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“Qatar commands Israel and Israel obeys”: Al Jazeera puts a pro-Palestinian spin on history of World Cup direct flights

LONDON: Al Jazeera Arabic on Thursday published a tweet headlined “Israel obeys Qatar’s orders,” which claimed the Mediterranean nation was only allowed to participate in the World Cup because it was obeying orders from the host country in the Gulf.

The tweet read: “#Israel_obeys_Qatars_orders,” This hashtag topped trending lists in Qatar and other Arab countries after FIFA announced that Doha and Tel Aviv had reached an agreement allowing the arrival of football fans from Israel, provided that they are not transported on Israeli planes. Tweeters celebrated Qatar’s success in enforcing its terms, allowing more Palestinian fans to enjoy the football matches.”

While unprecedented flights from Israel to Qatar have been announced, the fact that Al Jazeera Arabic broke the news to claim that Israeli fans and ticket holders were allowed to enter the country based on following certain orders from the Gulf state is misleading.

International sporting events such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup have long been traditions in which citizens from all countries are welcomed into host nations – even if participation in these events has been the subject of political disputes.

Before a host country is selected, FIFA requires a government guarantee in relation to various legal issues such as security, infrastructure, tax law, customs and visa procedures.

As it stands, Qatar has banned entry into the country for anyone not attending or attending or watching the World Cup, with the exception of Qatari nationals and residents.

The nature of the direct flights between the two nations drew positive reactions from influential policymakers such as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This move strengthens people-to-people ties and economic integration while promoting freedom of travel for all, both Israelis and Palestinians.”

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also tweeted: “I am pleased with this important step in further strengthening relations between peoples and bringing Israel into the region. We’ll be cheering for Team USA @USMNT!”

However, Qatari media and journalists used this opportunity to misleadingly present a show of force.

Qatari journalist Jaber Al-Harmi tweeted a list of conditions Qatar is believed to have placed on Israel to allow its fans to attend the World Cup.

“Allow Palestinians to travel to #Qatar; ‎Any escalation during this period threatens to cancel flights between the two parties; 8,000 Palestinians were approved to participate,” he wrote.