Israeli journalists have told Jewish News they are being harassed and verbally assaulted by fans and locals at the World Cup in Qatar.
Channel 13’s sports reporter Tal Shorrer said he has been abused or verbally assaulted more than 50 times in the four days he has been in Qatar, mostly while doing his work covering the World Cup.
Shorrer said just a few minutes before speaking to Jewish News over the phone, an Argentinian fan pushed him when he saw the Hebrew letters on Shorrer’s microphone, shouting, “you are killing babies.”
“The best way to describe our experience so far is unpleasant. Almost every time we go on air we see fans coming up behind us with Palestinian flags, yelling ‘free Palestine’. We have also heard people calling us murderers, saying we aren’t welcome here, and that our microphone is red from blood,” Shorrer said, referring to his red Channel 13 microphone.
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) November 21, 2022
Shorrer said his team is mostly being harassed by Arab speaking fans, with some coming from Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
Ohad Hemo, Channel 12’s Arab affairs reporter who is also covering the World Cup in Qatar described similar experiences, telling Jewish News that he doesn’t feel welcome, and that he also has been harassed, mainly by fans from Arab countries.
“Three days ago I had an argument with a Lebanese fan, which was filmed and went viral. They become some sort of cultural heroes. Since then, fans from Arab countries are trying to copy that incident when they recognise me,” Hemo said.
— Jotam Confino (@mrconfino) November 23, 2022
While Hemo said he hasn’t been harassed by local Qataris, who in general are “welcoming,” he has had at least one very unpleasant experience with a fan from Saudi Arabia who pushed him and told him “this is not your place, go back (to Israel).”
Like Shorrer, Ohad was disturbed by fans from Arab countries during a live broadcast, confronting him with Palestinian flags and chants in Arabic.
Jonathan Regev, i24NEWS’ correspondent in Qatar, is also Israeli but report in English for the Tel Aviv based TV channel, which he said has shielded him from the same level of harassment as his colleagues from Israeli media.
“Most of the fans here are from Arab countries and you see a lot of Palestinian flags. Once they realised I’m Israeli I got dirty looks, but most of them don’t, since I work in English and I don’t have a microphone with Hebrew letters on it. So I don’t have the same negative experiences like my colleagues from Channel 12 and 13,” Regev told Jewish News.
“And as far as the Qatari authorities go, we are treated very well,” he added.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.