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After Palestinian takes gold in Rio for Jordan, Israelis claim his roots are ‘Israeli’

Israel/Palestine
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After Palestinian Ahmed Abu Ghosh won Jordan’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in Rio on Friday for the men’s 68-kg Taekwondo event, claims that the athlete’s roots in the Jerusalem area are “Israeli,” and that his family “relocated” or “moved” to Jordan decades ago have followed.

i24 headline on Ahmad Abu Ghosh's "Israeli" heritage.

i24 headline on Ahmad Abu Ghosh’s “Israeli” heritage.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported the Olympian’s heritage as from an “Israeli-Arab village,” while i24 referred to the Palestinian hamlet as an “Arab majority town.”

“The Olympic medalist’s grandparents moved from the village to Jordan decades ago,” reported Israel’s Ynet News.

Haaretz wrote, “The gold-medalist’s grandparents relocated from Abu Gosh decades ago to Jordan.”

Abu Ghosh was born in Jordan, but his grandparents hailed from a Palestinian village that is their namesake, Abu Ghosh. The town’s local council was not immediately available to confirm the circumstances in which the medalist’s family left. But “relocated”? It is likely they were refugees among the 750,000 Palestinians who were expelled or fled during Israel’s 1948 war.

Palestinian outlets reported that Abu Ghosh was raised in a refugee camp for Palestinians, al-Nasser, near Jordan’s capital. But this detail of his family’s displacement was omitted from Israeli news coverage.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 4.13.51 PM“Great joy today in jordan. first ever gold medal by Ahmed Abu Gosh who’s family is from Isreali Village Abu Ghosh [sic],” tweeted Ohad Horsandi, a former Israeli spokesperson in Delhi, applauding the Jordanian win. 

One Palestinian official took to social media to lash out at the presentation of the Olympian’s family history.

“I’ve noticed that several Israeli media outlets and Hasbara surrogates are in denial that Ahmad Abugaush is Palestinian in origin and hails from the village of Abu Ghosh, West of Jerusalem…I mean now they had stolen the land and appropriated the ‘Khuumus’ they also want to claim the gold medal?” spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority Jamal Dajani wrote on Facebook.

See Abu Ghosh’s winning moment:

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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54 Responses

  1. ritzl
    ritzl
    August 21, 2016, 2:58 pm

    Ya gotta wonder if this behavior is calculated or if they really don’t know they’re doing it.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      August 21, 2016, 4:24 pm

      It’s automatic conduct–take credit for anything good for PR, deny or omit anything bad for PR.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      August 24, 2016, 9:51 am

      The whole, Hitler was a Jew, or of Jewish ancestry thing feeds the self-hating Jew thing.
      Any Jew who condems bad behavior by Jews or Israel is then associated with Hitler.
      Great deterrent.
      You can bet it is conscious.

  2. eljay
    eljay
    August 21, 2016, 3:17 pm

    It seems there’s almost nothing in, from or having to do with Palestine that Zio-supremacists won’t covet or steal.

    • Mr.T
      Mr.T
      August 21, 2016, 5:17 pm

      Exactly right. Zionism is organized thievery of the land of the Palestinians and now, apparently, credit for their athletic prowess.

  3. annie
    annie
    August 21, 2016, 4:24 pm

    i fail to see how he has israeli roots, that is really stretching it.

    • Mr.T
      Mr.T
      August 21, 2016, 5:18 pm

      He has no Israeli roots. By all accounts his grandparents were victims of the acts of genocide which accompanied the formation of the state. Hardly a point of pride for the heirs to the perpetrators of that crime, but they seem culturally incapable of shame.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      August 22, 2016, 8:14 am

      Well it’s just like they explained it Annie, his grandparents lived in Israel and for some unknown reason packed up and moved to Jordan. Go figure.

      “Tell your people that since the Great Father promised that we should never be removed we have been moved five times. I think you had better put the Indians on wheels so you can run them about wherever you wish.”

      – Anonymous Chief (1876)

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      August 22, 2016, 10:37 am

      For the record:

      There is no such person as an “Israeli.”

      To the best of my knowledge, Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court:

      Times of Israel, October 4, 2013.
      “Supreme Court rejects ‘Israeli’ nationality status'”

      EXCERPTS:
      “Allowing citizens to relinquish ethnic or religious identity in the population registry would undermine Israel’s Jewishness, ruling says.

