Sports event

Jordanians say no to ‘cultural normalization’ and boycott sporting event to welcome Israelis

In a massive social media campaign, Jordanians have vehemently rejected efforts at what they described as “cultural normalization” with Israelis, boycotting a sporting event that hosted a number of Israeli settlers.

Several pro-Palestinian groups have demanded the withdrawal of Jordanian and Arab participants from the Jordan Baja Rally due to the participation of 13 Israeli settlers in the two-day sporting event which began on Thursday.

Jordanian activists on social media warned of their country’s attempts to normalize relations with Israelis.

In a collective act of solidarity with the Palestinian cause, Jordanians took to social media to ask “How the hell can we welcome [the Israelis] here?” and tell their government “enough of selling the blood of the martyrs of Jordan and Palestine”.

Pro-Palestinian groups denounced the event and called on sponsors to withdraw.

They subsequently announced and welcomed the withdrawal of a number of participants.

“After Roya TV and the Hamada restaurant chain, Rababa Games, the godfather and supporter of Jordanian runner Saif Al-Abadi, announced the cancellation of his participation in the Baja Rally. With all respect and appreciation,” Ataharak, a group aimed at supporting resistance and anti-normalization, tweeted in Arabic on Friday.

“The Victory of the People’s Will”

Other pro-Palestinian groups have also called for a boycott of the event and praised those stepping down.

The Jordanian branch of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement condemned the hosting of 13 Israeli participants in the rally, stressing the need to refuse to normalize and cooperate with the occupation regime in any form.

“We call on all race sponsors, sports committees, media institutions, hotels and restaurants to reject normalization out of respect for the Palestinian cause and the position of the Arab people,” BDS Jordan said.

He hailed the withdrawals as a “victory of the popular will” and a “clear message” to the rest of the sponsors, saying there will be economic consequences to continuing to sponsor standardization activities.

“Respectful position”

The Boycott for Palestine movement used the hashtag #اوقفوا_رالي_باها, which translates to “Stop the Baja Rally! topped trending lists on social media platforms in Jordan.

“The rise of popular discontent [is shown] refusing to host 13 players from the occupying entity in the sporting event, as withdrawals of national institutions from sponsoring this normalization event continue amid calls to keep up the pressure,” Boycott for Palestine wrote in a tweet on Friday.

One user posted a photo of Hamada’s restaurant and said he dined there because of his “respectful stance” and “rejection of normalization”.

“Today’s dinner from Hamada’s restaurant because of its position of respect and rejection of normalization, in the hope that the boycott movement against Zionists and Zionist products will develop to form support funds for the boycott, to compensate any employer, athlete or artist who incurs financial loss as a result of their stance on normalization,” he said.

Hamas appreciates Jordanian support

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas reacted to the developments and thanked the support of the Jordanian people and groups and their anti-normalization stance.

“These positions of the Jordanian people, the media and the business community are in line with the faith and conviction of the people of this country, who believe in the need to support the Palestinian people and al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque “, Hamas said. said spokesman Hazem Qassem.

Maher Salah, a senior Hamas figure, said Jordanians’ anti-normalization activities in recent days showed the deep-rooted authenticity of “our brotherly Jordanian people”.

Salah pointed out that the Zionist regime’s efforts over many years to brainwash rising Jordanian generations have been ignored by the Jordanian people, who, he said, have emerged victorious despite the magnitude of the temptations and pressures they face. they were submitted.

He added that Hamas welcomes such supportive positions, adding that it confirms that the brotherly Jordanian people are still loyal to the Palestinian cause.

Boycott of Israel gains momentum

The new development follows a series of withdrawals of Muslim sportspeople from competing with their Israeli counterparts in various sporting events.

In July 2021, Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine withdrew from the 2020 Summer Olympics in the Japanese capital of Tokyo, after the draw put him on the path to a possible showdown against an Israeli opponent. .

In the same month, Sudanese judoka Mohamed Abdalrasool withdrew from the Tokyo Summer Olympics, becoming the second athlete to withdraw from the international multi-sport event to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.

Lebanese Abdullah Miniato also withdrew from the international mixed martial arts (MMA) competition in Sophia, Bulgaria, to avoid a match against an Israeli opponent, like the two African athletes who refused to fight their Israeli rivals at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

Additionally, a Kuwaiti tennis player withdrew from a tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month to avoid facing an Israeli counterpart.

The boycott of Israel has gained momentum in recent years despite the regime’s relentless attempts to silence any form of opposition to its crimes of anti-Semitism.