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Gary Lineker is a former soccer star who is now a sports broadcaster for the BBC. Judging by his postings on social media, outside of sports, he has an obsessive interest in Israel and what, according to him, are the Jewish state’s many crimes. He’s a great supporter of BDS. He parrots the chant “From the river to the sea/Palestine will be free,” which, properly understood, calls for the obliteration of the Jewish state and its replacement by a twenty-third Arab one. Now the columnist Brendan O’Neill has taken Lineker to task for his anti-Israel animus. More on O’Neill’s onslaught on Lineker can be found here: “Gary Lineker and the bigotry of the virtue-signallers,” by Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, January 15, 2024:
Yesterday, Israeli footballer Sagiv Jehezkel was suspended by his club in Turkey and then arrested by Turkish cops. His crime? During a game on Saturday he held up his clenched fist, wrapped in a bandage, where he’d written the words: ‘100 days. 7/10.’ He was commemorating the Hamas pogrom of 7 October. He was using his football stardom to remind people of the Israeli hostages still in captivity. He was saying, in essence, Jewish lives matter. For this, his club, Antalyaspor, dumped him, and the police nabbed him. He is being investigated, said Turkey’s justice minister, for making an ‘ugly gesture’ that could incite ‘people to hatred and hostility’.
What have Britain’s showily virtuous footballers had to say about this grim act of Israelophobia? Our painfully right-on footballing clique who’ve been taking the knee and crying ‘Black Lives Matter!’ for the past three years – surely they have a view on this tyrannical assault on a footballer whose only offence was to show concern for the Jews still being held by the fascists of Hamas? Those managers and players who ostentatiously genuflected for George Floyd must be piping up for their colleague who merely spoke up for the vastly higher numbers of Israelis who were murdered and kidnapped by racists – right?
Nope. Not a word. Crickets. In fact, it’s worse than that. Gary Lineker, the king of preening football stars, the maestro of dispensing milquetoast views to the tragic middle classes of Twitter, did say something about Israeli football at the weekend. He retweeted the view that Israel should be banned from international games. He shared a tweet saying FIFA should ‘suspend Israel’s membership’ and ‘ban it from international tournaments’ until it ‘ends its grave violations of international law’. There you have it: as Turkey was booting out an Israeli footballer, Britain’s best-known virtue-signalling prick seemed to suggest that Israel as a whole should be booted out of football.
Behold the Turkey-Lineker alliance. The world’s weirdest pincer movement. On one side, the hotheads of an Islamist-ruled nation who cannot abide the sight of an Israeli sportsman criticising Hamas. And on the other, a pompous sports broadcaster wondering out loud if Israel should be shown the red card [meaning: “You’re out.”] by the footballing establishment. As a footballer faces interrogation and damnation for showing solidarity with Israel, Britain’s self-styled guardian of sporting virtue ignites a furious online discussion about ridding football of Israel’s wicked presence. It is unforgivable.
Lineker’s retweet has caused a storm. He shared a comment from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, which cited the Palestinian Football Association’s view that FIFA should take ‘an urgent stance towards Israel’s grave violations of human rights’. So the Beeb’s top sports commentator is now openly promoting BDS bigotry. BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, is a nasty campaign beloved of the lazy bourgeoisie that singles out the world’s only Jewish state for the most severe forms of cultural and economic sanction. For a figurehead of the supposedly impartial BBC to push such a partisan and, in my view, prejudiced ideology is iffy in the extreme….
For Gary Lineker, Iran poses no problems. He is happy to watch, and even acting as a BBC commentator on, Iranian soccer teams. He appears to be unaffected by the Tehran regime that has executed thousands of political prisoners, has murdered hundreds of girls who failed to wear, or wore incorrectly, their hijabs, has stoned adulterers to death, and hangs homosexuals from cranes.
I would wager that many Brits with dual Israeli citizenship, or just British Jews who have an affinity with Israel, now feel even more isolated from the public broadcaster following Lineker’s promotion of BDS bigotry. Seriously, Gary – do you have no shame?
No, Gary Lineker has no shame because he deeply believes in the wickedness of the Jewish state. Gary Lineker, one of the most important broadcasters at the BBC, is clearly obsessed with the evil of Israel — an obsession such as his rises to the level of antisemitism. In the more than 100 days since the attacks of October 7, he has refused to condemn Hamas for its rapes, tortures, and murders. Instead, he promotes the cutting off of all economic and cultural ties to the Israeli state and Israeli individuals, from violinists to teenage cricket stars; he favors boycotting Israeli film festivals, and boycotting stores that continue to carry Israeli goods. He has not bothered, however, to comment on the fact that Israeli-manufactured components are in many high-tech products, including the computers used at by BBC by the likes of Gary Lineker; his virtue-signaling, you see, has its limits, if it would in any way inconvenience him.