The Israeli government welcomed the opportunity to extend its soft power over neighbouring Arab countries. "I hear that many football fans in the region [are] watching World Cup games broadcast live on Israeli channels. Welcome," tweeted Ofir Gendelman, Arabic spokesman for the Israeli prime minister. Warming to his theme, Gendelman then released a list of Hebrew football terms, translated into Arabic. The move prompted a small backlash inside Egypt, where one former general warned that the Israeli channel might constitute a threat to Egyptian national security.