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While Israeli sportsmen and women travel freely around the world, the
sporting talent of Palestine is wasted by illegal occupation and apartheid,
curfew, imprisonment and attack, in refugee camps and exile.

Palestinian children are shot while playing football. Cultural life struggles for survival and development under attack and siege.

The sports boycott exists as a way to express people's growing outrage over Israeli occupation and war crimes and the British government's failure to act ethically. Its a peaceful means of putting international pressure on the state of Israel. If politicians won't act people must!

Remember the sports boycott against South African racist apartheid, now its time to boycott Israeli racist zionism.

"I've been very distressed in 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 ... If apartheid ended, so can the occupation, but the moral force and international pressure will have to be just as determined. The current divestment effort is the first, though certainly not the only, necessary move in that direction."

"Apartheid in the Holy Land," Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Observe a sporting boycott until Israel ends the occupation and its racist state terrorism. It happened with South Africa and it will happen with Israel.

Below we will update details of forth comming sports fixtures featuring israeli participation. Contact details, sample protest letters, etc. will be provided - the rest is up to you. Remember those anti-apartheid actions when people mounted pickets and invaded the pitch?




Football Match: 28 Sept 02
Man. United Vs Maccabi Haifa

Football Match: 4 Sept 02
Scotland Vs Israel under-21
Football Match: 31 July 02
Leyton Orient Vs Maccabi Tel Aviv



Football Match:
Manchester United Vs Maccabi Haifa

Wed. 18th September at 7.45pm
Sir Matt Busby Way
Old Trafford
M16 0RA
(travel info)

Contact Details for Manchester United PLC

General Enquiries
Phone: 0161 868 8000

Feedback form on Man United website

Adopt the sample letters shown below for the Leyton Orient game and email your protest to Manchester United.

The game might make a good opportunity for a demonstration at it might be on TV. We will keep you informed of any planned action.


[12 Sept 02] From MAB Alert :

18th September 2002, Manchester United, the world’s largest and richest football club will be competing in the first phase of the European
Champions’ League, at Old Trafford. Their opponents on this night will be a team from Israel, by the name of Maccabi Haifa. This night coincides with the 20th anniversary of the massacre at Sabra and Shatila.

The Israeli government makes it mandatory for all men and some women of 18 years to spend 36 months in the Israeli Defence Force, therefore all of the Israeli players will have spent time carrying guns, and may have contributed to the killings of innocent Palestinians. All of the Maccabi Haifa players should be investigated as to whether they are indictable for war crimes, including the atrocities in Jenin earlier this year.


  1. Sign the petition condemning the participation of Israeli teams in UEFA competitions. It will only take 1 minute.

  2. Bombard UEFA with your outrage:

    Telephone:            ++41 22 994 44 44
    Fax:                         ++41 22 994 44 88

    * Urge UEFA to use their position in the sporting community to boycott Israel until there is an end to the occupation, killing, and state racism.

    * Appeal to UEFA's executive committee to suspend Israel's membership and ban all Israeli football activities in UEFA.

    * Remind UEFA that such a decision would be in harmony with FIFA's brave decision to suspend South Africa because of apartheid.

  3. Contact Manchester United Football Club:

    Telephone:            0161 868 8000

    Ask for Diane Law, Press Officer: Fax – 0161 868 8855
    or Patrick Haverson, Communications Director: Fax – 0161 868 8895

    * Urge Manchester United  to use their position in the sporting community to encourage a boycott of Israel until there is an end to the occupation, killing, and state racism.

    * Further, ask Manchester United to remind UEFA that in allowing Israeli participation in the Champions League it is effectively annulling the very foundations and values that the international sporting community was built on.

[17 Sept 02] Protest Called on the Day of Match

Protesters from across the region are expected to converge at Old Trafford in Manchester on Wednesday to protest at the presence of the Maccabi Haifa football team.

