On Monday evening, Israeli member of the Knesset (parliament) Ofer Kasif criticized the statements of journalists from his country regarding human rights in Qatar, describing them as “hypocrites.”
This came in a speech by Lexif, a leftist deputy for the “Arab Front and the Arab League for Change” coalition (5 seats out of 120 in the Knesset), during the Knesset plenary meeting, according to the Hebrew newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.
During the past few days, Israeli journalists, some of them covering the events of the FIFA World Cup, alleged human rights violations in Qatar, which will host the World Cup between November 20 and December 18.
Kasif said, criticizing these journalists: “There is great hypocrisy in their words. Wherever we live, there is a (Palestinian) people suffering under a violent and murderous occupation.. Let them fight here for human rights before fighting abroad.”
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Qatar is the first Arab and Islamic country in the Middle East to host the World Cup, in which 32 national teams participate, and it is the most prominent event in the world of football.
From the Knesset podium, and in Arabic, Arab MP Ahmad al-Tibi, head of the parliamentary bloc of the “Arab Front and the Arab League for Change” coalition, said: “Imagine if the World Cup was held in the United States, the whole world would applaud, even though the United States is responsible for killing a million Iraqis in the Iraq war ( beginning in 2003).
He continued, “Remove these fallacies, as this (Qatar) is the Arab country that organized the best World Cup in history.”
Representative Tali Gottlev of the Likud party (right – 32 seats) attacked Tibi for speaking in Arabic, to which the latter replied: “Even if I speak Hebrew, you will not understand.”
And on Saturday, the Colombian singer Maluma, who participated in the official song for the World Cup in Qatar, withdrew from a television interview with the correspondent of the official Israeli channel “Kan”, describing him as “insolent”.
The channel’s reporter, Moav Vardi, covering the World Cup, pressed Maluma to explain why he participated in the song despite reports of alleged human rights violations in Qatar.
Maluma replied: “I only came here to enjoy life and football, that’s something I don’t have to interfere with.”
However, the Israeli reporter came back and asked him, “But are you ready to understand the people who say that your presence here came to whiten Qatar’s image?”
And then the Colombian singer decided to leave the studio, so Vardy asked him: “What’s the problem?”, To which Maluma replied, surprisingly, “You are rude.”
There are no declared diplomatic relations between Qatar and Israel, while Tel Aviv has declared relations with 6 out of 22 Arab countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, the Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.