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US recognition of Jerusalem backfires on Israel

Argentina's cancellation of a soccer match over the match’s relocation to Jerusalem is a clear sign that most of the world considers large parts of Jerusalem to be occupied land.
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For weeks, Israeli soccer fans have been eagerly awaiting Argentina's national team, set to play in Israel just before the beginning of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. But by the end of May, the Ministry of Culture and Sports relocated the match from Haifa to Jerusalem, claiming that such an important game must be held in Israel’s capital. The Argentine team responded by canceling its friendly match against Israel over the move, putting Argentine player Lionel Messi and his teammates into the political arena instead.

The highly publicized cancellation illustrated yet again Jerusalem's contested status. Whereas international criticism of Israel has largely centered on its occupation of the West Bank and the despair of Gaza’s residents under Israel’s blockade, the US administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has placed the focus of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on Jerusalem.

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