An abiding resentment of Britain for its alleged role in supporting the Zionist movement left Palestinians in Gaza bitterly disappointed on Saturday, following England’s 2-0 victory over Sweden in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Prior to the match in Russia, Palestinians sitting by television screens in Gaza’s cafes were interviewed by a reporter for Middle East Online. All of them made clear that their hostility to the England team was based on the belief that the United Kingdom was responsible for the creation of Israel.
“Of course I will support Sweden,” 37-year-old Hisham Ahmed said. “I can’t imagine a Palestinian supporting England, which created the Balfour Agreement (sic), or not supporting the country that stood before the world and recognized our state.”
In the November 1917 Balfour Declaration, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour confirmed the UK’s sympathy for the establishment of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine.