An English fan with blue eyes and blond hair chanted “freedom for Palestine” on an Israeli channel, during a live broadcast. This incident was like a thunderbolt against the Occupation and its supporters, while the disappointment was clear in the presenter’s facial expressions.
Although it was not broadcast on the BBC or any of the globally famous channels, the scene was greatly viewed around the world, and it was extensively circulated and more influentially spread on social media platforms.
This scene, which did not exceed a few seconds, hides behind it many details regarding the global popular interaction with the issue and confirms the superiority of the Palestinian narrative over the one of the Occupation, and also highlights the strong effect of the World Cup in Qatar in enhancing this concept and making chants for Palestine as well as raising its flag a general feature of this tournament.
The contagious spread of refusing to be interviewed by Israeli channels by the fans of Brazil, Japan and other teams is the greatest evidence of the spirit that prevailed at the World Cup in Qatar, and of the impact caused by the enthusiasm of the Arab fans in expressing their belonging to Palestine, to the extent that it became, as described by a Brazilian newspaper, the thirty-third team in this world’s most prominent tournament for the most popular and massive sport.
The illusion that dominated the normalisation current emanated from false accounts on social media platforms. This illusion prompted them to lie and to then believe their lie. Moreover, they believe that there is a real current standing with them while, in fact, it is no more than a mirage that the thirsty see as water and, after reaching it, find nothing; rather, he found a nation that put Al-Quds as its only compass.
Once again, the matter is not a mere game or a sport that people play. Rather, it has become a thermometer that indicates the nation’s connection to its central issues. Even if its voice vanishes sometimes, as a result of oppression and the brutality of power, it soon rises in support of Al-Quds, expressing unity and solidarity as soon as it finds an opportunity to do so.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 7 December 2022
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.