'Show Israel the red card!’ As the slogan hints, there is a protest against Israel planned by Pro-Palestine activists at the country’s European Championships soccer qualifier against Wales next month. At Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, September the 6th, Israel will play the Welsh team.
On the same day of the match, there will be Demonstrations organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) against Israel’s treatment of Palestinian footballers and the country’s ongoing occupation of West Bank and Gaza. Jeremy Corbyn- Labour leadership frontrunner- is among those planning to attend the protest .It will take place (less than a week) before the party unveils the result of its election.
PSC has called on football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA to eject Israel from its competitions over its treatment of Palestinians. PSC emphasizes that Israel treats Palestinians as second-class citizens denying them basic rights-such as freedom of movement, food, shelter (hindering reconstruction). That’s why the group (PSC) charged Israel of being an apartheid state.
PSC advocates the BDS movement (The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), a movement that seeks to impose pressure on Israel by means of embargoing its goods and institutions and pushing for sanctions against it. Supporters of BDS compare Israel to apartheid South Africa and argue for the state to be isolated on the global stage until it complies with international law.
Some famous political figures will join Manuel Hassassian- the Palestinian authority's diplomatic representative to the UK- at the lobby namely: Corbyn- Labour leadership’s favorite; Jill Evans-the Party of Wales MEP, Pippa Bartolotti- Welsh Green Party chief.
Adam Johannes, secretary of Cardiff Stop the War Coalition, accused Israel of bombing Palestinian stadiums and raiding its Football Association’s Headquarters. In November 2014, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) executed a surprise search of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) headquarters in the West Bank.
Sheik Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa- Asian Football Confederation President denounced the raid at the time as setting “a dangerous precedent that requires the international sporting family to stand together and support the PFA.”
Adam Johannes provided a typical example of Israel’s unfair treatment for Palestinians- the case of the Palestinian football player Mahmoud Sarsak. Sarsak was imprisoned in Israel for three years for allegedly having links with Islamic extremists. Later he was released without charge.
“Imagine if players in Wales’ national football team were regularly prevented from playing football and competing in tournaments by a military occupation, blocked from leaving Wales to play matches, some held in prison for months or years on end without trial, with armed forces sent to invade the headquarters of the Welsh FA, and Cardiff City Stadium bombed,” Johannes added
“This is what Israel does to Palestinian football. On September 6 Wales will play a country which regularly blocks Palestinians from participating in the beautiful game, competing in tournaments, and stops players traveling to matches.”
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