Houston stadium security detains soccer fan for waving Palestinian flag as ‘racial slur’

Israel/Palestine
on 107 Comments
Buthayna Hammad

Buthayna Hammad

Last Sunday, Palestinian-American Buthayna Hammad attended a soccer match at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston’s downtown 22,000-seat soccer-specific stadium, home to the Houston Dynamo. About 15 minutes after the game started Hammad was approached by the head of Compass Stadium’s security Nathan Buchanan. Soon she encountered a total of eight security officials, four from stadium security and the other four, Houston police officers.

Why? because she was waving a Palestinian flag. Stadium security informed her that her Palestinian flag implied a “racial slur” and therefore was in violation of BBVA Compass Stadium rules.

Hammad, a native of Houston, is an avid soccer fan. She attended the match with her “alt family from Honduras” including her Honduran boyfriend. The match was between Israel and Honduras.

The implications of this story are mind-numbing, and we’ll discuss that later. First, in Buthayna Hammad’s own words, cited in Free Press Houston (FPR): “Mere Existence of Palestine Deemed a ‘Threatening Racial Slur’ by the Houston Dynamo Organization.”

I wore a Honduras jersey and was eager to cheer on this team, dressed to represent Honduras. To represent my own heritage as a Palestinian-American, I also brought my Palestinian flag. I made sure my flag was allowed (based on the size, etc.) and I was all ready to go. For the first 15 minutes of the match I stood up and cheered and stomped my feet with the rest of the crowd chanting “HON-DU-RAS” and waving my Palestinian flag, my colors vibrant and loud against a sea of blue and white…and apparently also racist.

I was told I had to sit down, which I did, only to be told to get back up again and follow the manager of security away from the stadium seats and into the concession area. I followed, and there waiting for me were three more BBVA security personnel and four police officers. When I asked them what was wrong, the manager of security, Nathan Buchanan, told me I am not allowed to carry this flag because it implies a “racial slur” and it is in BBVA Compass Stadium violation.

I asked him to show me evidence of his accusations and asked him how my flag, a part of my identity as a Palestinian-American, implies a racial slur. He could not answer whether he did not know or could not articulate why he was ordered to remove my flag and me from my seat. I was getting very emotional at this point, I had my flag wrapped around my neck like a scarf, and he said he would take my flag and “check it in” for me, that I was not permitted to return to my seat until I surrendered my flag.

BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston Texas

BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston Texas

It’s almost too strange to believe. In a 22,000 seat stadium, security officials concerned themselves over Hammad waving her flag.

Another publication, Houston Press, (Security Didn’t Want Her Waving Palestinian Flag During Israel Game in Houston) attempted to contact the security manager Nathan Buchanan, but he’s not making himself available. A spokeswoman for BBVA Compass Stadium, Gina Rotola, appears to be walking back the inflammatory “racist” allegation. She told Houston Press that “A national flag from any country cannot be a racial slur, so if any statement of that nature were used, it would have been made incorrectly by an individual trying to deescalate a situation.”

Which begs the question, deescalate what situation?

Gina Rotola runs a PR boutique agency in Houston, in part specializing in media management, branding, and crisis communication. So what kind of excuse rationale did she come up with?

“[T]he decision to not allow the Palestinian flag to be displayed during the game was based on the sole intention of maintaining the safety of those in attendance. The flag bearer was instigating the crowd, and we felt it was important to diffuse a potentially volatile situation as emotions began to escalate. We instructed the patron that she could retain her flag but should refrain from waving it in front of fans from the other teams.”

That makes no sense. Fans frequently wave flags at sports games and Hammad said she made sure her Palestinian flag complied with stadium regulations. What does “waving it in front of fans from the other teams” mean in a stadium this size?

FPR’s Harbeer Sandhu asked Rotolo how Hammad was instigating the crowd. Her response? Astoundingly, Rotolo said that Hamad was waving her flag “in front of Israeli supporters” causing “emotions to escalate.” 

I have never been to a match at a sports stadium where emotions didn’t escalate, ever.  Who contacted security that day? Who complained about the flag?

Sandhu connects the dots any logical person might consider:

It is now considered “racist” for an American of Palestinian descent to wave her flag at fans of the Israeli soccer team.  The First Amendment can be suspended in a stadium built with taxpayer money because some Israeli soccer fans might be moved to violence by the mere sight of the Palestinian flag.  The good people of the Houston Dynamo Organization think that it is “racist” to merely remind Israeli soccer fans that Palestine exists.

I am trying to imagine what the complaint sounded like.  “Excuse me, Mr. Buchanan, that flag over there is really pissing me off–causing emotional distress–and I might have to hurt the lady holding it so you better get four cops to impound that flag or else I’m going to beat her up and it will be all her fault.”

What or who could have overridden Nathan Buchanan’s common sense in the stadium that day and caused eight security personnel to assemble for the purpose of confiscating a national flag from an enthusiastic sports fan? And more importantly, is it enough for BBVA Compass Stadium (parent company the Anschutz Entertainment Group)  to issue a statement from a crisis management professional sans any formal apology to Buthayna Hammad?

In her own words:

The Israeli government has banned Palestinians from hanging their flags outside their home, and arrests the occupants of the home for having it on display on their own land. Every day, in Occupied Palestine, Palestinians are denied entry to neighboring villages, to schools or their family’s home and in many cases to hospitals thanks to Israel’s apartheid state. Yes “apartheid,” that word implies racism, yet my flag implies a racial slur? I asked him several times if I could go back to my seat and he would spread his arms out to create a blockade with his body and his arms so I could not pass.

“This is private property,” he said.

I told him I paid for a ticket to enter. I could not keep my eyes from gathering tears, but forced myself from letting them fall.

“What country are we in again?” I asked. “Just because Israel is playing a match, does that mean you should treat me this way? Because of my Palestinian identity? I am a U.S. Citizen!”

Buthayna Hammad was eventually allowed to return to her seat after missing the first half of the game. A compromise was offered whereby Hammad was allowed to keep her flag as long as she didn’t wave it. 

Echoing Hammad, What country are we in again? And where’s the national press on this story? Is it fair to ask, had this been an Israeli flag would the NYT be covering it? Everyone would be on it. The ADL, Houston Chronicle, and where is ESPN?

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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107 Responses

  1. W.Jones
    June 6, 2014, 1:29 pm

    Doesn’t she have a free speech case under the First Amendment? Waving one’s national flag is not a provocation to be attacked.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 6, 2014, 2:14 pm

      i’d definitely be on the line w/CCR about demanding an apology, at a minimum. and it’s really hard to fathom how houston cops got dragged into this. don’t they know the first amendment? or do we have a separate system here for palestinians like they do in israel?

      • just
        June 6, 2014, 2:28 pm

        It IS Texas…

        (apologies to all sentient Texans…) Cruz was just there today.

        “FORT WORTH – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz told an ecstatic crowd at the Texas Republican Convention that their freedom is being threatened by a lawless president who has shown weakness abroad and overstepped his boundaries at home.

        In a speech studded with historical references, from the Alamo to D-Day, Cruz gamely included Paul in a pantheon of Texas heroes ranging from Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gov. Rick Perry. “Texans have always led the way in the fight for freedom,” he said.

        “There’s a whole lot of mischief going on in Washington right now,” he said. “We need to defend the Bill of Rights” and in an apparent reference to the Second Amendment debate over gun control, he added, “all of the Bill of Rights.”

        He criticized Obama for failing to speak out about victims of oppression abroad, defended Israel, and took aim at Common Core educational standards that are unpopular on both ends of the political spectrum.

        “We already have a common core,” he said, “It’s called the Constitution of the United States.”

        Cruz was introduced by his wife Heidi, who defended him against his critics in Washington and invoked his softer side as a family man. “He’s not a wacko bird,” she said, “He is simply ‘Daddy’ to our two little girls.””

        link to chron.com

        Referenced (used) the Constitution and blathered on about ‘freedom and amendments’ and the ‘BIll of Rights’, but did not bring up the assault on it that you’ve profiled here, Annie.