Protesters will be discussing with Manchester United fans, in order to create an awareness of the atrocities of the Israeli government. The protestors will be outside Old Trafford, before and during the game. The match itself kicks off at 7.45pm. A broad range of religious, political and humanitarian groups are supporting this action. These include Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Greater Manchester Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War, Greater Manchester Coalition Against War.



Football Match:
Scotland under-21 Vs Israel under-21

Wed. 4th September at 7.45pm
Ballast Stadium, New Douglas Park
Cadzow Avenue, Hamilton ML3 0FT Scotland

Contact Details for Scottish Football Assoc.

Phone: 0141 616 6000
Fax: 0141 616 6001

Adopt the sample letters shown below for the Leyton Orient game and email your protest to the Scottish Football Association.

[2 Aug 02] From MAB Alert

Details of pickets outside the stadium and the SFA headquarters will be announced soon. If you can help in any way with organising the picket, making a leaflet etc please email

[8-9 Aug 02] Newspaper Articles

  • This camapign made it to the front page of Glasgows free weekly newspaper, The Glaswegian.
    Read the article: Clash Over Israel Game.

[10 Aug 02] From the latest MAB Alert:

The SFA has been inundated with your emails. Officially they have not responded to MAB yet, and have also been playing down the number of complaints they have been getting. However, an insider has informed us that they have been flooded with complaints. MAB has requested a meeting with SFA Chief Exec David Taylor, and we will keep you updated with developments.

In the media, the SFA has responded by saying that this is only a sporting fixture and shouldn't be mixed with the political situation in the Middle East. They also add that there is no official boycott of Israel, as there was with South Africa. Our response to this of course is that the boycott of South Africa started as a grassroots movement, that worked its way up to the corridors of power in FIFA, the International Olympic Committee and the rest.

Similarly, the people have to set the wheels in motion for this Boycott Israeli Goods campaign. To this end, we need your help in the areas below.


1. Please write to the Glaswegian and register your appreciation for the coverage given to this story. The paper is owned by the Daily Record, also known locally as "The Daily Racist". Any time they have printed articles disliked by the pro-Israeli lobby in the past (such as reporting the IDF firing at Lloyd Quinan MSP), they have come under extreme pressure both internally and externally to "correct" it in the next issue.

Please, let's not see a sop to the pro-Israeli lobby in next week's Glaswegian. Write now to

2. Sign the petition to have the game cancelled at

The SFA has been downplaying the number of complaints they have been receiving. Let's give them and the media a real number of the angry people. This petition will be handed to the SFA.

3. Turn up at the actions

Friday, 16th August at 3pm (straight after jummuah prayer) there will be a picket outside the SFA HQ in Hampden Park. Let's show them hundreds of angry people wanting the game cancelled.

Wednesday 4th September, on the evening of the match itself we have organised a picket outside the ground (Ballast Stadium, Hamilton). After the kick-off at 7.45pm we will proceed to a nearby hall for a mini-conference (details TBA).

If you are interested in helping with any of the above, please email

[16 Aug 02] Picket outside SFA HQ

The picket outside the Scottish Football Association HQ, to protest the staging of the under-21 match against Israel, was a huge success.

Much of the media had descended on Hampden Park after jummuah prayer - ranging from BBC TV and Scottish TV, to the Sun and the Glasgow Herald.

Picketers held up placards saying "SFA shame on you", "Not in my neighbourhood", and "Give racism the red card". A colourful protest was accompanied by firey speeches from various campaigners. This culminated in a delegation of Aamer Anwar (human rights lawyer), Mick Napier (PSC) and Osama Saeed (MAB) being appointed to demand a meeting with SFA chiefs.

