QATAR - Israelis and Palestinians Can Fly Together

Arno Froese

Soccer fans from Israel and the Palestinian territories will be able to fly directly to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar from Tel Aviv for the first time, soccer’s global governing body announced. The development is a breakthrough agreement for Israel and Qatar—two countries without diplomatic relations.

FIFA also announced that a temporary consular service would assist Israelis in Doha during the tournament. Some 3,800 Israelis and 8,000 Palestinians have applied for the Hayya card, which acts as an entry visa to Qatar for the soccer tournament.

A Qatari government statement said the travel arrangement for Israeli citizens was “part of Qatar’s commitment to FIFA’s hosting requirements and it should not be politicized.”

Qatar consented to welcoming all fans into the country when it started campaigning to host the World Cup, and when it signed contracts with FIFA after winning the vote in December 2010. A similar obligation was made to respect FIFA commercial partners by easing Qatar’s strict limits on the consumption and purchase of alcohol so it could be served at official World Cup sites.

-www.nbcnews.com, 11 November 2022

Arno's Commentary

FIFA stands for “Federation International Football [Soccer] Association.” It’s the world’s most popular sport, with 209 member nations. It was founded in May 1904 in Paris, France. It is now headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Wikipedia actually lists 211 national associations as members. The world’s most popular and powerful sports association carries quite a bit of clout. In this case, it plays the role of messenger of peace, welcoming both Israelis and Palestinians. The US reaction: “Washington lauded the development and said it will ‘benefit Israeli and Palestinian soccer fans alike as a step towards expanding greater freedom of travel for all.’”

What does the Bible say about sports? “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

The Nielsen Global Sports Marketing Report states that they “monitor 15,000 teams, leagues, and events crossing over 150,000 brands while tracking over 170,000 sponsorship deals.” Thus, sports is a gigantic global industry. Globalnewswire.com states: “The global sports market is expected to grow from $354.96 billion in 2021 to $501.43 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.3% ... The market is expected to reach $707.84 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 9%.”

The Bible gives this advice to believers: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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