Don’t team up with apartheid! Israel’s own-goal against Argentina

Palestine Update  144
Don’t team up with apartheid! Israel’s own-goal against Argentina
“Everyone will take this decision as a contribution to peace.” said Tapia, manager of the Argentinian football team “The last 72 hours led us to make the decision not to travel,” stressing that his primary responsibility was to look out for the health and safety of the team. The sold-out game in Jerusalem, which had been due to take place on Saturday was hotly opposed by Palestinians. Pro-Palestinian activists staged a demonstration on Tuesday in front of the sports complex where Lionel Messi and the rest of the Argentina squad were preparing. They waved jerseys of the Argentina’s national team stained with fake blood. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called the snub a “spectacular own goal” by Regev that delivered victory to boycotters of the Jewish State. Israel is scared sick because they know this action can generate a storm of more protests: “This, unfortunately, could start an international tsunami.” The Argentinean move, which featured on the front pages of all the major Israeli dailies, raised fears that it could serve as a template for future boycotts of Jerusalem, most notably next year’s scheduled hosting of the popular Eurovision song contest.

The head of the Palestinian football association, Jibril Rajoub, had urged Argentina to cancel the match and had called on Arab football fans to burn posters of Argentina captain Lionel Messi if he participated. Although the stadium that was slated to host the match is in west Jerusalem, Mr Rajoub had complained that it is in a neighborhood built on the site of a former Palestinian village destroyed during the war surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948. He has long urged Fifa to expel Israel from the international football federation, citing Israeli travel restrictions on Palestinian players and because Israel maintains teams in West Bank settlements.

A young Palestinian footballer Mohammed Khalil who was shot by an Israeli sniper in the knee , ending his promising football career released a video message(view video),. The scheduled match was to be part of Israel’s 70th anniversary “celebrations” and took place while Israel implements a criminal shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy against peaceful Palestinian protesters. Had the “friendly” been played, it would have meant a whitewash of Israel’s crimes and therefore been perversley unfriendly to human rights! He added:  “Israel denies all Palestinians, including footballers, their right to freedom of movement. The Israel Football Association’s official leagues include teams in illegal Israeli settlements that are driving Palestinian communities off their own land”.

Palestine Updates has consistently argued that only the complete isolation of the racist-colonialist Israeli regime will bring it to its senses. For this to be successful, international academics, religious leaders, social activists, writers, media persons, and others should visit Palestine to “Come and See” the truth about Israel’s colonialism and rabid racist practices. The ‘Messi own-goal’ may not signal the end of apartheid in Israel. But it kicks off a potential goal scoring spree by the BDS activists around the world encouraged, as they are, by this high profile action by Argentina.

Ranjan Solomon

Palestinians welcome Argentina decision to cancel Israel game
Palestinians have welcomed the Argentinian football team’s decision to pull out of a planned friendly match with Israel. The head of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, told a press conference that the decision was “on the right track”. “I think this is according to FIFA statutes and according to their principles and mission to promote ethics and values, and to build a bridge between nations rather than being a tool for political ends,” he said, adding: “the Israelis tried to use Messi and those stars from Argentina.”
See various sources

New York passes Bill to ban funds to Pro-BDS individuals, groups

The New York Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to bar the state from investing in or contracting with any business, individual or organization engaging in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. State institutions are currently barred in New York from directly taking part in a boycott against allied countries. The current bill, which still needs to pass the Assembly before going to the governor, would extend the ban to prevent contracts or investments to pro-BDS non-state entities. Officials would use “publicly available information” to create a list of “companies, organizations, or other entities engaged in boycotts of American allies.” Advocacy group Palestine Legal described the bill on their website as creating a “state-sponsored blacklist of individuals, organizations, and companies,” and vowed to fight the legislation from being enacted into law.
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Student workers of California University demand divestment from Israeli interests
A union representing 16,000 student workers at the University of California urged administrators during ongoing contract negotiations to divest from companies accused of profiting from “the oppression of Palestinians.” The UC Student-Workers Union (UAW Local 2865), whose 2014-2018 contract is set to expire at the end of June, shared its list of “Initial Sunshine Demands” for a new agreement in an email to members last week. These include increased compensation, expanded healthcare coverage, and a housing stipend, as well as a commitment to “pursue UC Divestment and Socially Responsible Financial Practices.” Administrators were specifically requested to “divest from corporations that profit from the prison industry, fossil fuels, and the oppression of Palestinians, including with funds invested in UC Safe Harbor.” No other foreign conflict was invoked elsewhere in the list.

Israel Boycott is Not Hate Crime, Scottish Commission concludes

A report commissioned by the Scottish government sets an important legal precedent by concluding that “hostility towards a political entity” should not be considered a hate crime. The report, authored by Lord Bracadale, a senior member of the Scottish judiciary, states: “The right to engage in legitimate political protest is fundamental in a democratic society.” As an example, it cites a Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) boycott action against an Israeli music group. Solidarity activists have celebrated this report as a “rejection” of the so-called International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “Working Definition on Anti-Semitism,” which stipulates — in the examples it provides —  that certain criticism of Israel’s policies or measures of accountability against it should be treated as a form of anti-Semitism.

Norway gives “green light” to boycotts of Israel’s settlements
Municipalities which boycott Israel’s illegal settlements do not violate Norway’s international obligations, a foreign ministry official has insisted, dealing a blow to right-wing parties that tried to have two such municipal boycotts rescinded. Audun Halvorsen, state secretary at the foreign ministry, said early May that a boycott of “goods and services produced in settlements does not contradict Norway’s international commitments.” His comments came after three right-wing parties had appealed boycotts in Trondheim and Tromsø. Three local right-wing opposition parties filed a complaint with the Tromsø county governor’s office, requesting a ruling on the resolution’s legality. In addition, the World Jewish Congress urged the Norwegian government to oppose Trondheim’s settlement boycott.

Don’t befriend me for a day, and leave me a month. Don’t get close to me if you’re going to leave. Don’t say what you don’t do. Be close or get away.
لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.
Mahmoud Darwish.