      • kevin
        June 7, 2014, 12:00 am

        It is Houston, the fourth largest and most diverse major city in the country. Our mayor is the first openly lesbian person to be elected mayor of any large city in the United States.

        We’ve also got an enormous Arab and Muslim population.

        This incident my friends, is one that has traction and can find a major national audience. Stop hating on Texas and get busy.

      • Walid
        June 7, 2014, 1:04 pm

        “It is Houston, the fourth largest and most diverse major city in the country. ”

        Kevin, you might be interested to know that the highest building there, the 5-sided 75-storey JP Morgan Chase Tower was owned by Lebanon’s assassinated Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri.

      • ritzl
        June 6, 2014, 2:42 pm

        Yeah, Israelis don’t relate to free people at all. Especially free people with opinions.

        Houston police were probably trained in Israel or by Israelis. Sign of the times. My guess is that’s where they picked up this particular nasty little habit.

      • Walid
        June 6, 2014, 3:15 pm

        ritzl, your hunch was right on; from 2 years back and Houston PD is mentioned as being trained by Israel:

        Israeli Training: Houston Police Shoot Wheelchair Amputee Said Armed with Ballpoint Pen

        By Gordon Duff and Press TV

        During the Bush administration, Israeli-American dual citizen and Director of Homeland Security Chertoff mandated that American police forces be trained by Israeli groups in crowd control, counter-terrorism and intelligence gathering.

        Since that time, shootings of unarmed civilians has gone up 500%, attacks on legal political protests by police have become a scandal and huge stockpiles of ammunition and military heavy weaponry have been distributed to law enforcement groups in every region of America, both local and federally controlled.

        Additionally, Army Chief of Staff General Odierno has offered the use of the US Army, an offer published in the Council on Foreign Relations journal, Foreign Affairs, to suppress political dissent by force, a violation of his oath of office and, quite literally, an act of conspiracy against the sovereignty of the US and State governments.
        The current problem with law enforcement and the diminishment of legal rights of Americans is now at levels that cannot be ignored any longer. It has become obvious to an ever increasing number of Americans that something is in the works, perhaps a political coup or a military take-over.
        Years ago such things were done behind closed doors, now it seems it can be done in the open, just like shooting down presidents, killing senators in plane crashes or blowing up office buildings.

        … What had once been police is how a “hodge-podge” thousands of agencies, each one falling like dominoes, unable to resist offers of advanced military weapons, offers of “informal discretionary funding” (bribes) and quickly degenerating into an army of occupation.

        Key to this has been Israeli training, sending into America so-called experts who have long operated in an environment where killing civilians under cover of a rigged racist system of government has been official policy for over six decades.

        Israel’s militarized police are trained to violate human rights on a daily basis. 116 UN resolutions have been filed and passed by majority vote by the General Assembly citing them with apartheid and genocide, exactly the description of America that Mitt Romney and his friends are offering America.

        POLICE KILLINGS

        In my own town recently, a police officer shot and killed an Iraq War veteran while the man was asleep. The officer had been called to the home because the family was concerned about their son who was having trouble adjusting.

        They let the officer in the house, and rather than waking the sleeping veteran, the officer simply emptied his pistol into the man’s body.
        I just did a Google search of the phrase: “police shoot unarmed man” and got 1,610,000 results.

        Either we talk about little else or this seems to happen a lot.
        In almost every case, the officers responsible for these killings are trained in the Israeli martial art of Krav Fit, contracts pushed by the Department of Homeland Security.

        Israeli groups train in crowd control, use of military weapons and armoured vehicles against America’s “Occupy dissidents,” the poor, the homeless, mental patients and veterans, so far.
        When the amount of ammunition is counted up and the military firepower estimated, the list may well expand to “anyone not willing to submit to live as human slaves.”

        HOUSTON WHEELCHAIR KILLING
        This police incident was a classic. The victim was living in a group home for the mentally ill. He was in a wheelchair having lost an arm and leg some time before in a rail accident.

        Two Israeli trained Houston Police were sent. The spokesman for the Houston Police, Jodi Siva, claimed the man “cornered” one of the police officers and threatened him with an object.

        Both officers had completed Krav Fit martial arts training from their Israeli instructors at a cost of thousands of dollars a day.

        The Houston wheelchair shooting is a classic. We have two armed police officers, highly trained in the mysterious martial arts of Israel, we have a subject in a wheel chair with one arm and one leg and in his hand is a ballpoint pen.
        The officers, of course, had batons, tasers, and were wearing body armour.
        A more likely scenario, one with a typical Israeli aspect to it, would have had the second officer simply take the handles of the wheel chair, run it out into the street and under a passing bus or perhaps a bulldozer of one could be arranged.
        The victim had committed no crime, had no warrants but was suspected of “causing a disturbance.” Group homes, such as this one, are seldom staffed with competent professional personnel and are generally a method of bilking government programs out of money while commonly physically and emotionally abusing residents.
        Personnel working in “group homes” typically have, themselves, criminal records. This is the average qualification in the United States for taking care of the old, the helpless and the infirm.
        The officer who killed the unidentified man is named Matthew Jacob Marin. He has been placed on a 3 day administrative leave.

        … Federal sources close to this case have told me CIA Agent Roland Carnaby had proof a “suitcase nuke” had arrived inside the U.S. from Israel on Tuesday. He was chasing the device and the Israelis who had it.

        As local law enforcement was called-in, for some unknown reason cops allegedly began chasing the CIA Agent instead of the Israelis and ultimately shot the CIA Agent dead!

        The Houston wheelchair shooting is a classic. We have two armed police officers, highly trained in the mysterious martial arts of Israel, we have a subject in a wheel chair with one arm and one leg and in his hand is a ballpoint pen.
        The officers, of course, had batons, tasers, and were wearing body armour.
        A more likely scenario, one with a typical Israeli aspect to it, would have had the second officer simply take the handles of the wheel chair, run it out into the street and under a passing bus or perhaps a bulldozer of one could be arranged.

        The victim had committed no crime, had no warrants but was suspected of “causing a disturbance.” Group homes, such as this one, are seldom staffed with competent professional personnel and are generally a method of bilking government programs out of money while commonly physically and emotionally abusing residents.

        Personnel working in “group homes” typically have, themselves, criminal records. This is the average qualification in the United States for taking care of the old, the helpless and the infirm.

        The officer who killed the unidentified man is named Matthew Jacob Marin. He has been placed on a 3 day administrative leave.
        This is his second killing in the past few years.

        In August, a Jeffrey T. Johnson, a legitimate armed suspect, was shot and killed by two New York police officers, also trained by Israeli companies.
        The officers were 8 feet from Johnson when he drew his weapon. They then opened fire, hitting Johnson but also hitting 9 other people in the area, spraying bullets everywhere.

        The incident began when Johnson shot and killed his Israeli employer who had recently ended his employment for reasons Johnson had found “unsatisfactory.”

        New York police who cornered Johnson, who was armed with a Spanish made Star .380 7 shot pistol with 2 rounds remaining in the magazine, then opened fire, hitting Johnson then “accidentally” shooting 9 others, some as far “off line” as 120 degrees.
        Was the Israeli training team brought in there from the Haifa School for the Blind?

        … What has changed today is that those killed are simply gunned down, no weapon mysteriously dropped by the police, victims are often aged, sometimes even financially well off, there seems to be an agenda that, more than anything else, resembles terrorism, the random killing of any American anywhere, anytime and under any circumstances by police who are unable to explain what they do.
        Moreover, nobody ever seriously questions anything that police do.

        It is almost as though a mass psychosis has taken over American law enforcement, every face a potential “bin Laden,” every minor confrontation solved only with volleys of gunfire.

