cup in Qatar, A Mirror for the Israelis: They Do Not Like Us nor Want Us."
The absence of the flags of the Israeli occupation entity is remarkable due to the fact that some 10,000 Israelis are expected in Qatar for the tournament, said Israeli diplomat Alon Levy, who was in Doha to organize consular coverage.
An Israeli KAN public broadcaster correspondent in Qatar complained Thursday about "unpleasant" incidents he was subjected to in Qatar during the channel's coverage of the FIFA World Cup championship being held in the country due to him being Israeli, a heavily opposed "nationality" in the region.
Another Israeli correspondent said a few days ago that he was bothered by the stances of the Arab fans attending the 2022 World Cup, saying that they would refuse to be interviewed by him due to his allegiance.
According to the correspondent, young Lebanese men were enraged when they found out that he was Israeli, saying: "I would also like to say that even off the air, whichever Arab fans we meet there with and introduce ourselves to, they reject talking to us altogether."
"All attempts to talk to football fans in Doha did not go according to plan," Israeli media has said. "Videos are being circulated online are of Saudi fans, a Qatari shopper, and several Lebanese fans purposely avoiding Israeli reporters."
Israeli Channel 12 correspondent, Ohad Hamo, expressed his frustration from the “maltreatment” of the Arab masses he came across in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Arab people of all nations refused to be interviewed by him, an Israeli, during a live TV broadcast.
"Everyone knows us, perhaps from the widespread Tik Tok videos. They come to us and criticize us being here," Hamo said in objection. "I don't know why," he cried out.
The direct flights between occupied Palestine and Qatar, however, will stop on December 18, the day of the World Cup final. Travel was allowed after a deal was reached with Doha allowing Palestinians and illegal Israeli settlers, which FIFA praised as a platform "to improve relations across the Middle East."
The agreement, according to a Palestinian official, was not discussed with the Palestinian authority. "We learned the news from television."
Usually, Palestinians would have to get to Qatar through Jordan or Egypt, as the Israeli occupation has harsh restrictions in place prohibiting Palestinians from using their airports.