Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
_____________________

BSST

BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine
____________________

JfJfP comments


2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics

2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo

2014:

15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014

2013:

29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

_____________________

Posts

Move to suspend Israel from FIFA gathers steam

Suspend the Israeli Football Association’s FIFA membership

Petition by Red Card Israeli Racism
London, United Kingdom

[To sign this petition, click the headline above for the Change.org page.  5,125 signatures at time of posting.]

Membership of the Israeli Football Association (IFA) should be suspended until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observes international law, thus enabling Palestinian footballers to play and compete nationally and internationally.

Since 1967, Israel has maintained a brutal military occupation of Palestine, building illegal settlements and a separation wall on stolen land, despite condemnation by the UN and International Court of Justice. Within Israel, over fifty laws discriminate against its Palestinian citizens. When influential sports organizations say nothing in the face of an injustice of such magnitude they are complicit.

Commercial and cultural actions worldwide are increasingly demanding an end to Israel’s repressive policies.

It is now time for sports initiatives to add their voice.

The Israeli occupation specifically impacts on Palestinian football by restricting movement of players within the West Bank, between the West Bank and Gaza, and preventing them from taking part in international competitions. Israel limits imports of vital sporting equipment. Players have been harassed, detained, imprisoned and killed.

There is blatant well-documented racism within Israeli football. Players of Palestinian origin suffer insults from the terraces: Beitar Jerusalem football club is arguably worse than any in Europe with chants of ‘Death to Arabs’ and arson attacks. Any efforts made by the IFA to stop this abuse have been ineffective.

In 2013, footballers like Eric Cantona, Frederic Kanoute and 50 other international players challenged UEFA’s decision to hold the Men’s U-21 tournament in Israel. Eminent human rights activists questioned how an organisation that clearly promotes anti-racism can place a major competition in an openly racist country. Yet UEFA still plans to hold the U-19 Women’s final there in 2015 and may consider Israel as a venue for preliminary matches in Euro 2020.

FIFA has recognized some Israeli abuses and created a Task Force aimed at facilitating the movement of players and equipment. But its success depends on the goodwill of the Israeli Defence Forces.

When FIFA formally suspended the membership of the South African FA between 1964 and 1992, its action contributed to international pressure to end apartheid.

Therefore, the petition asks FIFA to follow this precedent and suspend the Israeli FA. The Israeli government must at some point take notice.

References
Israeli transgressions against Palestinian Sports
A paper presented to the FIFA Annual Congress in 2013 by the Palestinian Football Association The Mossawa Centre and the Coalition Against Racism request DIDA and EUFA investigate racism in Israeli football

PETITION

To FIFA:

I call on FIFA to suspend membership of the Israeli Football Association until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observes international law, thus enabling Palestinian footballers to play and compete nationally and internationally.

Chiedo che la FIFA sospenda da suo membro la Federazione Israeliana fino a che Israele non si decida a rispettare i diritti umani dei Palestinesi e ad osservare le leggi internazionali, consentendo così ai calciatori Palestinesi di giocare e partecipare alle competizioni nazionali e internazionali.

Je demande à la FIFA de suspendre l’adhésion de la FA israélien jusqu’à ce qu’Israël respecte les droits humains des Palestiniens et observe le droit international permettant ainsi aux footballeurs palestiniens de jouer et à la concurrence nationale et internationale de s’appliquer.

Hago un llamamiento a la FIFA que suspenda la afiliación de la Asociación de Fútbol Israelí hasta que Israel respete los derechos humanos de los Palestinos y acate la ley internacional así permitiendo a los futbolistas palestinos a jugar y competir tanto a nivel nacional como internacional.
Sincerely,
[Your name]



Palestinian children play football in front of the Israeli Wall in the West Bank village of Abu Dis, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
Fifa Urged to Ban Israel over Shooting of Palestinian Boy Footballers

By Jack Moore, International Business Times
March 6, 2014

The calls for Israel to be removed from the global footballing body Fifa have grown louder after two Palestinian footballers were reportedly shot in the feet at an Israeli checkpoint, preventing them from ever playing football again.

The two teenagers, Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, were walking home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in al-Ram in the central West Bank when Israeli forces allegedly opened fire without warning, according to Al Jazeera.

