Never mix politics and sport

THE Australian Jewish Association (AJA) has been mocked online by a politician and a comedian after it called for the Socceroos to boycott their match this Friday against  the Palestine Football team.

The politically conservative group, which was formed in 2017 and opposes a two-state solution, issued a press release earlier this week accusing the Asian Football Confederation of politicising the Asian Cup.

Victorian Minister Martin Pakula said the AJA is nothing more than ”a few un-elected, hard right, Q Society fringe dwellers, who’ve given themselves an official sounding name”.

He said the Australia’s Jewish community only “has one elected representative body & that’s the Executive Council of Australian Jewry”.

Pakula joked that the AJA claiming to represent the community would be like himself and Phillip Dalidakis, fellow Victorian MP, calling themselves Judaism Victoria.

Even comedian John Safran chimed into the debate when SBS ran a story online noting the call for a boycott.

“As president of the Australian Doctors Association & Melb Archeologist Union (two groups I just made up then) can I say it’s easy to make up an official sounding ‘leading’ organisation that isn’t,” Safran joked.

“SBS, you’ve been had by the Australian Jewish Association.”

No other Jewish communal body has supported a boycott. 

The Jewish community has countered past attempts by Palestinian and FIFA officials to politicise the sport through public exposure and political campaigns, not boycotts.