      “Israel’s population registry lists a slew of ‘nationalities’ and ethnicities, among them Jew, Arab, Druse and more. But one word is conspicuously absent from the list: Israeli.

      “Residents cannot identify themselves as Israelis in the national registry because the move could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s Jewish character, the Israeli Supreme Court wrote in documents obtained Thursday.”

      • Raphael
        Raphael
        August 22, 2016, 1:52 pm

        But, there are “Israelites” such as myself; that identify as Israelis. A Israelite is one that was born of the ancient Israelites and choose to accept and remember their ‘election” into that past and bring it into the present.; even if they are not Jews. They are different then socialist Israelis or atheistic Hebrews that renounced God. Because Israelites accept the election to the people of God, and are Israelis.My Israeli ID says I’m Israeli…it does not mention Jewish.

      • eljay
        eljay
        August 22, 2016, 2:19 pm

        || Raphael: … there are “Israelites” such as myself … A Israelite is one that was born of the ancient Israelites … ||

        I don’t know you, but I can say with absolute certainty that you were not born of an ancient Israelite.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 22, 2016, 2:37 pm

        .“My Israeli ID says I’m Israeli…it does not mention Jewish.”

        And it gets you into all the bars.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 22, 2016, 3:01 pm

        “I don’t know you, but I can say with absolute certainty that you were not born of an ancient Israelite.”

        “Rafael” is the “Summertime” kid.
        His Daddy’s rich, and his Ma is good-looking!

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        August 22, 2016, 5:20 pm

        Identify all you want, Rafael. You’ll try hard to be far away from that ID when the sh|t hits the fan.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      August 22, 2016, 1:25 pm

      As I mentioned in another thread, Alexander Shatilov represents Israel, but is not Israeli. He is from Uzbekistan.
      There are quite a few similar examples on the Israeli team.
      However, there are also similar examples on many teams.

    • inbound39
      inbound39
      August 22, 2016, 4:14 pm

      Watch Haaretz Annie….any notable Music star who dies or any famous icon who passes….within an hour Haaretz posts an article showing some flimsy connection to Judaism. It is like they have to grasp at any opportunity to prove to themselves they are worthy because they are so burdened with the guilt of what they have done or are doing in Palestine. Sickening.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 22, 2016, 5:54 pm

        I have noticed this too Inbound39, and now when I see the headline I presume that celebrity has Jewish ties too. What is with that?

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        August 22, 2016, 11:42 pm

        I have believed for a long time the only purpose is to have blood on everyone’s hands, no matter how remote any ‘connection’ may be. If everyone’s dirty, nobody is?

      • inbound39
        inbound39
        August 23, 2016, 9:08 am

        Dunno what’s with that Kay24….lol….it has bemused me for some time. It’s like a constant search for reaffirmation that they are wanted or needed. Poor wee souls.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        August 24, 2016, 7:44 am

        @ inbound39 “any notable Music star who dies or any famous icon who passes….within an hour Haaretz posts an article showing some flimsy connection to Judaism.”

        I don’t know much about Haaretz, and I know even less about any deep psychological motivations that may be involved, but it does seem that for NYT, for some programs on NPR, and some other major U.S. media, the choice of people interviewed, books and plays reviewed, and other stories reflects a focus that isn’t exactly representative of U.S. society. As I was growing up in middle America, I wasn’t aware of this, even after I started reading the NYT regularly. That was in the days before the Internet. The racial divide was obvious and obviously important, but ethnic distinctions weren’t salient.

        Only after I moved to New York did I start to understand the extent to which ethnic affinities influence such matters. I’ve assumed it was more about in-group focus and bias than guilt. I’m not saying there isn’t place for this. Someone here has referred to NYT as the “home town newspaper of American Jews.” Everyone deserves a hometown paper. And, at least since the 60s, important elements of society have celebrated ethnic and racial diversity by calling for a “mosaic” society rather than a “melting pot.”

        But given the role in shaping American society of NYT, NPR, and the other major media corporations, it isn’t necessarily a sign of bigotry to be aware of ethnic focus at times, e.g., when discussing U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, a failure to be aware of it can be a problem. Our major media can be so homogeneous that we can be like the proverbial fish who is unaware that it is swimming in water.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      August 22, 2016, 10:49 pm

      Would be a great interview for MW to do. Interview Ahmed….?

      • annie
        annie
        August 22, 2016, 11:35 pm

        hmm, perhaps allison could track him down.