        The only common factor in so many of these incidents is the Israeli training, teaching American police to mimic Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people. It seems American police have caught Israel’s national obsession of fearfulness and feigned victimization.

        link to veteranstoday.com

      • just
        June 6, 2014, 3:30 pm

        aaargh!

        Walid, that is more than sick. Sorta like this, or like any day in the OPT:

        “BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army said on Friday that a Palestinian had been detained near Azzun west of Nablus for trying to “stab a soldier” after he was stopped in his vehicle during a patrol in the area.

        The army said in a statement that the patrol had “apprehended a suspicious vehicle for checkup” and during the inspection the man in the vehicle “took out a knife and attempted to stab the soldier with it” after he was told to remove a “suspicious object apparent in his pocket.”

        The Israeli army subsequently “captured” the man and transferred him for “security questioning.”

        The man was reportedly 15 years old.”

        link to maannews.net

        poor IOF– having to deal with such ‘threats’. I guess we should be grateful he’s not been killed— yet.

      • Zach S
        June 6, 2014, 4:05 pm

        Houston police were probably trained in Israel or by Israelis.

        Yes, clearly Israelis are behind every uncouth behavior worldwide.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 6, 2014, 4:17 pm

        they (and their lobbiests) are behind lots of new security measures adopted by the US and they market themselves as being security specialists. your snarking aside, while i would not agree they are behind all uncouth behavior worldwide, it doesn’t lesson the impact of the negative effects of apartheid and the apartheid mentality, which surely this demonstrates.

      • traintosiberia
        June 6, 2014, 6:44 pm

        Are they behind any worthy behavior?

      • traintosiberia
        June 6, 2014, 6:44 pm

        What behavior do you recommend ?

      • ritzl
        June 6, 2014, 8:58 pm

        Zach,

        A) I didn’t say that, nor do I believe it. Plenty of “uncouth” to go around. Sadly.

        B) However, for eight (count ‘em) security and police to descend upon and escort away one woman out of maybe 20,000 partisan fans for waving a national flag at an international soccer match and call it a racial slur doesn’t just spring out of the ether. That would be like saying that an owl’s ability to catch a mouse at night is just pure dumb luck. It isn’t, it comes from well-honed abilities. In this case, the ability to put all this together, single her out as a particularly odious Palestinian (i.e. they would have to identify the flag, know the background of the conflict, have a pre-existing sense of why that is a bad thing to some people, and ultimately agree with that characterization) flag waver, and raise what she “did” to the level of “racial slur” had to come from somewhere. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that it’s too obscure a circumstance to be a homegrown US skill, and as Walid points out Israeli training IS part of the mix.

        C) To me a/the sad part about your comment, and about half the comments at the Free Press Houston site where the full article is located, is that you seem to view this Houston police behavior as normal while most everyone else views it as anathema. That causes you to retreat into reflexive victimhood to justify it. Israel’s and its supporters oppressive behavior toward Palestinians everywhere, internally and as exported, is simply NOT normal.

        Years ago I used to argue the amorality of this behavior to deaf ears, but now I try to couch it in terms of Zionist self-interest. You can either see that this type of oppressive behavior is neither normal nor acceptable, realize the counterproductivity in that wrt your own Israel-centric self-interest and democratic aspirations, and adjust – or not. People that argue like you are in a classic target-fixation mode. Adjusting brings acceptance. Not adjusting brings isolation and the inevitable crash. There’s just too many people that inherently disagree with you. Your choice.

        FWIW… Sorry about the length.

      • Talkback
        June 7, 2014, 3:54 am

        They are clearly behind some police and anti terror training in the US:
        link to sott.net

      • amigo
        June 7, 2014, 6:22 am

        “Yes, clearly Israelis are behind every uncouth behavior worldwide.”zacks

        Well, you must be doing something wrong???.

        link to haaretz.com

        Stealing passports/assassinating people on other peoples sovereign territory/spying on your friends and benefactors/bombing other peoples sovereign territory.

        That,s just for starters.Yep , you could say Israel is an uncouth nation.You must be real proud.

      • thetruthhurts
        June 6, 2014, 4:24 pm

        if i remember correctly mondo had an article maybe two years ago about how the nypd was teaming up with israel to train the cops.
        yes, adolph sharon was so right when he so arrogantly said so long ago
        “we, the jewish people, control america”.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 6, 2014, 5:04 pm

        if i remember correctly mondo had an article maybe two years ago about how the nypd was teaming up with israel to train the cops.

        unfortunately it goes way beyond the nypd. cops from all over this country are sent to israel to train. it’s disgusting. while local funds to fight crime are cut from budgets federal funds are provided generously via homeland security to fight ‘terrorist threat’, or something to that effect. so this is the kind of training and equipment available to local law enforcement, some of which includes funds to travel to israel and learn from their ‘professionals’, including how to identify threat, which is often islamophobic and racist in nature.

        see max’s

        From Occupation to ‘Occupy’: The Israelification of American domestic security

        link to mondoweiss.net

        The process of Israelification began in the immediate wake of 9/11, when national panic led federal and municipal law enforcement officials to beseech Israeli security honchos for advice and training. America’s Israel lobby exploited the climate of hysteria, providing thousands of top cops with all-expenses paid trips to Israel and stateside training sessions with Israeli military and intelligence officials. By now, police chiefs of major American cities who have not been on junkets to Israel are the exception.

        “Israel is the Harvard of antiterrorism,” said former US Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, who now serves as the US Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. Cathy Lanier, the Chief of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police, remarked, “No experience in my life has had more of an impact on doing my job than going to Israel.” “One would say it is the front line,” Barnett Jones, the police chief of Ann Arbor, Michigan, said of Israel. “We’re in a global war.”

      • yonah fredman
        June 6, 2014, 8:13 pm

        thetruthhurts- link and load please. but i’ve been through this one. it’s a phony quote. sharon never said it.

    • Hostage
      June 6, 2014, 6:34 pm

      Doesn’t she have a free speech case under the First Amendment?

      Yes, the civil rights act applies to private property that affects interstate commerce and prohibits discrimination or denial of equal access on the basis of national origin or ancestry in any facilities that serve as places of public accommodation or places of exhibition or entertainment. See 42 U.S. Code § 2000a – Prohibition against discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation link to law.cornell.edu

      FYI, the same applies to workplace and public or publicly subsidized educational system discrimination. The Justice Department has prosecuted several cases of Palestinian national origin employment discrimination since 9/11. e.g.
      * link to www1.eeoc.gov
      * link to eeoc.gov

      • W.Jones
        June 6, 2014, 7:20 pm

        Title II. Outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce… -Wikipedia, Civil Rights Act

        So you see this as an issue of discrimination for national origin?
        I am not sure that is true. If she was just being Palestinian, they probably wouldn’t have intervened, rather it was her act of free expression. Imagine, for example, if a nonPalestinian Jordanian decided to wave the flag?

        Wouldn’t this instead be a case of unprotected speech in a private forum?

        only six states have joined California in recognizing a state constitutional right to speak and assemble on private property: New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, and Pennsylvania (and several of them have waffled after doing so). Even the states conferring these broader speech rights do so only on two types of private property—shopping malls and non-public universities

        link to slate.com

        If that is the case, perhaps the Civil Rights Act is a more relevant law, as you suggested. A flag can be associated with her national origin, and people were waving flags at the game. What do you think?

      • Hostage
        June 7, 2014, 4:22 am

        only six states have joined California in recognizing a state constitutional right to speak and assemble on private property

        The owner of the property is a statutory agency of the city, county, and state. It was established in order to encourage sports fans to assemble on the property and support a government franchised private monopoly. The owners cannot require that the game be watched in silence or prescribe which countries’ flags will be tolerated and which will not on government subsidized “private property”. There are limits to the owners discretion, because federal civil rights laws requiring equal access and non-discrimination explicitly apply to sports stadiums. The 1st amendment governs more than pure speech, e.g. freedom of association and belief. States and Franchise owners are not running oriental fiefdoms wherein they can prescribe orthodoxy. See for example the discussion of the case of Bradford Campeau-Laurion versus the New York Yankees in “Does the First Amendment Play in Sports Stadiums?” link to wordpress.philau.edu

    • teecee
      June 7, 2014, 2:21 am

      This event was in Texas, where people can carry their handguns and rifles, etc., not to mention fly the flag of the confederacy and someone has a heart attack about one little Palestinian flag? What hypocrites! Was this part of the security package to provide to the israeli team? “In order to be the perfect host, we must take any opportunity to harrass/humiliate Palestinian-Americans on American soil”!

