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Israel/palestine 2018 Wc


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Deluded, or what?

Give peace a chance by awarding Israel Palestine 2018 World Cup

By LILIAN THURAM AND PASCAL BONIFACE

WHEN it comes to wishing for peace in the Middle East – virtually a New Year’s tradition – one needs to be careful.

So many hopes have vanished in the bitter failure of so many negotiations. But we have a wish for the Middle East – one that, while perhaps not bringing peace, can create one of peace’s preconditions: goodwill. Israel and Palestine should jointly bid for, and be awarded, the Football World Cup in 2018.

The Israel-Palestine conflict has lasted far too long. The Annapolis peace conference ended a seven-year freeze on negotiations, with President George W Bush asking the conflict’s main protagonists to reach an agreement by the end of 2008.

Nothing prevents us from hoping that a fair and just peace can be achieved by then. There is no curse that keeps Israelis and Palestinians from living side by side peacefully. Where there is a will, there is a way.

But nurturing the will to achieve long-lasting peace depends on more than political negotiations. Israelis and Palestinians need an underlying source of solidarity if they are ever to settle their large disagreements and prevent their small ones from erupting into violence.

Although football cannot solve the region’s major strategic problems, it has much to contribute in this regard. Football mobilises energies and unites enthusiasms.

After the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – a country where peace has taken root – and before the 2014 tournament in Brazil, it will be time to select the host for 2018. Countries that have already announced their interest in hosting the 2018 World Cup include Australia, China, England, Greece, Mexico, Russia and even the United States, while the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) are planning a joint bid.

If a peace agreement is concluded before that choice is made, a 2018 World Cup jointly staged in Israel and Palestine would be a fantastic opportunity to consolidate the gains for both sides. Infrastructure investment would then follow.

The joint organisation of the 2018 World Cup in a place where two peoples were once at war would serve as a powerful symbol of the way that sports can serve th

e cause of peace.

The prospect of hosting the football World Cup might constitute yet another incentive for Israelis and Palestinians to reach a settlement. Let us imagine that they could then work hand in hand to host the biggest sporting event in the world.

• Lilian Thuram is a defender for FC Barcelona and the most capped player in the history of the French national team. He was on the French winning side for both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

During the riots in France in November 2005, Thuram denounced the comments of Nicolas Sarkozy, minister of the interior at the time, that the young rioters were “scum”. Thurman said that Sarkozy had never lived on a suburban estate.

• Pascal Boniface is the director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations, which is based in Paris ( www.iris-france.org).

The Scotsman

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Hahaha...that's one of funniest jokes I have ever read. I don't think WC will solve Israeli and Palestinia problem. Well, maybe palestinia can learn to dialogue first before thinking of WC.

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Putting aside the most obvious equation (assumed hugs 'n' kisses between the Jews & the Arabs), I can only name 4 sites where this ridiculous idea can be staged:

- Tel Aviv

- Jerusalem,

- Haifa, and

- whatever the Palestinians consider their capital in the Gaza Strip.

Where do they even think the rest would be? :blink:

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Putting aside the most obvious equation (assumed hugs 'n' kisses between the Jews & the Arabs), I can only name 4 sites where this ridiculous idea can be staged:

- Tel Aviv

- Jerusalem,

- Haifa, and

- whatever the Palestinians consider their capital in the Gaza Strip.

Where do they even think the rest would be? :blink:

Gaza City is the largest city in the strip. There is also Ramallah and Hebron.

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