Hebrew Heard Throughout Southern Lebanon as Residents Watch World Cup
“Israeli commentators’ voices in Hebrew can be heard everywhere in south Lebanon; in people’s houses, balconies and courtyards because the country has failed to allocate money to enable them to watch the games,” reported Lebanon’s Al-Nahar newspaper, according to the BBC on Wednesday, as Arabs across the Middle East watch the World Cup in Hebrew.
Broadcast rights to the games were acquired by Qatari cable company Sama for its NBN Sport Network, which was, according to Karabia, charging 1300 Egyptian pounds, a steep $180, leading many resourceful Arabs to tune in to the Israeli Amos satellite broadcast, albeit, in Hebrew.
Talal Makdessi, chairman of Lebanese public broadcast network Tele Liban, told Beirut’s Daily Star it was “the right of every Lebanese citizen, in every village, to be able to watch the World Cup,” and threatened to broadcast the matches for free.
In response, Qatar’s Sana said it would lift the fee for the remainder of the games.
The irony of Hebrew football commentary blaring in Arab living rooms and cafes was flagged by pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon on Wednesday. Rather than offering his usual insight, the blogger just highlighted a line from the BBC’s coverage of the Al-Nahar article, reprinting a quote from an angry football fan who complained that “Israeli commentators were biased against ‘the Muslims of Bosnia’ during their match against Argentina.”
Meanwhile, it was the Croatian supporters at the game against Russia who flew neo-Nazi banners that FIFA has now said could be used to detract points from the Croat side. In the team’s match against home team Brazil, its fans held up a banner with the coat of arms of the fascist regime that collaborated with the Nazis in World War II, according to the UK’s Jewish Chronicle on Wednesday.
Piara Power, director of the Fare Network, which alerted FIFA of the anti-Semitic flag waving, told the UK Telegraph: “It seems that some fans of some countries will take their hatred halfway around the world. These images need to be acted on urgently.”
In Israel, which is not participating in the World Cup this year, the football competition’s logo was kidnapped by Hamas supporters, who created a mock poster, published in the Palestinian Authority’s official newspaper, depicting the three Jewish yeshiva students who were abducted by the terror organization as the games began in Brazil.
The World Cup logo of three interlocking hands in the shape of a football was modified to show the hands toying with the three missing teens, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel, screaming for help and waving their arms in panic.