Evoking Munich Massacre, Israeli Minister Says Death Threats on Argentina’s Messi, Not BDS, Nixed Match

Argentina’s decision to cancel an exhibition match against the Israeli national soccer team was the result of terrorists’ death threats against star player Lionel Messi and his family, Culture Minister Miri Regev said Wednesday. 

Regev blamed the Palestinians for the game’s cancellation, accusing them of terrorism, and even evoking the massacre of Israeli Olympians at Munich in 1972 as a comparison.

"This is the same terrorism that led to the murder of eleven slain athletes in Munich," she said. "This is not BDS, but a terrorist incident that intimidates the athletes themselves."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanu warned that following Argentina’s decision, "there is the possibility that there will be pressure to cancel other events in various areas and we will do as we see fit." 

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While Netanyahu did not specifically mention the Eurovision Song Contest, his remarks came soon after a senior Israeli sports and culture official said that the 2019 event might not take place in Jerusalem, despite Israel winning the completion this year.  "Eurovision in Jerusalem? It isn’t at all a given," Yossi Sharabi, director-general of the Culture and Sport Ministry, said. 

– Argentina Cancels Jerusalem Soccer Match With Israel Following Palestinian Pressure