Indy publishes letter (whose signatures include Desmond Tutu) with lie about ‘maimed’ Palestinian ‘footballers’

Here are the signatories to a letter published at The Independent on April 30, titled ‘Leave Jerusalem off Euro 2020 host city list‘:

John Austin, Victoria Brittain, Rodney Bickerstaffe, Breyten Breytenbach, Caryl Churchill, William Dalrymple, The Rev Garth Hewitt, Dr Ghada Karmi, Bruce Kent, Paul Laverty, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Miriam Margolyes, Mairead Maguire, Kika Markham, Professor Nur Masalha, Karma Nabulsi, Professor Steven Rose, Professor Hilary Rose, Salman Abu Sitta, Ahdaf Souief, Baroness Jenny TongeArchbishop Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker and Roger Waters

The letter (whose signatures include Tutu and several Guardian contributors) opens with the following:

During the next five months Uefa will select 13 host cities for its Euro 2020 football competition. We appeal to Uefa to exclude Jerusalem from this list of hosts.

Here’s one of the reasons these serial Israel haters provide for opposing Jerusalem’s possible hosting of the UEFA football competition:

In February this year, Amnesty International published a report entitled Trigger Happy which documents the treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces. The report describes this treatment as “unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal”.

You can see NGO Monitor’s take on the Amnesty ‘trigger happy’ report here.

The letter continues:

Just one example of this was seen earlier this year when Israeli soldiers shot repeatedly at the legs and feet of two talented teenage Palestinian footballers at a checkpoint, maiming them for life.

However, the charges about the alleged attack on the ‘talented teenage Palestinian footballers’, which was first published in the Arab media and then by Dave Zirin at The Nation, were proven to be a lie in a superb fisking at Elder of Ziyon.

First, the two Palestinians were not ‘targeted’ because they were “football players”, but because they were allegedly seen throwing bombs.

The incident, which occurred in late January near Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, reportedly began when a group of Palestinians (including the two “footballers”) threw bombs at Israeli security forces. The security forces evidently only opened fire when  the group attempted to run away and tried again to toss explosives at them. 

Additionally, both of the Palestinian ‘victims’,  Joher Naser and Adam Johar, are evidently supporters of the terror group, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Here’s a photo of Joher Naser from his own Facebook page:


Here’s a photo from the Facebook page of the other ‘footballer’, Adam Johar, who evidently didn’t get the memo from Mahmoud Abbas:


Additionally, though Arab media sites (and The Nation) claimed that the two suspects were shot repeatedly in their feet, there are quite a few photos online documenting their injuries in detail but none which show a foot injury.  (By the way, the ‘footballers’ were initially treated at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.)

football knees
Joher Naser (left) and Adam Johar (right)
football walk 3
Joher Naser (left) and Adam Johar (right)

Do these footballers-cum-terror supporters seem “maimed for life” to you?

Perhaps editors at the Indy should be more careful before legitimizing wild, libelous anti-Israel allegations which have little if any relationship to reality. 

(See more on this story in a post published by my colleague Tamar Sternthal


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