  2. amigo
    June 6, 2014, 1:46 pm

    You would think that with so much “outside” help , Israel might win a game once in a while.

    BTW , are we expecting little abe to chime in on this one.Obviously this was a demonstration of anti semitic Jew hatred and designed to upset the Israeli team.

    Hell , I go as a neutral to matches here in Ireland but always wear my own teams colors.

    Poor Israeli sods.Always the victims.Everyone is out to get them.

    The sooner they are kicked out of FIFA the better.That is until they act like a civilised nation , V the apartheid rogue oppressive one they are.

    Go Honduras.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 6, 2014, 2:11 pm

      are we expecting little abe to chime in on this one

      amigo! good question! right before this was published phil and i were exchanging numerous emails (as we often do finalizing many posts) and i emailed him asking , at the end, ” is it fair to ask, had this been an israeli flag would the nyt be covering it?” and when he wrote back he mentioned the ADL as well as a few other publications. then it got published right before i added them at the end. go up and look at the base.

      • amigo
        June 6, 2014, 3:10 pm

        “go up and look at the base.” Annie

        I read most of the heading but began suffering nausea so skipped right to the posts and missed the ref to ADL.

        What is totally infuriating about Israeli whining is they utter not a word when Israeli Jews scream abuse at Arab opponents, (are not all Arabs their opponents) at soccer matches.

        The worlds leading hypocrites.

      • Blownaway
        June 6, 2014, 8:54 pm

        I’m curious there had to have been Israeli flags there?

      • just
        June 6, 2014, 9:04 pm

        I wondered the same thing. I googled and found this though– Honduras vs Venezuela:

        link to honduras.com

        Dunno if she was told to put it away…

      • ritzl
        June 6, 2014, 9:11 pm

        Great catch, just.

    • thetruthhurts
      June 6, 2014, 11:15 pm

      gee, and all this time i thought you were spanish.
      after i read the disgusting article about how the palestinian soccer players were routinely getting their legs and fet shot at by the ziopsychos, i felt an uncontrollable need to get in touch with espn.
      i found their top european soccer reporter , irishman dermot corrigan, and tweeted him. that was two months ago, no response.
      maybe you might have better luck with him since your irish.

      • amigo
        June 7, 2014, 6:32 am

        “i found their top european soccer reporter , irishman dermot corrigan, and tweeted him. that was two months ago, no response.
        maybe you might have better luck with him since your irish.”thetruthhurts

        I will give it a shot.

        Two months ago I gave the same info to the FAI (Football assoc of Ireland) but never heard back from them.

  3. Daniel Rich
    June 6, 2014, 1:47 pm

    ”This ‘semi-Israeli’ wannabe should apply for funding her ‘the land was empty’ ploy @ the UNCF…” – sponsored by ‘Koch Brothers United’ against Israeli World in justice injustice!!!

  4. just
    June 6, 2014, 1:53 pm

    Speechless and dumbfounded here.

    Again.

  5. Susie Kneedler
    June 6, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Whew, Annie, thanks for always tracking down urgent events hidden by the “national” press. Some day maybe conventional “reporters” ‘ll be able to report facts as you do, including violations of free speech in the US for Israel’s sake and (in the news you discovered yesterday) Israel’s crimes against International Law:
    link to mondoweiss.net .

    And thanks, brave, wise Buthayna Hammad. Thanks, too, Harbeer Sandhu, for a great investigation.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 6, 2014, 2:13 pm

      yeah, Harbeer Sandhu really rocked on the FHP coverage. and a huge shout out to Buthayna Hammad for really offering him the lowdown. she didn’t mince words and i loved her quote. full quote btw, everyone should go read it at FPH link.

      • Henry Norr
        June 7, 2014, 12:44 am

        But you also did a fabulous job pulling it all together, Annie. I only occasionally share MW posts on Facebook, because I don’t want to bore my friends who aren’t as obsessed with this issue as I am, but I was delighted to share this one!

      • Annie Robbins
        June 7, 2014, 11:17 am

        thanks so much henry.

    • Blownaway
      June 6, 2014, 9:04 pm

      A quick google search shows this is getting some play especially locally in Houston where there is a large Palestinian population…

  6. Kay24
    June 6, 2014, 2:09 pm

    It is hard to believe, that in the world’s biggest democracy, land of free speech, an American citizen, cannot display a flag belonging to a state that has been recognized by the UN and the majority of nations around the world. Israeli spectators are known to be racists, even attacking an Arab player with ugly racial slurs, for playing for one of their teams, that definitely roused emotions, but here on our shores, to think that a citizen was prevented from showing her support for her native country, that the US governments works with, and sends aid to, just shows how far the zionist influence can be in our nation. It makes you wonder just who writes those stadium rules, and how carrying a flag can be considered a “racial slur”. Those wacky zionists trying to tie the Palestinian flag to racial slurs and maybe antisemitism perhaps? No surprise.

  7. talknic
    June 6, 2014, 2:13 pm

    Bravo Buthayna !!!

  8. ritzl
    June 6, 2014, 2:32 pm

    Wow. Great article. Tweeted.

    As an aside, there are no Palestinian-Israelis on the Israeli mens national team (despite 20% of the population). Is that not in and of itself a racial slur?

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  9. ritzl
    June 6, 2014, 2:52 pm

    I’ve seen soooo much worse, and therein lies a tactic. If such a small act makes Israeli soccer fans so uncomfortable, pass out Palestinian flags to all fans of Israel’s opponents. Make the giant Palestinian card flag. Gig ‘em! Gig ‘em early and often! Win-Win.

  10. sydnestel
    June 6, 2014, 2:55 pm

    I bet that if she had waved an AK47 painted with Palestinian colours, she would have been allowed. Or at least the NRA would have come to her defence.

  11. peter123
    June 6, 2014, 2:59 pm

    Please Ms. Hammad, do not hesitate. You have so much material for multiple lawsuits against all of the parties involved. Let’s start with harassment, and discrimination. Immediate action must be taken regarding this abuse of power to control free expression and to assure that this treatment does not happen anywhere else in this country.
    They will most likely apologize. But you were humiliated and treated as if you did something wrong….do not let them off so easily. This must be made a court case and ruled at in a court of law for a large monetary judgment to really get the point across.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 6, 2014, 3:11 pm

      it’s not even the monetary judgement. it’s the press it might incur. asking for 1 dollar and an apology can also be a decent strategy.

      • peter123
        June 6, 2014, 3:57 pm

        I do not agree. This event is not covered in the “press” as it is, why do you believe that anything short of legal action regarding discrimination will be satified by a dollar and an apology. What is needed is a “court case with a decision.”

        You may not believe it but an event like this could lead to the absurd. A family member of mine was told not to wear yellow and blue at her job because someone objected to the “colors” because those are the colors of the Ukrainian flag. How about that being enforced at public events. The colors of your outfit are those …….etc… and you need to leave this area now….or come in for questioning.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 31, 2014, 8:11 am

        peter, i meant it’s not even the amount of the monetary judgement. the Corrie’s sued for 1 dollar as i recall.

    • Zach S
      June 6, 2014, 4:06 pm

      LOL dream on. Soccer stadiums are not public spaces, they are private institutions which can enforce the behavior of their attendees however they wish.

      • just
        June 6, 2014, 4:26 pm

        They are “public”, Zach. And Houston cops are on the public payroll.