      • zaid
        zaid
        August 23, 2016, 7:43 pm

        I just watched an interview with the Parents of Ahmad and others from his original town Imwas (Palestine) and not Abo Ghoush.

        In the interview they spoke about their family and Village and described how they were expelled and striped of all their belongings.

        The Abo Ghoush family lives in several towns and not just Abo Ghoush town.

        The Father of Ahmad is from the town of Imwas and his mother is form the West Bank.

        Imwas was depopulated completely in 1967 along with Bayt Nuba and Yalo ,and Yetzhak Rabin carried the out the Ethnic cleansing personally and then leveled the town with explosives.

        Ahmad father (18 years old) fled to Alrusaifeh (Alzarqa) In Jordan and they live there until this very day.

        Ahmad was born in Alzarqa Jordan and not “Israel”.

        “Captured by the Israeli Defense Forces during the Six-Day War on June 7, 1967 along with the neighbouring villages of Yalo and Bayt Nuba, the villagers of Imwas were expelled and the village destroyed on the orders of Yitzhak Rabin. Today the area of the former village lies within Canada Park, which was established by the Jewish National Fund in 1973.”

        Ahmad
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imwas

        The Interview (Arabic).

      • annie
        annie
        August 23, 2016, 8:39 pm

        thanks zaid, i alerted allison about your comment

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        August 23, 2016, 9:06 pm

        Thanks zaid. Important.

      • zaid
        zaid
        August 24, 2016, 8:11 am

        I dont think you should interview Ahmad.
        The Jordanian authorities will not tolerate it if Ahmad spoke of his Palestinian origins.

        When a Palestinian representing Jordan won a famous singing contest and showed pride in his Palestinian roots . there was a backclash from the Jordanian authorities and some east bank Jordanians against him and his family and they were accused of being traitors.

        If you want to interview them . first check if they are comfortable about it.
        Jordan is not a democracy.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        August 25, 2016, 12:02 am

        Thought the Jordan hierarchy was sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Queen Rania I know is Palestinian….and guess there was some controversy. However when I heard the former Queen of Jordan speak about this issue on Cspan’s Washington Journal she was so factual about the issue. Impressive…also Queen Rania.

        Seems odd they would be sensitive to someone acknowledging their roots. But of course only the individuals involved can decide such a thing.

      • zaid
        zaid
        August 25, 2016, 6:48 pm

        East Bank Jordanians are Palestinians biggest supporters, but i cannot say the same thing about the regime and some in the military and Intelligence.

        Their logic is that we gave you a spot that could have been given to a Jordanian.

  4. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    August 21, 2016, 4:50 pm

    Perhaps mayhem can slither into this thread to remind us thatPalestinians at the Olympics are an embarrassment and just don’t have the wherewithall.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/checkpoint-palestinian-jerusalem/#comment-851094

    • The JillyBeans
      The JillyBeans
      August 21, 2016, 7:53 pm

      Many athletes who qualified weren’t in the finals. The point is they made it to the Olympics while enduring ghetto conditions. That is a feat in itself, it speaks to unwavering perseverance and faith.

  5. ritzl
    ritzl
    August 21, 2016, 5:47 pm

    So if Israel is claiming him as its own, can he and his extended family return to Abu Ghosh? Temporarily or permanently?

  6. The JillyBeans
    The JillyBeans
    August 21, 2016, 7:57 pm

    Do the Israelis not understand the simple truth of representing a country at the Olympics? You represent solely the country of citizenship.

    Anyway, if the descriptor were to be accurate it would have to be “Jordanian with roots in historic Palestine wind gold, for Jordan”. Of course the Israelis would probably protest and rant on about anti-Semitic something or other.

    • Mr.T
      Mr.T
      August 22, 2016, 10:41 am

      “Anyway, if the descriptor were to be accurate it would have to be ‘Jordanian with roots in historic Palestine wind gold, for Jordan’. ”

      It would still be inaccurate propaganda, because of the use of the word “historic,” as that suggests that Palestine is no longer Palestine simply because some transient Zionist state currently exists there. Always was, is and always shall be Palestine.

