A Saudi fan screams at an Israeli reporter at the World Cup in Qatar.
Reports from Israelis attending the World Cup in Muslim Qatar describe an openly hostile atmosphere. When Israeli reporters attempt to interview fans, they are often met with more than just a hostile demeanor, but face full verbal abuse.
“You are not welcome here..”
— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) November 26, 2022
Multiple Israelis have reported an atmosphere of hostility and hatred at the World Cup in Qatar, with fans refusing to speak to Israeli journalists, waving Palestinian flags in the background of their videos and yelling at them.
Moav Vardy, KAN’s foreign affairs reporter, was yelled at by a Saudi fan, who told him that “You are not welcome here, this is Qatar, this is our country, there is only Palestine, no Israel.”
Other videos from Qatar show people immediately walking away when they find out the person interviewing them is Israeli. In one particular video, N12’s Ohad Hemo begins to interview a group of Lebanese men who walk away when Hemo tells them he’s Israeli. One of them then turns back and asks Hemo what he’s doing there and then tells him that Israel doesn’t exist.
In other videos, people stand behind various Israeli reporters and raise Palestinian flags to protest against Israel.
Israeli soccer legend and KAN panel member at the World Cup Eli Ohana also faced anti-Israel sentiments when he was driven by a Qatari policeman. When Ohana mentioned that he is Israeli, the officer asked him if he was joking, and Ohana then said that he was Portuguese in order to avoid trouble.
“If you were from Israel I would stop and drive back.” Eli Ohana in a tense encounter with a Qatari policeman.
— כאן (@kann) November 25, 2022
Reporter Raz Shechnick shared his experiences in Qatar in a series of tweets.
“Listen, we didn’t want to write these things. We always thought that we, the journalists, are not the story. Certainly not in the biggest enterprise of world sports next to the Olympics. But after ten days in Doha, it is impossible not to share with you what we are going through here. We don’t mean to beautify. we feel hated, wrapped….”
רז שכניק, עוז מועלם
תשמעו, לא רצינו לכתוב את הדברים האלה. תמיד חשבנו שלא אנחנו, העיתונאים, הם הסיפור. בטח לא במפעל הכי גדול של הספורט העולמי לצד האולימפיאדה. אבל אחרי עשרה ימים בדוחא, אי אפשר שלא לחלוק אתכם את מה שעובר עלינו כאן. לא מתכוונים לייפות. אנחנו מרגישים שנואים, עטופי> pic.twitter.com/nMTApXtBWb
— Raz Shechnik (@RazShechnik) November 26, 2022
“Hostility, unwelcome. How did a friendly Qatari tell us at first glance when he asked and answered that we were from Israel? “I would like to say welcome to you. But you are really not blessed. Fly away from here as fast as possible.’ So. clear and smooth. And he is another “host”, not some Lebanese passing by. Now let’s not pretend huh?”
“The World Cup is a huge experience. We were privileged to be here and cover football, the thing we love most in this universe. We both breathe football from an early age. Covering the World Cup is the realization of a personal dream, just like meeting for a conversation with Paul McCartney or Paul Simon (Shachnik) or photographing Leo Messi playing in Israel (Moalem). Yes, exhausting work. but..”
“We would also agree to sleep on the sidewalk and hug Mexican fans to keep warm, if the law in Qatar allowed it. We have both been to previous similar tournaments – Euro and World Cup – so there is a basis for comparison. So no, we’re not having fun. far from it. In the street we are accompanied by Palestinians, Iranians, Qatar..”
“and to the Lebanese with hateful looks. Exceptions are the Saudis, from whom we received smiles and light in the eyes. At first we still explained, said hello and extended a hand. We identified ourselves as Israelis. But when we saw that it always leads to a difficult confrontation with Arabs, up to blatant swearing in a language that can be understood, we decided to identify ourselves as journalists from Ecuador. This is how we managed to borrow for ..”
“Iranian Women’s Week for an article published in the 7 Days supplement on Friday. There, too, we initially tried to identify ourselves as Israelis, but it was made clear to us that there was no way they would talk to us. The experience after the match against Brazil was particularly unpleasant. It turns out that there are a lot of Muslims who are Celso fans, just like there are a lot of Israelis. after the game, our way..”
“We went to take pictures of joy from the Brazilians. Each time, Palestinians stood around us with flags, shouting and harassing us. On one occasion, a fan from Kfar Qasim who dared to come and be interviewed was even surrounded in a threatening manner. He turned white-faced in a second. In this whole situation Palestinians or Qataris stood and took pictures to make fun of us. When we saw that the aluminum..”
“It becomes dangerous and the hijab falls off the Iranian women. We are probably Israelis – we just identified ourselves as Ecuadorian journalists again so as not to get into a physical confrontation. The clip filmed by one of them went viral and appeared in the Arab media in an attempt to show that the Israelis are cowards and of course shows a grain of truth. The accompanying video here will outline the real story..”
“Unfortunately, elements on the network identified with the Israeli right aligned with our enemies and some shared the clip to show how much we – their people – try ‘in fear’ to stay away from a confrontation. Too bad, but it is what it is. I (Shachnik) admit: I got sober here for the first time. I have always been a centrist, liberal and open, with a desire for peace above all else. I always thought..”
“that the problem lies with governments. in the rulers Ours too. But in Qatar I came to know how much hatred is the lot of the people on the street. How much they want to wipe us off the face of the earth. To what extent everything related to Israel arouses intense hatred in them.”