        (you’re confused– this is NOT Israel or the OPT where goons rule over everything and everybody that is not of the tribe)

        btw, can you enlighten us just how she and her flag posed a danger? Why on earth were city cops called when she posed no threat to anyone? How many Israeli flags were waved? Did they pose a ‘threat’ to anyone?

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 6, 2014, 4:31 pm

        “Soccer stadiums are not public spaces, they are private institutions which can enforce the behavior of their attendees however they wish.”

        No, this stadium is owned by a quasi-government agency, the Harris County–Houston Sports Authority. And, no, they can’t “enforce the behavior of their attendees however they wish,” especially when the police are involved. They may or may not have been within their rights here, but your statement is simply wrong.

      • Hostage
        June 6, 2014, 7:21 pm

        No, this stadium is owned by a quasi-government agency, the Harris County–Houston Sports Authority. And, no, they can’t “enforce the behavior of their attendees however they wish,” especially when the police are involved.

        You are absolutely correct. It doesn’t really matter who owns it. “Enjoying the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of . . . any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or any other place of exhibition or entertainment which serves the public” is a “federally protected activity”. See 18 U.S. Code § 245 – Federally protected activities link to law.cornell.edu

        Involvement of state employees, like the police, in acts of discrimination under the color of law is a violation of a federal statute. See 18 U.S. Code § 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law link to law.cornell.edu

      • thetruthhurts
        June 6, 2014, 9:43 pm

        thats federal civil law. what about fed criminal law like title 18?

      • Hostage
        June 7, 2014, 2:57 am

        thats federal civil law. what about fed criminal law like title 18?

        Correct, there are federal statutes that provide a private right of action against “Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State” deprives a person of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and [the civil rights] laws, i.e. 42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights

        But I also cited 18 U.S. Code § 245 – “Federally protected activities” and 18 U.S. Code § 242 – “Deprivation of rights under color of law” in the comment above about the intimidating conduct of the police and a statutory state entity, the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. link to houstonsports.org

      • Mayhem
        June 8, 2014, 8:09 am

        I am no expert on the right to free speech under your First Amendment, but I do know that there are limits to free speech. Given the tendency
        of soccer fans to get very emotionally charged at soccer games it seems very prudent of the ground staff to have asked Hammad to curtail
        her flag waving.
        It seems odd that the BBVA Compass Stadium have a set of rules that according to Hostage et al are in breach of the First Amendment.
        I know the story oft mentioned about free speech and how there are limits to it e.g. it is not permitted to shout “Fire!” in a public place just because you feel like exercising your rights under the First Amendment.

      • traintosiberia
        June 6, 2014, 6:39 pm

        Zach S
        Private space can’t discriminate .if the stadium allows one flag,it has to allow other flag. Second even it cites total ban on flag,it should say so and should not call it ” racial slur” . By calling it as an of expression of racial slur ,it has discriminated against this girl on false made up and extremely dangerous but false charges. An accusation of racial slur in this country can do damages beyond imagination .
        Apart from that legalistic and stupidity as proved by Texan moron , it has also showed to what extent this country has sunk low to be seen as Israeli bucket carrier and the bucket carries Israeli shit .Everybody from Perry to Kerry wants to carry that bucket full of Israeli excrements

      • Blownaway
        June 6, 2014, 8:58 pm

        You know what happened some zio in the front office siced the Gestapo on this poor girl. It wasn’t the fans.

      • traintosiberia
        June 6, 2014, 6:41 pm

        How did that argument do by Hobby Lobby and by similar other private concerns?

      • Hostage
        June 6, 2014, 6:48 pm

        LOL dream on. Soccer stadiums are not public spaces, they are private institutions which can enforce the behavior of their attendees however they wish.

        No, private property that affects interstate commerce; offers public accommodation of any kind; or serves as a place of exhibition or entertainment is subject to the requirement of equal access and the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of national origin, ancestry, or ethnicity contained in the civil rights statutes. Read 42 U.S. Code § 2000a – “Prohibition against discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation” and try to get some clue. link to law.cornell.edu

      • Denis
        June 6, 2014, 8:51 pm

        Unfortunately, Hostage has this one scrambled. The USSCt has clearly stated that there is no inherent right of free speech on private property in the US Constitution.

        The Commerce Clause has nothing to do with it. This is not a Heart of Atlanta case – nobody barred Buthayna from attending the game b/c she is Palestinian. If 1000 people had been waving Palestinian flags and the cops singled out just her, she might have a case, but it would be a discrimination case, not a free speech case. There is no free speech case here.

        Most of these free speech on private property cases are about shopping malls. In Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robbins [annie? that you?] the USSCt held that the US Constitution does not give individuals the right to freely express themselves on private property – IOW, so far as the US Constitution goes, private property rights trump free speech rights.

        Pruneyard also held that states, through their individual constitutions, can provider broader free speech rights than the US Constitution and may permit free speech to trump private property rights. That’s what happened in Pruneyard — California had a constitution that was read to give people freedom of speech in some types of private property, the kind that is amenable to “public forum” activity. A mall food court was given as an example. Sidewalks and entrances were not.

        Unfortunately, almost no states provide this expansive free speech trumps private property provision, and certainly not Texas. The controlling Texas case appears to be Republican Party of Texas v. Dietz. 940 S.W.2d 86 (1997) Freedom of speech does not trump a private property owner’s right to control what is said on his/her property. Here:
        link to leagle.com

        In fact, my guess is that b/c a sporting event is not an intended forum for public discourse, there’s likely no state in the country in which Buthayna would stand a snowball’s chance on a free speech argument, likely not even a public stadium.

        Here’s a readable summary of this complex constitutional issue.
        link to freedomforum.org

        BTW — Israel won 4-2.

      • Shingo
        June 7, 2014, 12:29 am

        Unfortunately, Hostage has this one scrambled. The USSCt has clearly stated that there is no inherent right of free speech on private property in the US Constitution.

        Unfortunately, you’re the one who has this one scrambled. As PJDude has pointed out, the stadium in question is owned by Harris County, so it is a public space.

      • talknic
        June 7, 2014, 2:39 am

        @ Denis The USSCt has clearly stated that there is no inherent right of free speech on private property in the US Constitution”

        Oh…
        OK….
        So what?

        BBVA Compass Stadium
        Location 2200 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77003, (USA)
        Coordinates 29°45.132′ N 95°21.144′
        Owner Harris County–Houston Sports Authority

        Seems like Zionist tools purposefully come here to be shown wrong on almost every pathetic point they attempt to make… weird. One’d think they’d at least attempt to verify things But no, they unload their stupidity in full view. Really really weird!!

      • Hostage
        June 7, 2014, 3:38 am

        Unfortunately, almost no states provide this expansive free speech trumps private property provision, and certainly not Texas.

        Maybe you should read my comment again. I didn’t mention the 1st Amendment. I was discussing the violation of federal statutes regarding the woman’s right of “Equal access” while engaged in “a federally protected activity” and discrimination that was supported by State action. The law says that “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, including sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment.

        The police officers removed the lady from her seat and prevented her from watching half the game, like everyone else, i.e. prevented her from the full enjoyment of the goods and services of the stadium. They intimidated her for displaying a Palestinian flag, even though she had checked in advance to make sure it met the stadium’s guidelines.

        The Commerce Clause has nothing to do with it.

        FYI, the commerce clause is the jurisdictional hook the Congress employed in the first place to adopt federal civil rights statutes regarding private businesses that offer services or accommodations to the public. The Supreme Court has always upheld the exercise of Congressional power in that connection. In this case the business is definitely a sports stadium engaged in interstate commerce that falls within the explicit scope of the statutes that I cited.

      • Denis
        June 7, 2014, 11:55 am

        It was Hostage who characterized this situation as on involving private property:

        Yes, the civil rights act applies to private property that affects interstate commerce and prohibits discrimination or denial of equal access,

        So you need to beat up on him over that point. But I think he’s pretty much right on the private property point. It’s not as simple an issue as, for instance, your living room.