Israeli security forces said that the two footballers were attempting to throw explosive devices at police officers.

“A group of individuals was seen just seconds before throwing bombs at security forces. The policemen initiated the protocol for opening fire in order to neutralise the threat,” said the Israeli border police spokesman.

Jawhar received 10 gunshots to his feet, seven in his left foot and three in his right, while Halabiya received one shot to each foot, according to medical reports.

Police dogs were then released on the pair and Israeli soldiers beat them before being taken to Ramallah governmental hospital and then transferred to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman. It will take months to assess whether the pair can ever walk again.

Palestinian Football Association chair Jibril Rajoub said the group “will demand the expulsion of Israel from Fifa” after the incident.

“Israeli brutality against them [the teenagers] emphasises the occupation’s insistence on destroying Palestinian sport,” he continued.

Sports writer Dave Zirin commented on the effect that Israeli occupation has upon Palestinian sport.

“Death, injury or imprisonment has been a reality for several members of the Palestinian national team over the last five years.

“Just imagine if members of Spain’s top-flight World Cup team had been jailed, shot or killed by another country and imagine the international media outrage that would ensure.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said that he was “prepared to make an historic peace with our Palestinian neighbours” if Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas recognised the Jewish state.

An online petition supporting the removal of Israel from Fifa after the shooting of the Palestinian teenagers has gained approximately 4,000 signatures.


State Dept to ‘check out’ vicious attack on Palestinian athletes

By Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss
March 05, 2014

On Jan 31st, without warning, Israeli forces attacked two young Palestinian athletes on their return home from football training in al-Ram in the central West Bank. They shot them repeatedly in the feet, unleashed attack dogs that mauled their arms and legs and dragged them hundreds of feet on the ground, beat them and broke their knees (video). The youths, cousins Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, will never play competitive sports again.

Dave Zirin, Sports Editor for The Nation, writes a damning article After Latest Incident, Israel’s Future in FIFA Is Uncertain, [see below] detailing the event and calling attention to the ongoing atrocities perpetrated against Palestinian athletes that have thus far escaped the attention they deserve.

Whether it was the particularly horrific nature of this attack against young Palestinian athletes as they neared a checkpoint– (“Ten bullets were put into Jawhar’s feet. Adam took one bullet in each foot”)– or the exposure afforded by The Nation article coming right after Amnesty International’s 87-page report (pdf) landmark report “‘Trigger-happy’ Israeli army and police use reckless force in the West Bank”– but look what popped up at today’s State Dept Daily Press Briefing [last item]:

QUESTION: I know you had addressed the excessive use of force in the occupied territories by Israeli soldiers in your Human Rights Report.

MS. [Jen] PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: But there was a report that Israeli soldiers at checkpoints are targeting Palestinian soccer players, that they shoot them in the legs and so on. A number of them have been sent to hospitals. Do you have any comment on that or are you aware?

MS. PSAKI: I haven’t seen that. Obviously, we spoke to our concerns, again, in the same Human Rights Report about certain actions and behavior.

QUESTION: Right. Okay. (Inaudible) because FIFA – I think FIFA has warned Israel that it might –

MS. PSAKI: I will check that out. Thanks, everyone.

We do hope Psaki ‘checks it out’ and doubly hope reporters keep dogging her til something breaks this through to the mainstream. Zirin asks, “Just imagine”:

This is only the latest instance of the targeting of Palestinian soccer players by the Israeli army and security forces. Death, injury or imprisonment has been a reality for several members of the Palestinian national team over the last five years. Just imagine if members of Spain’s top-flight World Cup team had been jailed, shot or killed by another country and imagine the international media outrage that would ensue. Imagine if prospective youth players for Brazil were shot in the feet by the military of another nation. But, tragically, these events along the checkpoints have received little attention on the sports page or beyond.

The vicious attack was condemned by Jibril al-Rajoub, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association: “Israeli brutality against them emphasizes the occupation’s insistence on destroying Palestinian sport.”

Al-Rajoub is demanding the expulsion of Israel from FIFA and the International Olympic Committee. As reported in Inside World Football and other sports related media outlets, this demand is not new. But it’s long overdue.