They held a half hour meeting with spokesman Andy Mitchell, who held firm that the SFA were justified in holding the match, as the goverment had advised them that our nation holds "normal" relations with Israel. This was depsite the delegation putting forward that many of the Israeli players will no doubt have served in the IDF and are thus potentially triable for war crimes.(*)

(*) 21 of the 22 man football squad from Israel are serving SOLDIERS - war criminals returning from Jenin no doubt! (source: BBC Scotland News 4/9/02-6:30pm)


Photos from the picket courtesy Usamah ibn Akhtar

"Give Racism The Red Card"
"End The Occupation"

"Stop Israels War Crimes"

"Dont Play Ball With Apartheid"

[16 Aug 02] Newspaper Article

  • Following the demonstration, the Scottish Trades Union Congress condemned the match. General secretary Bill Spiers said: "We have written to the SFA and the Scottish Executive expressing concerns about the game. At a time when Palestinian boys can't get to a football pitch because of restrictions on them we think it seems particularly inappropriate."

    Read the BBC article: Israeli match sparks protest.

[20 Aug 02] MAB Responds to Newspaper Article

  • The Herald published a lead article against the boycott on 17th August. Read it and MABs response to it (published 20th August).

    Case for Israel sports ban

* We are grateful to MAB for their Alert on the game "Scotland vs Israel"


Football Match:
Leyton Orient Vs Maccabi Tel Aviv

Wed. 31 July 2002 7:45pm
Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road, Leyton,East London E10 5NF

Contact Details for Leyton Orient FC

Tel: 020 8926 1111
Fax: 020 8926 1110

E-Mail :

  • John Hines (Commercial & Stadium Manager)
  • Kirstine Nicholson (Club Secretary)
  • Matthew Porter (Press Officer)

"Leyton Orient hope that Wednesday's friendly against Maccabi Tel Aviv will pave the way for ... next season involving London & Israeli sides ...speaking from Tel Aviv vice-chair Nick Levene ... suggested because of security fears ' the UK should offer some sort of facility ...the start of a decent relationship with Israeli clubs who want to play in England.'

Jewish Chronicle, July 26 2002

Leyton Orient are hoping for a crowd of 2,500 at Brisbane Road. Please send them an email along the lines of the sample below (please try and construct your own letter using the points mentioned below - duplicate letters carry less weight)..


Dear Ms Nicholson,

Could you convey to the Directors of the Club my dismay that Leyton Orient should play an Israeli team while the Israeli Military are killing women and children in the Occupied Terrritories and the Israeli State shows no signs of even wanting a peaceful end to the Occupation.

It seems to a great many of us that the most powerful peaceful way of influencing the situation is by bringing home to civil Israeli instutions that the International community will not stand by and let their government liquidate the Palestinians.

Engaging in sporting, cultural and academic events with a country implies acceptance of that country as a member of a civilised human collective. But Israel stands outside that collective. It refuses to implement international treaties, even ones it has itself signed, it refuses to allow UN investigators, humanitarian aid etc to talk to or deal with its victims in Gazza, Jenin, Ramallah etc.

Do you know that since the Oslo agreement in '93 it has been incredibly difficult to arrange sporting fixtures between teams from different Palestinian cities because the Occupation deliberately impedes them?

It is important to point out that many Israelis are now begging the outside world to intervene to stop their government's actions. All encouragement of Israel to think of itself as a 'normal' country is now morally wrong.

Many thanks

* sample letter based on one written by Dr.Ahdaf Soueif of PSC


Dear Leyton Orient

I am appalled to see you are holding matches with Israeli football clubs such as the one with Maccabi Tel Aviv this Wednesday, July 31.

It is totally unethical to carry on 'business as usual' with Israel when the war crimes and human rights abuses of their illegal military occupation are stains upon the conscience of humanity.

Please: don't play ball with apartheid! Observe a sporting boycott until Israel ends the occupation and its racist state terrorism. It happened with South Africa and it will happen with Israel: justice demands a boycott.


* this sample letter was written by Frankie Green of PSC

Read what happened at the game : 3 Arrested As Football Pitch Is Invaded In Sports Boycott


* We are grateful to PSC for their Alert on Leyton Orient titled "Kick Racism Out Of Sport ... Don't Play Ball With Apartheid!"