Of the over 17,500 hits I received from posting this picture, together with the article titled “A Beautiful Irony”, I have also received approximately 10 comments stating that this picture is indeed a fake one, with some claiming Lionel Messi is not pro-Israel or pro-Jewish at all. Let me address that. It is very clear to anyone who understands the timeline of the kidnappings and the current soccer schedule of Lionel Messi that this picture is a result of photo-shop. But the statements made in my article are accurate. Lionel Messi has indeed exhibited a pro-Israel and pro-Jewish sentiment and I will use his stance on the politics of the issue to make an important point. Not all people who show sympathy towards the Palestinians are anti-Israel. In fact, to show support for the development of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza while showing solidarity towards Israel makes the statement that the disadvantages that these people have are not the result of a mistreatment from the Israeli people and their government. If anything it makes the statement that it is not Israel’s fault at all, rather the result of corrupt leaders, terrorist regimes, and lack of concern and even worse, manipulation by their fellow Arabs in the region.
Most importantly, as a result of that last post, more people have seen the picture showing the 3 kidnapped Yeshiva students, with the slogan that we must make everyone hear or see till they are freed, “Bring Back Our Boys”. Not that I can speak for him, but from what I can tell, Lionel Messi has never shown anything other than behavior that would indicate that he would want the same. One of the reasons I loved seeing him score 2 more goals today against Nigeria.