  7. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    August 21, 2016, 9:04 pm

    Dishonest reporting – milking this story with as much anti-Israel venom as can be mustered . Reading the Jewish Telegraphic Agency story mentioned one gets an impression of a real good news story:
    “Jordan won its first-ever Olympic medal — a gold — thanks to the performance of a Palestinian taekwondo fighter …”
    “Abu Ghosh is considered a model of coexistence between Israeli Jews and Arabs”
    “under public pressure and protest by left- and right-wing Israelis over what was perceived as an unjust and ungrateful move, most of Abu Ghosh’s residents were allowed to resettle there by 1950.”
    “Today, Abu Ghosh is one of a few Arab-Israeli villages with Jewish residents.”
    But MW finds a way as usual to twist a story of celebration into another anti-Israel hate binge.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      August 21, 2016, 10:54 pm

      @mayhem

      Oh they were allowed to resettle in what had been their home for thousands of years.

      Yet despite staying neutral, often siding with Israel, there were attempts to ethnically cleanse them. That is the point you gloss over.

      Sure there is a good news side but it highlights the massive criminal ethnic cleansing that did proceed under the auspices of the rogue criminal state.

      And the funniest things is after that snot nosed brat comment the other day you now seek a pat on the back for Israel. Get a grip.

      Too bad the Israelis suck at sports and were shown up by an ethnically cleansed Palestinian. Israelis are an embarrassment at the Olympics.

      Nah I don’t mean that. I’m just copying your nasty racist vindictive post of the other day.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      August 22, 2016, 8:30 am

      Is Palestinian in italics your doing or the Jewish Ziographic Agency? It seems other news outlets are stating Ahmad Abu Ghosh is Jordanian but as his grandparents were driven out of their country of Palestine, with thousands upon thousands of other Palestinians, and violently with deadly force, directed straight to Jordan by the IOF, now, in another unbelievable display of stupidy and chutzpah, the zionist state is trying to steal, yet again, the wealth of a Palestinian. Is there no end to your BS?

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem
        August 23, 2016, 12:30 am

        Jordan is Palestine.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        August 23, 2016, 12:10 pm

        Q: Is there no end to your BS?
        A: Jordan is Palestine.

        Proving once agian, there is no end to your BS.

        Jordan is not Palestine – Al Jazeera English
        http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2010/07/2010748131864654.html

        “The plan to turn Jordan into a Palestinian homeland and to give Israel complete control over the historic land of Palestine is regularly rehashed by the Israeli right whenever there is international pressure, however minimal, on Israel to stop its expansionism.

        Last month, around half of the 120-member Israeli knesset, submitted “a two states for two peoples on both sides of River Jordan” proposal for discussion. In practice the proposal entails an expulsion of Palestinians to Jordan so that the kingdom becomes a de facto Palestinian homeland.

        The forceful revival of what has historically been referred to as the “Jordan option” comes amid growing international pressure over the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

        The Israeli right, many of whom belong to the Likud party of Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, see the Jordanian option as an adequate and practical solution to plans to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

        Dying ‘two-state’ solution

        The Israeli right’s fear of a Palestinian state comes at a time when many Palestinians, including officials, believe that the two-state solution is all but dead.

        The rapid expansion of Israeli settlements, the erection of the separation wall, and the ongoing annulment of residency permits for Arabs in East Jerusalem, has left little room, if any, for a Palestinian state.

        But many in the Israeli right are concerned by the plan of Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister, to establish a de facto state by building institutions and housing across the lands of the West Bank, including in areas where Israeli forces remain.

        While many Palestinians are concerned that Fayyad’s plan will only serve to transform the currently fragmented Palestinian territories into an entity that lacks contiguity and sovereignty, the Israeli right are afraid that any kind of Palestinian state, however distorted, will threaten their claim to the entire historic land of Palestine.”

      • eljay
        eljay
        August 23, 2016, 12:40 pm

        || Mayhem: Jordan is Palestine. ||

        Except it’s not – it’s Jordan. Similarly, Partition-borders Israel isn’t Palestine, it’s Israel.

    • Mr.T
      Mr.T
      August 22, 2016, 10:46 am

      “Reading the Jewish Telegraphic Agency story mentioned one gets an impression of a real good news story:”

      Nonsense. There’s no reason to mention JSIL or the fact that this athlete’s grandparents are survivors of the acts of Jewish genocide of 1947-48, save for the disgusting habit of you people of stealing other people’s culture as well as their property.

      • kalithea
        kalithea
        August 24, 2016, 12:02 pm

        Now that the Olympic Committee established a refugee banner no Palestinian should ever compete under the flag of another country while millions of Palestinians are still refugees!

        It galls me that any other country Israel or Jordan would take credit under such circumstances!