        And he observed: It doesn’t really matter who owns it.

        And he’s probably right there, too. B/c she doesn’t have a free speech case in either instance. If she was on a public sidewalk, or a public park, or some other place where public discourse is expected, it would be different.

        The Houston stadium is run by a private concern. It was built by a private concern with a small percentage of public money, as these things are almost always done. That does not make it a public facility for free speech issues. The Houston Sports Authority provided public input in putting the package together and contributing to the construction costs, etc. If a government housing authority contributes to building your apartment with public money, that apartment is still private property when you move in.

        As I said, it really doesn’t matter if it is a publicly owned facility as far as the free speech analysis goes. Hostage is wrong in his free speech analysis. Being a public facility is not what determines whether one’s speech can be censored. A courtroom is a public place, too, that doesn’t mean anyone can stand up and wave a Palestinian flag or Israeli flag or sit in the public stands w/ a KKK hood on.

        I admire Buthayna and her courage, and I agree with her message; I’m just trying to make the legal point that so-called “freedom of speech” does not mean the carte blanche right to say anything you want, at any time, in any manner, in any place. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t say what they feel needs to be said, as Buthayna did, it just means they may not find any protection in the US Constitution when they get shut down.

        Freedom of speech is a limited right, and I don’t see that her rights were violated in this case. Hostage is trying to make this into a legal case it isn’t. There is no 1983 case here at all, so far as I can see. There is no discrimination in shutting down her political speech in a non-public forum. I think they handled it pretty well. In Israel, she’d be in administrative detention.

        I realize this is another pearls to swine situation, but I think the points raised are interesting and worthy of the back and forth in spite of talknic’s typical ad hominem attacks when anyone says something he/she doesn’t understand or agree with.

      • Hostage
        June 7, 2014, 2:39 pm

        Unfortunately, you’re the one who has this one scrambled. As PJDude has pointed out, the stadium in question is owned by Harris County, so it is a public space.

        The laws on equal access and non-discrimination would still apply to a privately owned sports stadium “affecting interstate commerce”, i.e. doing business with the general public. So unless, the stadium is operated as a members-only private social club, the civil rights laws still apply. The 1st Amendment right of association would also protect members of ethnic groups and prohibit the owners from engaging in state-supported discrimination.

      • Hostage
        June 7, 2014, 10:19 pm

        And he’s probably right there, too. B/c she doesn’t have a free speech case in either instance.

        The issue isn’t free speech. It’s equal access, non-discrimination, freedom of association, and full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, including sports arena, stadiums or other places of exhibition or entertainment. The civil rights involved include freedom from intimidation or state supported discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, or national origin while a person is engaged in a federally protected activity.

      • Hostage
        June 7, 2014, 3:00 am

        Unfortunately, Hostage has this one scrambled. The USSCt has clearly stated that there is no inherent right of free speech on private property in the US Constitution.

        The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority is a statutory entity. link to houstonsports.org

      • talknic
        June 6, 2014, 8:05 pm

        Poor Zach S. What a job, being proven wrong with factual information time after time.

      • pjdude
        June 6, 2014, 9:13 pm

        actually most modern sports stadiums in the us are at least partially funded through municipal bonds; ie the state pays for them. the teams don’t actually like paying for the stadiums. also the us has in one division of one conference of one major league has a stadium that is a war memorial and one that is literally owned by the city. also the stadium in question is owned by Harris County–Houston Sports Authority in other words is owned by the city. you lose.

      • thetruthhurts
        June 6, 2014, 9:47 pm

        aside from the sheer idiocy in maintaining a sports stadium is private, since when is a sports stadium an institution.
        hey zack, i know of an institution that you need to check out.

      • Cliff
        June 7, 2014, 5:07 am

        @Zach S

        So lets see no Jews allowed at soccer stadiums if these private institutions can do whatever they want.

        See how that flies. I’m sure you and the anti-democracy, pro-hate community will stand up for these beleaguered private institutions.

      • amigo
        June 7, 2014, 6:37 am

        “LOL dream on. Soccer stadiums are not public spaces, they are private institutions which can enforce the behavior of their attendees however they wish.”zacks

        So , next time an Israeli fan is arrested by 8 cops and taken to a back room and forced to put away his/her flag , we won,t hear a peep out of you??.

        No screams of anti semitism or Jew hatred or pogroms blah blah blah.

        And if fat abe chimes in you will tell him to dream on ???.

        Right zacko.

        You are full of it .

  12. Cliff
    June 6, 2014, 3:03 pm

    Some ZioNazi reported her. That’s the only explanation.

  13. Woody Tanaka
    June 6, 2014, 3:12 pm

    Disgusting that the hatred of free speech that is common in Israel has metastasized to American shores. Zionism poisons everthing.

  14. bilal a
    June 6, 2014, 7:11 pm

    They were worried about the Israelis health and safety under the threat of a pogrom.

    They are knownin mass to cry out from the pain in their feet, as they kick the ribs of a immobile antisemite.(paraphrase of a russian proverb)

  15. LuLu
    June 6, 2014, 7:54 pm

    She should contact ACLU…. My God… wanting to silence Palestine everywhere… 65 years +, they are not going to stop resisting..

  16. traintosiberia
    June 6, 2014, 9:03 pm

    ZachS
    Your argument is revealing of a deeper truth. Israel has been using this kind of ethnocentric logic ,biases,arbitrariness,selectivity,and discrimination against its neighbors and against Palestine for last 100 yrs.

  17. ritzl
    June 6, 2014, 9:36 pm

    Ms. Hammad handled this with such grace. I can’t imagine how I would react in her place. Prolly not at all well, to put it mildly.

    But then this is what Palestinians face, apparently even here in the US. If she reacted more aggressively, as would have been her right, it would reflect on, nay, would have been used to characterize Palestinians writ large. She chose to go along, lose half her ticket price, and resolve this peaceably which shows: A) the seemingly unresolvable quandry she and Palestinians face, even in the US as a US citizen; and, B) her courage and resilience in the face of that quandry.

    With that kind of discipline, courage, and resolve Palestinians will eventually get justice. I don’t know what else to say.

    Thanks Buthayna Hammad, Harbeer Sandhu, and Annie.

  18. Mayhem
    June 7, 2014, 1:05 am

    Robbins is not gracious enough to tell us the result of the game. Israel won 2-0.

    my colors vibrant and loud against a sea of blue and white

    This is the distorted impression that Buthayna Hammad provides. If you
    read this report from the match
    link to chron.com
    you find out that it was “a pro-Honduras crowd” and “A few Israeli flags were also sprinkled here and there among the festive crowd.”
    Yes Robbins – a few Israeli flags, not a sea of that blue and white color combination you love to hate. As usual we see Palestinian supporters
    twisting reality to give a politically advantageous false
    impression.
    I took a peek at the BBVA Compass Stadium guidelines that only permit

    Banners, signs and/or flags no larger than 4 feet tall by 8 feet wide as long as they do not obstruct any stadium or event signage, do not contain commercial messages or offensive material, do not obstruct view for other guests and are relevant to the
    event.
    Any banners or signs that do not fit these guidelines may submit a request for entry in writing to Guest services …

    I have italicised where Buthayna Hammad would have clearly infringed. Her flag was not relevant to the event other than to offend some
    members of the crowd.

    • Mayhem
      June 7, 2014, 1:59 am

      My apology – I got the score wrong. Israel won 4-2.
      Also the team colors of both sides are apparently the same, so I can understand why Hammad, coming from a culture with a victim mentality, would react to ‘a sea of blue and white’.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 7, 2014, 11:31 am

        so I can understand why Hammad….would react to ‘a sea of blue and white’.

        she was wearing blue and white also, as anyone can see by the photo above. and her words: I wore a Honduras jersey and was eager to cheer on this team, dressed to represent Honduras.

        so tell us more about how hammad ‘reacted’ to a sea of blue and white?

