JERUSALEM – Israel's headline-seeking sports minister is facing a barrage of criticism after Argentina called off a World Cup warmup match in Jerusalem because of pro-Palestinian protests.
Miri Regev had insisted on moving the game to contested Jerusalem and was orchestrating a politicized audience with Lionel Messi.
Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog called the snub a "spectacular own goal" by Regev that delivered victory to boycotters of the Jewish State. Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay called for a police investigation into Regev's "corrupt conduct."
The head of the Palestinian football association, Jibril Rajoub, had called on Arab soccer fans to burn Messi posters if he participated.
Regev says terrorist groups had made threats against Argentina's players and their families. She accused members of the Israeli parliament of being "Trojan Horses who aid terrorism."