    • zaid
      zaid
      August 22, 2016, 7:11 pm

      Mayhem,

      Great , then allow the refugees form this town to return home rather than stay in Refugee camps in the west bank (Qalandiya) and Jordan.

      “The tires of 28 cars in the Arab village of Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem were slashed early Tuesday morning. Graffiti reading “racism or assimilation” and “Arabs out” was sprayed on nearby walls. One of cars belongs to former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg.”

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4393746,00.html

      “The terrorists – Ibrahim Alan, 22, from Beit Ur al-Tahta near Highway 443, and Hussein Abu Ghosh, 17, from the Qalandiya refugee camp, who is affiliated with Hamas – came into the settlement from the nearby wadi, jumping over the settlement’s fence.”

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4757613,00.html

      Model for Coexistence!

  8. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 21, 2016, 10:30 pm

    Well, the do have a nasty habit of taking what is not theirs……

  9. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    August 22, 2016, 7:20 am

    I found the various hasbara accounts quite amusing in their avoidance of the “P” word.

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      August 22, 2016, 3:21 pm

      Exactly. #youknowyourepatheticwhen you can’t even refer to Palestinians as “Palestinian”, and so repeatedly fail to do so.

      They actually think they can erase Palestinian identity simply by refusing to say Palestinian. Hasbaratshit tweeps and the Israeli PR people refer to Palestinians in Israel as “Israeli Arabs” without fail, simply call Palestinians “Arabs” generically as part of this twisted endeavour.

  10. btbLondon
    btbLondon
    August 22, 2016, 12:02 pm

    As well as being totally dishonest the Israeli claims contradict other consistent Hasbara themes. One frequently repeated claim by the Israelis is that there are no Palestinians because they are all Jordanians. However when this Palestinian announces himself to be a Jordanian this is still ‘wrong’ for the Israelis.

    If Ahmed Abu Ghosh is an Israeli, then all West Bank and diaspora Palestinians are Israeli so there should be no problem in them returning to their ancestral homes – we can live with that, I’m not sure the Zionist state can.

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      August 22, 2016, 3:23 pm

      The concept of “Schrodinger’s Palestinians” comes into play. Palestinians don’t exist or “aren’t real” unless they need to be accused of something awful that Israel and Israelis are far more likely to do– blowing up children, for instance, or stealing land from other people.

      Then, and only then, do the morally and mentally sick people who make up the hasbarat camp actually admit to the existence of the Palestinian people. It’s really demented and pathetic, to say the least.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        August 24, 2016, 8:43 am

        re ““Schrodinger’s Palestinians”

        Nice.

  11. Rashers2
    Rashers2
    August 22, 2016, 3:15 pm

    What hallucinogen do these Zios sprinkle on their morning corn flakes, that makes them think it’s perfectly alright to try to bathe vicariously in the glory of people they p*ss all over, every day, for 70 years? Step through the looking-glass, Hoffmann, and let me steal your reflection…..

  12. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    August 22, 2016, 4:18 pm

    What a cheap shot! For something good there is israeli background – for something bad…another terrorist.

  13. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    August 22, 2016, 10:46 pm

    Interesting that this lovely talented young couple are singing “One Day” wondering what they do to make “One Day” become a reality . http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/08/03/american-israeli-couple-turned-youtube-sensation-talks-about-taking-their-living-room-to-the-stage/#

  14. bryan
    bryan
    August 23, 2016, 7:30 am

    It is the colonial mentality. Is this any worse than Britain claiming 396 medals (rest of the world 320) by appropriating the medals won by our former colonies?

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/aug/22/conservative-mp-praises-british-empire-for-rio-2016-medal-tally

    • John O
      John O
      August 24, 2016, 4:20 am

      Not Britain, just one barking mad Tory MP, who has – quite rightly – been ridiculed for her ludicrous tweet.

  15. kalithea
    kalithea
    August 24, 2016, 12:29 pm

    He should have joined the refugee banner; it would make a tremendous statement for all suffering Palestinian refugees and especially for Palestinian athletes under Israeli oppression who suffer Israeli aggression against their athletic ambitions.

    When a Palestinian competes under another flag while millions of Palestinian refugees suffer without their homeland; this is what he unintentionally solicits and promotes:

    Jordan is Palestine.

    I’ve been trying to avoid being baited by the likes of any statement appearing here which is a staggering indignity; but I have to again wonder how such a statement that implies a war crime; ethnic cleansing, and is so loathsome to all who suffered the Nakba made it here of all places. I have good reason to recoil again and again.

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