      • amigo
        June 7, 2014, 12:44 pm

        “Also the team colors of both sides are apparently the same, so I can understand why Hammad, coming from a culture with a victim mentality, ” mayhem.

        Boy, that,s rich coming from a member of the nation of whingers who firmly believe everyone is out to get them.

        Thanks for the laugh, fool.

      • pjdude
        June 7, 2014, 1:14 pm

        really you really want to claim someone else comming from a culture of victimhood? you really want to start that debate? I didn’t take anything from it other than the color difference. unlike you i don’t suscribe evil motives with out proof.

      • Talkback
        June 7, 2014, 1:51 pm

        … coming from a culture with a victim mentality …

        This is rich coming from a Zionist.

    • Hostage
      June 7, 2014, 6:28 pm

      I have italicised where Buthayna Hammad would have clearly infringed. Her flag was not relevant to the event

      It isn’t clear at all, since you can’t employ a custom, rule or any law, statute, ordinance, or regulation to willfully deprive anyone of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or the civil rights laws of the United States. Once again, attendance at a “sports stadium” is a federally protected activity. It is explicitly covered and governed by the federal statutes in the links I provided. stadium owners are prohibited from denying equal access or discriminating against patrons in the enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations on the basis race, color, religion, or national origin. For obvious reasons, there have never been any exceptions for angry white patrons who feel incited, unless they can have all of the colored people banned from the lunch counter so they can have it all to themselves. Likewise individual Israelis, who become enraged at the mere sight or mention of a Palestinian, can’t appeal to a custom or rule about “relevancy” to discriminate on one of the prohibited grounds, i.e. nationality.

      This was a football match. All of the countries in question are members of the same international football association. The press reports note that other patrons were allowed to waive their national flags, to stand and chant, and etc. That means the owners are prohibited from intimidating patrons or discriminating against those who wish to do the same on the basis of their national origin. Full stop.

  19. teecee
    June 7, 2014, 2:46 am

    I have to know could her flag be a racial slur? Are green, red and black threatening somehow? The world is getting crazier by the second…

  20. bryan
    June 7, 2014, 4:23 am

    Once upon a time a small and embattled state had to fight on the soil of Palestine for its very existence. That task was achieved, but such was the virulence of the hatred for the state that organisations continued to attempt to undermine the legitimacy of that entity by democratic means, forcing the state security services to respond that such efforts would be crushed even when they employed purely peaceful and legal means. Since then of course the conflict has been internationalised with an army of flag wavers determined to undermine the legitimacy of the state. As the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared alongside “the nuclear threat posed by Iran and the missile threat posed by Hamas and Hezbollah, a no less worrying threat posed to Israel is that of delegitimization, which attempts to negate the legitimacy of the Israeli state, its policies and its right to self-defence”.

    Surely no right-thinking person can resist the legitimate efforts of Israel to ensure its necessary survival by a strenuous war against all forms of WMD, including ball-point pens and flags?

  21. piotr
    June 7, 2014, 5:34 am

    From European perspective, the very fact that police could enforce anything means that there was no incident worth enforcement. Imagine hypothetically that thousands of fans would display a single Hamas banner (more precisely, select one of their team colors, green, and write on the banner “Fight, our team”). After much thought, UEFA banned such displays. link to youtube.com

    This does not allow to deduce that that extends to an individual scarf, and one not declared anywhere as “provocative”. I just could not resist giving a link to a “real thing”.

  22. piotr
    June 7, 2014, 6:02 am

    Public accomodations:

    “Government-owned/operated facilities and services. Government-owned facilities include courthouses, jails, hospitals, parks, and other places owned and operated by federal, state and local government. […] Privately-owned/operated businesses and buildings. Privately-owned businesses and facilities that offer certain goods or services to the public — including food, lodging, gasoline, and entertainment — are considered public accommodations for purposes of federal and state anti-discrimination laws.” “Federal law prohibits public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin.” – See more at: link to civilrights.findlaw.com

    Ejecting from the facility that allows to display some national flags for displaying another national flag, in the same or comparable form, fits the definition of the prohibited behavior.

    • amigo
      June 7, 2014, 6:52 am

      piotr, you have to understand the sick zionist mentality!!!

      I believe I saved this from MW ???. It is somewhat appropriate.


      Football Rules in Palestine!

      Rule 1: Israelis have the right to play on both sides of the court, but Palestinians can only play on their own side.

      Rule 2: For security reasons Palestinians do not have the right to pass the ball between players, the ball could hit an Israeli player.

      Rule 3: There will be no basket on the Israeli side.

      Rule 4: Israel is allowed to shoot at any time even during
      time-outs.

      Rule 5: Palestinians are not allowed to have supporters. Only Israelis should be supported.

      Rule 6: Israel selects the sports press writers and what they report.

      Rule 7: Israel encourages Palestinians to shoot into the Palestinian basket. Players who refuse will be nominated as terrorists and will not be allowed to play.

      Rule 8: Palestinian players are allowed to leave the field, but cannot return. One exception: A Palestinian can be replaced by an Israeli!

      Rule 9: Israel selects and instructs the referees, and tells them when to look away.

      Rule 10: Israel selects the captain of the Palestinian team.

      Rule 11: Israeli faults and Palestinian good plays will not be shown on TV.

      Rule 12: Israel takes the money which sponsors pay to Palestinians clubs.

      Rule 13: Only Israeli players get refreshments.

      Rule 14: Palestinians are required to play, when and where designated by Israel.

      Rule 15: Rules only apply to Palestinians; Israelis may change the rules during the game and are not required to advise the Palestinians of the changes

      I am adding rule 16.

      Palestinian fans are not allowed to wave or carry flags or wear hats or any object that might offend or cause upset to Israeli fans .

      • amigo
        June 7, 2014, 9:17 am

        Correction to rules above.

        Remove rule 5.

  23. MasterAdrian
    June 7, 2014, 8:28 am

    “a national flag can never be a racial slur”
    That means the spokesperson acknowledges that there actually is a country that flies the Palestinian flag…. what country would that be then spokesperson of the stadium??

    Saudi Arabia? Jordan? Egypt? the Netherlands? Honduras?
    No, madam spokesperson for the stadium… the Palestinian state!

    So, by statement of the stadium, the accusation by the security person who forced Hammad to surrender her possession (being the national flag of the Palestinian state!) were and are false, and every action is to be considered false and illegal, and even an diplomatic insult to the Palestinian state…… something Washington D.C. and the State Department should take care of!

    As far as the Houston stadium is concerned, the security individuals must be fired, at least publicly reprimanded!

    And be given a lesson in awareness of national identifications!

  24. DICKERSON3870
    June 7, 2014, 11:49 am

    RE: “[T]here waiting for me were three more BBVA security personnel and four police officers. When I asked them what was wrong, the manager of security, Nathan Buchanan, told me I am not allowed to carry this flag because it implies a ‘racial slur’ and it is in BBVA Compass Stadium violation.” ~ Buthayna Hammad

    MY COMMENT: I wonder if perhaps this is “trickle down” from the propaganda Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland picked up on his junket to Israel back in 2011 (paid for by JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a very right-wing, “pro-Israel” advocacy and research institution).*

    * SEE: “Sheriff Ortiz goes to Israel”, by Eva Ruth Moravec, mysanantonio.com, 07/07/11

    [EXCERPTS] . . . For one week last month, Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz swapped his cowboy hat for a yarmulke as he visited Israel on an organized trip with other law enforcement leaders.
    “I’ve always had an interest in Israel,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “It was a great conference.”
    Ortiz joined 16 other sheriffs, police chiefs and organization heads, including Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, on a week-long trip, courtesy of the Jewish Institute for National Security’s Law Enforcement Exchange Program.
    The group toured a hospital’s trauma unit, Israeli Arab villages, sites of terrorist attacks, border crossings, police offices and the country’s security fence. Based on the itinerary, most of the sites and speeches focused on terrorism and security.
    Ortiz said he was impressed by Israel Defense Force soldiers, who he said are trained as soldiers and as police officers.
    “If we ever deploy troops along the Texas border, they should have training in being a soldier and in law enforcement,” he said…
    …The junket was Ortiz’s second organized trip to Israel: last year, Bexar County footed the bill to send him to an international conference on homeland security, he said…

    SOURCE – link to blog.mysanantonio.com

  25. LeaNder
    June 7, 2014, 12:12 pm

    Interesting, Annie. Soccer themes are quite helpful. If I pass on these stories, my partner actually listens. And since he had just discovered that the US will be in our group in Brazil, the chances were good. ;)

    ***************

    In this irony? Or do I have reflect deeply if this usage couldn’t happen to me under any circumstances? Admittedly I am not completely sure.

