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[Boycott - Sports]

Kick Israeli Apartheid Out of Football


mini mouse, Indymedia UK
24 March 2007

On Saturday, 24th March, England played Israel in a Euro 2008 qualifying match. A group of activists picketed the Football Association in Soho Square calling for a Sporting boycott of Apartheid Israel.



Kick Apartheid Out Of Football
Keep Israel Out Of International Sport

As the England squad takes a shot a Euro 2008 qualification in Tel Aviv tonight they should remember that Palestinian children have been on the receiving end of shots of a far more lethal variety, Children as young as 11 have been variously machine gunned, shot dead by snipers and killed by Israeli artillery shells as they played harmlessly on makeshift pitches.[1]



Memorials to some of the kids killed by
the Israeli Army - many whilst playing football

Saturday's vigil commemorated those Palestinian children killed while playing football. From September 2000 to December 2006 869 Palestinian children have been killed, a quarter of those were under twelve. Every month an average of fourteen will die. Many have been killed just playing football.

The vigil signals the start of a larger campaign in protest against Israel’s inclusion in Euro 2008. England are scheduled to play Israel in London this September.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Boycott Israeli Goods campaign and Jews For Boycotting Israeli Goods, who participated in the vigil outside the FA, are responding to calls from Palestine and calling for a boycott of Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. On 9 June, 2005, a coalition of Palestinian Civil Society Organisations issued a "call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law’.

According to reports from human rights organisations around the world, abuse at checkpoints and barriers around Palestinian villages continue, echoing - according to Bishop Desmond Tutu, the repressive pass laws he experienced in his native land.

"I've been very distressed on my visit to the Holy Land, it reminded me so much of what happened to us blacks in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about".



Many of the protesters were Jewish

[ To listen to audio need the Flash Player ]

DownloadMP3 (5.7Mb [2])

Readers with long memories may remember that Palestine failed to qualify in Euro 2006 when Israeli troops refused to let key players travel to a match against Uzbekistan. Although they allowed striker Ziad Al Kourd permission, he returned to find his house had been demolished by the army in his absence.

South Africa's regime was brought to its knees by international condemnation expressed through sporting boycotts and sanctions. The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign seeks to encourage similar international action against Israel, starting with this and the home match against Israel later this year. Meanwhile the Boycott Israeli Goods campaign ( http://www.bigcampaign.org) encourages shoppers to identify and reject Israeli goods.

"With your support" reads their flyer "we can help Israel realise what most white South Africans do now, that a life built on the advantage of prejudice and force of arms has no future.

"Life, like football, is best played fair".

 

[1]http://www.btselem.org/english/Statistics/Casualties_Data.asp?Category=13

[2]Radio piece to be played on Indymedia Global Report on Resonance 104.4fm on Monday, 26th March, 2007 between 22h30 and 23h30. Also available at that time on resonancefm.com


Source: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/03/366029.html also http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/03/366268.html?c=on#c171144


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