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May 5, 2015 5:50 pm

Anger in the Arab World After Soccer Superstar Lionel Messi Gives His Son a ‘Jewish Name’

avatar by David Daoud

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Lionel Messi visiting the Kotel during a recent trip to Israel. The Arab world reacted very negatively to Messi choosing a "Jewish name" for his son. PHOTO: NRG.

Reports that soccer superstar Lionel Messi had chosen the name “Benjamin” for his yet unborn second son aroused anger in the Arab world over the Argentinian picking a “Jewish name” for the boy.

In Algeria specifically, people took the naming of the Barcelona player’s son very negatively. They expressed their hostility towards the athlete and his son’s chosen name saying that, “the name of Messi’s son is like the name of the Prime Minister of Israel,” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s NRG reported.

Some of the protesters also voiced their hope that Messi would alter his decision and ultimately choose a different name for his son, according to the report.

Messi is a devout Christian and met with the Pope in 2013. His first son, Thiago, was born in November 2012.

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  • Joe

    something else to whine about

  • Ahmed Diyar

    There no such think Benjamen is one of god’s massengers and he is “jusef’s” brother from the same Mother and they are sons of jacob who all the three are massengers of god and we “muslims” believe in them and love them even us muslims name our children by this name but we have a different pronounciation we say “binyamen” instead of “Benjamin” ☺☺☺☺

  • Am ine

    what ? so you think your more imoprtant than as ? ediot

  • Am ine

    enemies of god only god knows ….

  • All this silly talk. Who gives a damn what the Arabs think? If they aren’t allowed to fly to Europe or England and its commonwealth we’d have no reason to think twice. Time to start mass deportations!

    • Yaasher Koach Onward with HaShlema

      Yaasher Koach Onward with HaShlema

  • sharaz ayub

    Benyamin is a name found in islamic literature it is the name of prohet yousaf (josephs brother a nice name. (No one should assume that leo has kept the name after so and so why not contact and ask him first. (And by the way neither islam quraan or taurah(law) or injil gospel.teach that one should hate or judge any human infact they (quraan. ) taurath) injil.teach warmth understanding and love and kindness forgiveness mercy so all who show bad vibes get a life wake up and reset yourself to how you was as a child pure knowing only to get on with all your fellow knowledge opens the heart and mind if you study sincerely it what you seek you find if you seek to find understanding you will find that and opposite if you seek argument you will find that.

    • jeri

      Thank you for your good comments. There is far too much senseless hate in the world.

    • Fady

      Actually Benjamin is the name of Moses’s student/ follower who used to follow moses and he is the one who was able to concur palastine from the Giants/disbelievers with people of Israel after they fled from Egypt and stayed in Sinai desert for 40 years. God was angry at them because they told Moses to go and his God and fight those giants and they would stay and fight

      • Yehudit

        The student of Moses who succeeded him and let the Jews in conquering the Land of Israel which at the time was called Caanan, was Joshua, not Benjamin. Both distinguished leaders and people and worth emulating. No idea why people are getting worked up over nothing. Christians also favor Biblical names.

      • Yehudah

        Wrong. That was Joshua. Benjamin is the son of Jacob in the Totah and bible. He was the last son of Jacob and Rachel, and his name means son of my pain since Rachel died from the labor in giving birth to him.

        • Chaim shmuel

          The Samaritans call him Benjamim….son of the south…all of the other children of Jacob and Rachel were born in the northern kingdom…..

          • Actually Yamim in Hebrew means days. Darom is the word for south.
            Therefore Benyamim means son of days.

          • Musah

            Jerry, Ben means son in both Arabic n Hebrew languages, it’s Yamin and not Yamim like you claim which means Right (hand or leg) in both Arabic and Hebrew.
            there’s no J in Hebrew, J is always pronounced as Y making BENJAMIN, BENYAMIN, meaning SON OF RIGHT (hand).
            Arabic and Hebrew have a lot in common.

    • Dave Rudd

      You can call me Joe or you can call me Ali or you can call me Ben and Jerry, but always call me for dinner

  • oni

    So let me get this straight! The moderator of this post has not posted any of my replies only because they contained some sarcasm but he/she has allowed posts that use words such as f**k etc!

    Freedom of speech! nice

  • oni

    I think regarding the matter there’s only one reason that the football world should be angry about! And that is; the editor calling football “soccer”! Man, I am so upset!! Take it easy jokers 🙂

  • emmzee

    Just my feelings that wen we say the muslim world does not like the naming, who exactly is the muslim world.
    Muslims share a lot more than names and cuisine. Muslims are allowed to marry Jews. Kosher food is considered same as Halal, if i am not mistaken.
    So if Messi, a christian, names his son Benjamin, only mischief mongers would go on record to say they are outraged by this event.
    So could this just be jornalistic manouver to garner eyeballs and sell news. I mean the grand mufti of Al Azhar University has not mentioned anything. Nor has any arab/muslim newspapers.