    That’s when, she says, security manager Nathan Buchanan told her the flag “infers a racial slur.” (We don’t know what’s more offensive — the premise that the flag is somehow racist, or that he allegedly said “infers” when he should have said “implies.”)

    Merriam Webster – infer

    Usage Discussion of INFER
    Sir Thomas More is the first writer known to have used both infer and imply in their approved senses (1528). He is also the first to have used infer in a sense close in meaning to imply (1533). Both of these uses of infer coexisted without comment until some time around the end of World War I. Since then, senses 3 and 4 of infer have been frequently condemned as an undesirable blurring of a useful distinction. The actual blurring has been done by the commentators. Sense 3, descended from More’s use of 1533, does not occur with a personal subject. When objections arose, they were to a use with a personal subject (now sense 4). Since dictionaries did not recognize this use specifically, the objectors assumed that sense 3 was the one they found illogical, even though it had been in respectable use for four centuries. The actual usage condemned was a spoken one never used in logical discourse. At present sense 4 is found in print chiefly in letters to the editor and other informal prose, not in serious intellectual writing. The controversy over sense 4 has apparently reduced the frequency of use of sense 3.

    • RoHa
      June 7, 2014, 9:42 pm

      How interesting! When I and my pedantic ilk grumble about linguistic abominations like “prolly” or the superfluous “on” in “beat up on”, we are frequently offered the “languages change, ignore the old rules” line as a defence for the solecisms.

      (Apparently, writing “probably” in full is as Herculean a task as pressing the shift key for “I”.)

      In this case, however, it looks as though the defence being offered is that the restriction on the use of “infer” is a modern change, barely a century old, and therefore may be ignored.

      • Walid
        June 8, 2014, 2:24 am

        I also grumble when I see “prolly” At first I thought it was a typo but after seeing it half a dozen times over a period of a few weeks, I realized it wasn’t. I fall apart when I see “gonna”, especially when used by people that are obviously otherwise very literate.

      • ritzl
        June 8, 2014, 4:02 am

        Heh. Guilty as charged (on the usage part, not so much on the literate part).

        We does our best but we aims to improve… :)

      • talknic
        June 8, 2014, 6:07 am

        @ Walid This is prolly gonna noya :-)

  26. German Lefty
    June 7, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Stadium security informed her that her Palestinian flag implied a “racial slur” and therefore was in violation of BBVA Compass Stadium rules.

    Wow! That’s incredible! Actually, it is Israel’s flag that implies a “racial slur”.

    I just did a bit of googling. There was an incident at a Scottish football stadium.
    link to thejc.com
    link to zeit.de
    Apparently, waving a Palestine flag during a football match with an Israeli team is considered a “political activity”. And political activities are punished by the UEFA.

  27. Walid
    June 7, 2014, 1:13 pm

    From RT, the first 2 minutes about Bouthaina and her incident:

    • pabelmont
      June 7, 2014, 5:46 pm

      OK, my next comment is wrong, wrong, wrong. It was an enticement to violence — violence from Israeli fans who (more or less alone in Houston) would recognize the flag and be motivated to soccer hooliganism by seeing it.

      The police acted against the flar waver to prevent Israeli violence (agianst her I suppose).

      OK, got it.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 7, 2014, 6:57 pm

      thanks walid. this is great, i hope the news travels around the world.

    • German Lefty
      June 8, 2014, 6:12 am

      Thanks for posting this, Walid! It’s great that a TV channel picked up the story.
      Abby Martin is so hot and smart. Also, she’s bisexual, like me. How she said that the most surprising thing about the incident is that someone in Houston actually recognised the Palestinian flag… This was one of my first thoughts, too.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 8, 2014, 6:37 am

        . How she said that the most surprising thing about the incident is that someone in Houston actually recognised the Palestinian flag… This was one of my first thoughts, too.

        the players, manager and coach of the israeli team probably recognized it. not that one of them would complain or anything…

        actually texas is not as much of a backwater as some people would like to think. there are quite a few people there who are on top of it.

      • just
        June 8, 2014, 8:12 am

        “the players, manager and coach of the israeli team probably recognized it. not that one of them would complain or anything…”

        Perhaps. I can imagine it:

        I: Referee, come over here. I see a Palestinian flag– get it out of here!

        R: What? What flag? Keep playing!

        I: Get me the police and security! We won’t continue until that flag is gone, it is distracting us and hurting our feelings! The person waving it is an anti- semite!!! The person waving it is probably a, a, a ‘terrorist’!!! Help, Police! If we were in democratic Israel, that person would be taken to prison! Do something now!

        (from wiki: ” The Stadium has a capacity of 22,039 seats, including 34 private suites, 1,100 club seats, Premium Club, dedicated supporters stand, and food court.[1] The stadium is designed to accommodate MLS and FIFA standard international soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, and concerts.”)

        One Palestinian flag in a huge stadium gets this kind of insane attention???

        “actually texas is not as much of a backwater as some people would like to think. there are quite a few people there who are on top of it.”

        I have wonderful friends in TX who are dismayed by the number of “backwater” folks that are their neighbors. But you are correct in that sweeping generalizations are not at all helpful.

      • German Lefty
        June 8, 2014, 11:26 am

        the players, manager and coach of the israeli team probably recognized it. not that one of them would complain or anything
        Of course, I know that. What I wanted to express with my comment is that it was most likely one of the Israelis who complained about the flag, not one of the locals.

        actually texas is not as much of a backwater as some people would like to think.
        I didn’t mean to imply that the people in Texas are backward. Not recognising the flag of a small country on a different continent doesn’t make you backward.
        Also, I don’t think that Abby’s comment refers to the supposed backwardness of Texans. She probably meant to express that US citizens don’t recognise the Palestinian flag because the MSM hardly ever cover the crimes against Palestinians.

  28. pabelmont
    June 7, 2014, 5:42 pm

    One can never be sure of anything, but the action by private and public police to remove either a Palestinian flag or the waver thereof sounds like a “situation”, not a “de-escalation” of a situation. Is Israel (suddenly) a “race”? Come to that, are the Jewish People (if any such exists) a “race”? Is a Palestinian flag a racial slur against Israel, which is earnestly trying to appear to be making peace with Palestine? Against the Jewish People? Against the dimwit who noticed the flag (I bet few others did or knew what it was — I bet it was a lousy way to “communicate” a “slur” or anything else, even if it had been wqaved in the city of Palestine, Texas.

    But I digress. would someone kindly de-escalate the I/P “situation”?

  29. Jazairi
    June 8, 2014, 8:51 am

    Zionists and their auxiliaries are like all colonialists, a single flag scares them!
    On 8 May 1945, the Algerians had expressed their right to independence and the mere sight of the Algerian flag, colonial police shot the boy scout bearer!
    This was followed by a large-scale massacre, more than 45,000 victims; the French have even released their German and Italian prisoners to help them in their dirty work.

    Buthayna Hammad, I assure you your flag will fly freely around the world as the Algerian flag but do not hold it against the Americans, they are unable to oppose the Zionists, in fact they can not even do justice to their USS Liberty’s soldiers sacrificed for the Zionist expansionist project !

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