The Nation agrees. Zirin:

The shooting into the feet of Jawhar and Adam has taken a delicate situation and made it an impossible one. Sporting institutions like FIFA and the IOC are always wary about drawing lines in the sand when it comes to the conduct of member nations. But the deliberate targeting of players is seen, even in the corridors of power, as impossible to ignore. As long as Israel subjects Palestinian athletes to detention and violence, their seat at the table of international sports will be never be short of precarious.

At a regional meeting of Arab states set for March 14, Al-Rajoub plans to organize support for his demand to become a formal resolution when all the member nations of FIFA meet in Brazil this June. It’s about time. Maybe, like South Africa, it will be sports that breaks the will of Israeli apartheid.

Meanwhile, doctors said it may take six months to evaluate if Jawhar or Halabiya will ever be able to walk again.


After Latest Incident, Israel’s Future in FIFA Is Uncertain

Dave Zirin, The Nation
March 3, 2014

Their names are Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17. They were once soccer players in the West Bank. Now they are never going to play sports again. Jawhar and Adam were on their way home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium on January 31 when Israeli forces fired upon them as they approached a checkpoint. After being shot repeatedly, they were mauled by checkpoint dogs and then beaten. Ten bullets were put into Jawhar’s feet. Adam took one bullet in each foot. After being transferred from a hospital in Ramallah to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman, they received the news that soccer would no longer be a part of their futures. (Israel’s border patrol maintains that the two young men were about to throw a bomb.)

This is only the latest instance of the targeting of Palestinian soccer players by the Israeli army and security forces. Death, injury or imprisonment has been a reality for several members of the Palestinian national team over the last five years. Just imagine if members of Spain’s top-flight World Cup team had been jailed, shot or killed by another country and imagine the international media outrage that would ensue. Imagine if prospective youth players for Brazil were shot in the feet by the military of another nation. But, tragically, these events along the checkpoints have received little attention on the sports page or beyond.

Much has been written about the psychological effect this kind of targeting has on the occupied territories. Sports represent escape, joy and community, and the Palestinian national soccer team, for a people without a recognized nation, is a source of tremendous pride. To attack the players is to attack the hope that the national team will ever truly have a home.

The Palestinian national football team, which formed in 1998, is currently ranked 144th in the world by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). They have never been higher than 115th. As Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril al-Rajoub commented bluntly, the problems are rooted in “the occupation’s insistence on destroying Palestinian sport.”

Over the last year, in response to this systematic targeting of Palestinian soccer, al-Rajoub has attempted to assemble forces to give Israel the ultimate sanction and, as he said, “demand the expulsion of Israel from FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.” Al-Rajoub claims the support of Jordan, Qatar, Iran, Oman, Algiers and Tunisia in favor of this move, and promises more countries, with an opportunity at a regional March 14 meeting of Arab states, to organize more support. He has also pledged to make the resolution formal when all the member nations of FIFA meet in Brazil.

Qatar’s place in this, as host of the 2022 World Cup, deserves particular scrutiny. As the first Arab state to host the tournament, they are under fire for the hundreds of construction deaths of Nepalese workers occurring on their watch. As the volume on these concerns rises, Qatar needs all the support in FIFA that they can assemble. Whether they eventually see the path to that support as one that involves confronting or accommodating Israel, will be fascinating to see.

As for Sepp Blatter, he clearly recognizes that there is a problem in the treatment of Palestinian athletes by the Israeli state. Over the last year, he has sought to mediate this issue by convening a committee of Israeli and Palestinian authorities to see if they can come to some kind of agreement about easing the checkpoints and restrictions that keep Palestinian athletes from leaving (and trainers, consultants and coaches from entering) the West Bank and Gaza. Yet al-Rajoub sees no progress. As he said, “This is the way the Israelis are behaving and I see no sign that they have recharged their mental batteries. There is no change on the ground. We are a full FIFA member and have the same rights as all other members.”

The shooting into the feet of Jawhar and Adam has taken a delicate situation and made it an impossible one. Sporting institutions like FIFA and the IOC are always wary about drawing lines in the sand when it comes to the conduct of member nations. But the deliberate targeting of players is seen, even in the corridors of power, as impossible to ignore. As long as Israel subjects Palestinian athletes to detention and violence, their seat at the table of international sports will be never be short of precarious.

Notes and links

Palestinian football association to demand FIFA expel Israel
Facebook page Kick Israeli racism out of UEFA

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.