    • I couldn’t put that better myself. spot on.

  • Think again. Have you been to the ‘real’ Islam. Against violence! Surely you can read

  • Lily Wolfram

    Hypocrites ! Muslims carry lots of Hebrew names, like Musa(Moses) Suleiman(Salomon) Ibrahim(Abraham. Why shouldn’t a christian give his child a biblical name?

  • zadimel

    While Palestinian women and children are killed by Israeli defensive fire, they are not targeted. Because Palestinian terrorists hide behind their women and children,which is a war crime under international law, these innocent people die.

    • Unfortunately the UN, ICC,Amnesty, Obama, wear blinkers where the Palestinians are concerned. An IsraelI gets stabbed by one, and Israel is charged with incitement and the police or soldier who protects the victim is accused of using disproportionate force by doing so.Welcome to the real world as inhabited by Israelis.

  • The Watchman

    Shows who are REALLY “apartheid” or “racists”, its the fascist Religion of Death and its leftist useful idiots.

  • Francisco arias

    We Christians love and support israel Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem Muslims can not impose Muslim state doctrine of hate attacking a unique name why so much hate ?? Animosity? Over ones name race or religion??

  • david

    I thought the muslims hated everything western like music,flying kites,make up,dancing etc,so why not football,weapons cars,the internet,cell phones and much more?

    • Dave

      You clearly have no idea about what Muslims hate or don’t hate.

      • Their religious leaders constantly inform their followers and the media, and we get to read about these fatwas from informed journalists and Middle East observers.Singing, football, most games, music have already been forbidden in certain countries. Accusations about intolerance are usually generated by evidence or statements from Muslims themselves, sometimes by believers who are horrified by what is being perpetrated in their name. This is all available on the internet. Just open your eyes and your mind.

    • I’m a Muslim I Like I everything accept guns killing and but I have no problem with the name there because there good Jewish people and bad Jewish and there’s bad Muslims and Good Muslims aright

    • oni

      I am trying to determine whether you’re british or american! I mean it’s hard because you’re comment contains both; dumbness and sarcasm so you must be both!!

  • Debbie Mattson

    Who gives a flying F–k what the muzzie world thinks? They’ll piss and moan just to get attention. Two words: SHUT UP!

    • oni

      well said Debbs, shut up!! but it have to start from you dear!

  • Larsen

    Ben-Yamin – Means, My Right hand son.

    Great Name…

    Good Choice !!

    • Dani Renan

      Or son of the south.
      In the Middle East as well as a lot of cultures, the front was toward the east – sunrise.
      So the right was south, and the left north, and back – west.
      Thus, Yemen means south (the southern part of Arabia). These are the older terms in the Bible, so when Abraham went after the 5 kings from the north to free Lot, he caught them “left of Damascus”, i.e., north.
      But as you note, it can also mean son of my right hand, which could have been a pun on the tribe of Benyamin, who were known for a lot of left handed or ambidextrous people. But in the Bible, the lefthandedness of the Benyaminites was positive – Ehud ben Gera, who slew Eglon king of Moab with a left handed dagger. David had 700 ambidextrous slingers from Benyamin.

  • Elaine

    Messi you fear no one on the field so fear no one OFF the field Parents have a right to name their child whatever they wish
    ‘Just do it’ 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  • David

    Arab/Muslim hate knows no bounds. So much like the NAZIS in Germany.

    • oni

      I believe their hate is justified as it repeals the bastardiness of us westerns!!

      • Dante

        The hate may be justified – in the eyes of Satan. It is actually both evil and stupid.

      • Paul Lockwood

        Oni — YOU are an ignorant moron.

  • Bill

    um… You kind of have that idiom backwards, Hiatorian.

  • Richard Paul Holdengarde

    Since when does one religion, dictate terms , of A Parent naming a child any name he wants, these Arabs, don’t throw stones in Glass houses and learn tolerance as Western People have, and it is your people that are attracted to Western shore’s Don’t you dare bring your Archaic Rules to our shores and children !

    • oni

      hahaha funny Richard!! Since when us (westerns) have tolerance! We have killed half of the world (with world being all that’s not western)! Getting the flipping facts right before coming here and trying to look like the cool western!

