In an October 28, 2018 article, Muwaffaq Matar, a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council and a regular columnist for the Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, attacked Arab countries for normalizing their relations with Israel, especially the UAE and Qatar, which are hosting Israeli athletes as part of the 2018 Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi and the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Doha. He called this a violation of the principles of the Arab League and of the resolutions of the 2002 Arab peace initiative, which state that normalization between Israel and the Arabs will happen only after an agreed-upon solution is found for the Palestinian problem. He condemned the playing of the Israeli anthem at the tournaments, and presented its words, claiming that it includes lines such as "we shall thrust our spears into the chests of our enemies and see their spilt blood and severed heads."
The following are excerpts from his article:
Muwaffaq Matar (image: alwatanvoice.com)
"Who could have imagined such a situation? The Palestinian leadership achieves breakthroughs on the front against the Israeli occupation state, [a front] that stretches from Europe to every corner of the world, and attains political and diplomatic achievements for the Palestinian people and their just cause, which is the chief cause of the Arab nation. [Yet] at the same time, the Israeli occupation state achieves significant breakthroughs in terms of normalization [with countries] within our own strategic Arab depth, and attains achievements that serve the claim of the racist Binyamin Netanyahu, head of the extremist and terrorist [Israeli ] coalition government, that 'Israel and the Arabs form a single front against Iran'!
"We understand perfectly well that [various] Arab countries and their governments have their own interests, which nobody should interfere in, but we [nevertheless wish to] remind our Arab brothers of the Arab [peace] initiative, which they signed at the 14th [Arab League] summit in Beirut in 2002, which stated as follows:
"'As part of adopting the Saudi initiative by the [Arab] summit council as an Arab peace initiative, the council requests that Israel reconsider its policies and incline towards peace, and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.
"'The council further demands the following from [Israel]:
"'A. Full withdrawal from all the Arab occupied territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied territories in the south of Lebanon.
"'B. Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.
"'C. The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
"'Subsequently, the Arab countries will do the following:
"'A. Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.
"'B. Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.'
"'Guarantees the rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries.'
"We know very well that [Arab states] have officially maintained contacts [with Israel], some covert and some overt, without shame, in flagrant violation of the resolutions of the 2002 Beirut summit. But what is saddening, and it would not be an exaggeration to call it a disaster, is that we [now] see Israeli sports delegations [competing] before spectators in stadiums in Arab countries, while raising the flag of the occupation state. The most painful thing of all is that these spectators stand for the anthem of the State of Israel, which is occupying [Jerusalem], the first [Muslim] direction of prayer and [the location of] the third most important mosque [Al-Aqsa]...
"Our brothers, the spectators at the stadiums where the world championships in judo and gymnastics [are taking place], here are the words of the racist, colonialist, occupying and terrorist anthem that you listen to while gazing at the wide smile of [Israel's] Culture and Youth Minister [sic], the extremist Miri Regev, who is working to destroy the culture of the youth in Palestine… You may also hear some [Israelis], among them soldiers who have killed Palestinian children and youths, repeat these [words] in your ears, and you may wish to turn deaf before these words reach your ears.
"You will hear from them [the Israelis] the following words: 'As long as in the heart within, the Jewish soul yearns... aspiring onwards, toward the east, our hope has not materialized, the hope that is a thousand years old on our land... the land of Zion and Jerusalem. Let our enemies shudder [in fear]... let all the people of Canaan shudder, let the people of Babylon shudder, let their skies be swathed in fear and terror as we thrust our spears into their chests... and see their spilt blood and their severed heads. Then God's Chosen People [will reach] the land God wanted [them to have].'
"Be informed, our [Arab] brothers, that the Jewish ISIS has reached your lands, this time with its blue flag, as you enjoy [the anthem which describes] spears being thrust into the chests of the sons of Canaan and their severed heads.
"All of us – the Palestinian unions, popular organizations and professional syndicates, as well as their Arab counterparts – are responsible for the large fissures that have opened up in the wall of our strategic Arab depth. What is happening is totally illogical: the [Arab] brothers welcome the colonialist occupiers on the pretext of their participation in world championships, while the world champions in [the domain of] conscience, morality, and the values of freedom and human rights deliver resounding blows [to the Zionists]. Oh Arabs, we must take an example from the BDS movement. Take heed and do not be captivated by the somersaults of Netanyahu and Miri Regev at the gymnastics and judo [championships]. They will end up winning the gold, while you end up at the finals with tin."