SWC Condemns Turkish Government Over Arrest of Israeli Football Player for Supporting Hostages Held by Hamas

January 15, 2024

The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) is condemning Turkish authorities for arresting Israeli soccer player Sagiv Jehezkel following a post-goal gesture made to mark the 100 days that hostages have been held in Gaza since the Hamas-led October 7 attack.


Turkish prosecutors launched a criminal investigation over Jehezkel's alleged "incitement to hate," and his club tore up the player's contract for "exhibiting behavior that goes against our country's sensitivities."


The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) also condemned what it said was "completely unacceptable behavior" by Jehezkel and said Antalyaspor's decision to exclude the player from its team was "appropriate."


In a turn of events, Jehezkel  was released Monday from detention in Turkey, and returned to Israel. 


“More anti-Semitic bullying and grandstanding from Erdogan’s Turkey. Arresting someone for showing compassion for innocent people while lauding Hamas terrorist mass murderers and kidnappers,” stated Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director.


For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at malkin@wiesenthal.com or Shawn Rodgers at srodgers@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).



Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software