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Israeli journalists get silent treatment from World Cup fans

Israeli journalists in Qatar for the World Cup have found themselves with no one to interview after fans from across the world have walked away from interviews, boycotting in solidarity with Palestinians.

None of the reactions seen so far have expressed violence or aggression towards Israeli media staff - merely a refusal to engage in their coverage, which has often been highly critical of Qatar.

Local businesses, Qatari residents and fans from further afield have all left reporters hanging after finding out who they work for. 

Veteran Israeli news anchor Moav Vardi found himself abandoned mid-interview for a second time having tried to ingratiate himself by speaking Arabic to some local fans.

On Saturday, Vardi was also left sitting alone on live television after accusing Colombian popstar Maluma of complicity in 'whitewashing' human rights violations for collaborating on a World Cup anthem.  

Another presenter for Israeli TV Channel 12 was given the silent treatment by three Lebanese fans, whom he addressed in Arabic after the opening ceremony on Sunday. 

"Are you Lebanese? I’m Israeli!" said the presenter in Arabic. 

The fans immediately turned their back on him - and one came back to say, "it’s called Palestine - there is no Israel."

Some Israeli staff have reportedly resorted to hiding their media accreditation before trying to interview fans at World Cup stadiums - which has had varying degrees of success. 

Messages of solidarity with Palestinians currently facing waves of soaring violence in the West Bank have been more prominent, however. 


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