PSC Demo at Wales v Israel football game

From Jeff Hurford:

(Pictures added by me)

2.00 SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER – CITY HALL CARDIFF

March to Cardiff City Stadium

Protesters are set to descend on Cardiff City Stadium when Wales play Israel in scenes that will be reminiscent of the sporting boycott of apartheid South Africa.
On 6 September, when Israel play Wales, thousands of people are expected to protest in a call for UEFA and FIFA to expel Israel and for action to be taken against its apartheid state. Organisers hope the protest, labelled Fair Play for Palestine, Don’t Play Israeli Apartheid, could spark a movement reminiscent of the 1980s that saw South Africa banished from the sporting world and led to international pressure help end apartheid and free Nelson Mandela.

The boycott saw South African teams in sports such as rugby union and cricket expelled from playing international matches after boycotts, pitch invasions and protests.

The match could be one of the biggest in Welsh football history with the potential of Wales qualifying for their first major competition since 1858 if they win their next two games.

Former South African minister and ANC leader Ronnie Kasrils is supporting the campaign and organisers were given a boost when a vocal supporter of Israel and Zionism admitted Israel is an apartheid state for its treatment and separation of Palestinians.

Bradley Burston, a convinced Zionist and senior editor of the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, has joined those who now regard Israel as an apartheid state.

Writing in Haaretz he says: “I used to be one of those people who took issue with the label of apartheid as applied to Israel. I was one of those people who could be counted on to argue that, while the country’s settlement and occupation policies were anti-democratic and brutal and slow-dose suicidal, the word apartheid did not apply.

“I’m not one of those people any more. Not after the last few weeks.

Not after terrorists firebombed a West Bank Palestinian home, annihilating a family, murdering an 18-month-old boy and his father, burning his mother over 90 percent of her body – only to have Israel’s government rule the family ineligible for the financial support and compensation automatically granted Israeli victims of terrorism, settlers included.

“Not after Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, explicitly declaring stone-throwing to be terrorism, drove the passage of a bill holding stone-throwers liable to up to 20 years in prison.

“The law did not specify that it targeted only Palestinian stone-throwers. It didn’t have to.

“Just one week later, pro-settlement Jews hurled rocks, furniture, and bottles of urine at Israeli soldiers and police at a West Bank settlement, and in response, Benjamin Netanyahu immediately rewarded the Jewish stone-throwers with a pledge to build hundreds of new settlement homes.

“This is what has become of the rule of law. Two sets of books. One for Us, and one to throw at Them. Apartheid.”

John Rose, a Jewish campaigner and author of ‘The Myths of Zionism’ will be speaking at the demonstration on 6 September.

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 22.01.39He said: “In Britain the best way to achieve solidarity with the Palestinians fighting the Apartheid state is to become active in the Boycott Disinvestment & Sanctions campaign, BDS.

“The Israeli government is so panicked by BDS that it has established a special unit to try and combat it.

As a member of the UCU, the University & College Lecturers Union, I helped introduce BDS onto campuses. Resolutions supporting BDS have been carried by our union’s annual congress.”

Apartheid does not exclude football and Palestinian players have been prevented from playing at international tournaments, while stadiums have been demolished, players shot at checkpoints, while Arab players and fans face vile abuse from many Israeli terraces.

The demonstration has been called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), with support from PCS Wales, Red Card Israeli Racism, Friends of Al Aqsa and others in a bid to extend the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS) into sport.

Jeff Hurford of PSC said: “This the first mass demonstration calling for a sporting boycott of apartheid since the defeat of South African apartheid.

“All sporting links should be broken with the apartheid Israeli state that oppresses the Palestinians. Fair play means siding with the Palestinians who face constant violence, harassment and murderous attacks -most recently last summer in Gaza.

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 22.22.43“Israel has launched a war on football in Palestine: footballers have been killed, stadiums bombed and players have been refused permission to travel to matches.

“We are near a “tipping point” where Israel faces its “South Africa moment” and becomes very broadly isolated and vilified, and 6 September will bring that movement to Wales to act as a catalyst for the rest of the UK and world.

“Israel has launched a war on football in Palestine: footballers have been killed, stadiums bombed and players have been refused permission to travel to matches.

“There can be no normal sport in the abnormal situation that exists between Israel and Palestine. We stand for a free Palestine and an end to Israel apartheid.”

Buses have already been booked from across the country for the demonstration and activists have had a warm response leafleting Cardiff City matches, mosques and Cardiff city centre.

7 thoughts on “PSC Demo at Wales v Israel football game

  1. Phil Parry

    Are we to assume similar protests will be mounted against the sporting representatives of Muslim states which don’t just practice apartheid against non Muslims but genocide, along with misogyny and deadly homophobia? Try being a Jew in Saudi Arabia or Iran and, for that matter, try being gay in, err, Palestine.

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  2. Phil Parry

    Israel’s actions are unconscionable. However, it remains the only democracy in the region. It affords full human rights to women, gays and non Jews. It is surrounded by states all wishing to see it wiped off the map. The human rights records of each and every one of these states are far, far worse than Israel’s

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  3. Bridgend's Green Leftie Post author

    I am no defender of Islam or any religion. Israel was, is and can only ever be a huge mistake. It should never have been created. We are where we are, however. Wiping it off the map again is as problematic as its original creation was.
    As you say, its behaviour is unconscionable and it therefore cannot be let off the hook for this. I despise and criticise the attitudes and human rights records of its neighbours too, but Israeli responses are invariably disproportionate and inflammatory, supported by US and European ‘friends’ whose human rights records are far from pristine themselves.
    The demonstrations and sanctions against Israel are the best way forward in terms of hopefully changing its attitudes eventually. It worked in South Africa, eventually.

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  4. Phil Parry

    The question remains though, do we therefore mount protests against all sports teams representing countries ruled by unacceptable regimes?

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  5. Phil Parry

    Further to this. I was a total supporter of the “Don’t play with apartheid” campaign. The South African regime discriminated against and disenfranchised the majority of its population. Muslim states do this on the grounds of gender, sexuality, religion and, to an extent, race. Saudi practices legalized slavery in its treatment of Asian workers, for example. Again, Israel is the only democracy in the region and while its behavior must be criticized and acted against, we should also look at the far worse day to day mass oppression of majorities in the states which surround it and actively seek its destruction.

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  6. Dee

    There is not point going on about how Israel is the only democracy in the region, as if that somehow excuses it’s treatment of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs (possibly seen as ‘the enemy within’), African Jews, secularists etc. Everybody knows that there is no democracy in the Arab nations either, however, by boasting as the only democracy should it not lead by example. And as undemocratic as the Arab nations are; I see none of them treating those around them with such hostility and disregard of their human rights, not to mention putting them in an open prison which is Palestine.

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