    • Musah

      Richard Paul Holdengarde, who do u say are tolerant people? Westerners? Russians, French, English, Americans and so on?
      Come on,
      “Who started the first world war? Not Muslims!! Who started the second world war? Not Muslims!! Who killed about 20 millions of Aborigines in Australia ? Not Muslims!! Who sent the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Not Muslims!! Who killed more than 100 millions of Indians in North America? Not Muslims!! Who killed more than 50 million of Indians in south America? Not Muslims!! Who took about 180 millions of African people as slaves and 88% of them died and were thrown overboard into Atlantic ocean? Not Muslims!! No, NOT Muslims!! First of all, You will have to define terrorism properly. If a non-Muslim does something bad. It is crime. But if a Muslim commits the same. He is a Terrorist. So first remove this double standards.
      Even today, Americans, Russians, French and their western allies are still killing innocent Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine and so on.
      The western media have been throwing dust into your eyes for so long. You all need to open your eyes

  • Benjamin Ben Aaron

    Je suis Benjamin. Ich bin Benjamin. I am Benjamin. Anti Binyamin.

    • Benjamin Ben Aaron

      Not “anti” but “ani”. Spellcheck malfunction.

  • Fiona CAPSTICK

    BRAVO, Messi. A strong, profoundly historic name. May your son have a healthy, peaceful life.

  • Marcel Pfister

    I couldn’t give a flying f..k about the “Arab world” being upset.

  • angek

    Benjamin is a common name in argentina and It has nothing to do with Benjamin Netanyahu. Ignorants.

  • Jac Fabs

    You are a brave man Messi, God bless your home. If I ever give birth to a son, that will be his name – all my kids must bear Jewish names.

  • Albert Mario

    God bless you Lionel,you choose a great name “BENJAMIN”!!!and for the Jews haters losers “🔯”Long Live to the Great Primer MINISTER of ISRAEL “Benjamin Netanyahu “Mr. BIBI 🔯🔯🔯🔯🔯

    • oni

      omg the nephew of Hitler leaving a comment! This is a historical moment indeed!

  • Roy

    And names like Yussuf, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ya’aqub, are pure Arab names, right ?

  • John

    Build a bridge and get over it.

    • Liliane Abergel

      Roy 🙂 exactly what I wrote on sharing! All Jewish biblical names and they
      borrowed” those and more!

  • Fiona Yael

    Muslims who object are just ignorant. Jews and Christians are described as ‘ahlul-kitab’ in the Koran: literally ‘people of the Book’ i.e. sharing the same prophetic tradition. Binyamin (Benjamin) is the brother of the ‘prophet’ Yusuf/Yosef/Joseph (a very popular name with Jews, Christians and Muslims alike), and is to be honoured as such. The objection is more to do with politics. Daud/David is another example.
    PS For the same reason, Jews and Christians cannot be called ‘infidels’.

    • Dani Renan

      Fiona, a Palestinian classmate (who was born in Kuwiet and never stepped foot in the country) claimed that the Rambam (Moses Maimonides)was an Arab. Proof – look at his name – Musa ibn Mimoun.

  • Irina

    Beautiful name! G-d bless you and your family, Lionel!

  • Benjamin Messi

    Abdullah is much nicer

    • Sandra Wosk

      yuck… yuck and double yuck..!!!!!!!

      • oni

        is Sandra a male or a female name actually? Just because my boss’s name is Sandra and I have never figured out whether he/she is a male or female! Help me please

  • Benjamin was the younger brother of the Biblical Joseph known in Arabic as Yousef. The City of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple were located in the territory of the Tribe of Benjamin. King Saul, who was commanded to destroy the Amalekites, was from the Tribe of Benjamin, as were Mordechai and Esther, who completed Saul’s work by bringing about the downfall of Haman. Bibi is neither the first nor the only person named after the Biblical Benjamin. The only people with any right to argue over the child’s name are the parents. What unbridled audacity for Muslims to object to what Christians name their son!

    • Lawrence Hall

      Well stated. And I agree with you.

  • algerians can go to hell

    al jezera and the land of gehinnom

  • Historian

    Messi can kiss the arses of the Arab world.. Benjamin is a great strong name. Must laugh at those Islamic pigs

    • Rachel

      Dont you mean they can kiss Messi’s arse!?

    • Adam

      You mean, the Arab world can kiss Messi’s ass, or am I missing something?

    • Thomas

      I think you meant they can kiss HIS ass. If he kissed THEIRS, it would be an insult to HIM, not them.

    • Dave

      Haha u idiot!!!

    • Musah

      Historian, Pigs are those who sleep with their children, sleep with their mothers, aunties and every female they come in contact with because they are cursed animals, and that’s the culture of you western nonbelievers. Islam is against all this and against the pig itself.

      • Musah

        And how ignorant and stupid, Messi will always kiss the Arabs arses, bravo moron