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Chilean soccer team will lose Palestinian-map jersey, as NYT links incident to — anti-Semitism

Israel/Palestine
on 32 Comments
(Image: JTA)

(Image: JTA)

This is a follow-up on the Chilean Club Deportivo Palestino (The Palestine Sports Club) soccer team, whose new uniforms used a silhouette map of historic Palestine to replace the numeral one on their jerseys.  The new shirt design became a subject of much controversy and made for a compelling and popular report by Adam Horowitz, two weeks ago.   

Palestino shirts with map replacing the number 1.

The Palestino soccer team is now barred from using the map of Palestine on its jerseys. Photo credit: Claudio Reyes AFP

The National Association of Professional Football of Chile ruled on Monday that the jerseys worn by Palestino players violated league policy.  They directed that the map image be removed and fined the club $1,300.

Complaints about the new uniforms were lodged by an official from the Israeli Latin American Trade Ministry and from a Jewish owner of a rival team.

The New York Times reported the decision of the Chilean soccer association by quoting from its official report on the incident:

‘The association is removed from religious and political activities, in general, and anything else which does not have a direct relation to its objectives and to sport,’ the tribunal said in its six-page decision. ‘Consequently, the association prohibits any form of political, religious, sexual, ethnic or racial discrimination.’

The owner of Palestino, Fernando Aguad said that “we accept the resolution and we will change our uniform.”   He added that his club would not appeal the decision.

The Emirati daily, The National, notes that despite agreeing to remove the image of Palestine, the Palestino Facebook page says,

For us, free Palestine will always be historical Palestine, nothing less.

Chile is home of the largest Palestinian community outside of the Middle East.  Some estimates are as high as 500,000 Chileans of Palestinian descent.

The New York Times piece on the league decision incorrectly conflated the jersey controversy with two recent soccer incidents that are believed to reflect antisemitic behavior.

The controversy in South America comes on the heels of recent incidents in England as the sport grapples with incidents of racism and anti-Semitism. On Tuesday, the French player Nicolas Anelka, who plays in England with West Bromwich Albion, was charged by the country’s Football Association for making the quenelle gesture. Some people interpret it as anti-Semitic. Also Tuesday, three fans in London were charged with using the word ‘Yid’ at a game involving Tottenham Hotspur, a club with a large Jewish fan base.

Apparently, to the NY Times writer, Jack Bell, any expression of Palestinian nationalism is by definition antisemitic.

Ira Glunts
About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

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32 Responses

  1. just
    just
    January 25, 2014, 9:49 am

    Dammit.

    I must say, though– the team has won. They behaved with grace, and their gorgeous uniforms and the stooooooopid, hysterical response to them made headlines.

    Well done, Palestino!

    “Complaints about the new uniforms were lodged by an official from the Israeli Latin American Trade Ministry and from a Jewish owner of a rival team.”

    Shame on them– the usual suspects. Seeing everything in the context of anti-semitism (where none exists), never in the context of human rights for other humans.

    Thanks Ira.

    • American
      American
      January 25, 2014, 10:49 am

      ”Seeing everything in the context of anti-semitism (where none exists), never in the context of human rights for other humans.””….just

      Exactly. Brain firewall—guarantines ‘rights for other humans’ as anti semite virus —–does not let it enter their mental process.

  2. hophmi
    hophmi
    January 25, 2014, 10:08 am

    But if a Jewish team were to use this image, you’d call it anti-Palestinian, right?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      January 25, 2014, 10:18 am

      A ‘Jewish team’? I follow football fairly closely and am not aware of any ‘Jewish teams’, or indeed, any teams based on ethno-religious affiliations. Maybe if you could provide examples of any such teams, it might help us make sense of what appears to be inane whataboutery?

      • just
        just
        January 25, 2014, 10:29 am

        Excellent question and point, Maximus.

        hophmi’s comments are becoming increasingly pathetic/desperate/devoid of any sense.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        January 25, 2014, 10:34 am

        I’m sure, if someone were to bring up the subject of racism among Israeli football fans, hophmi would rush to tell us that Israeli teams also include Palestinian players.

        And now he speaks of ‘Jewish teams’? Do players have to present a letter from their rabbi before they get accepted? Or what?

      • jon s
        jon s
        January 25, 2014, 12:44 pm

        The objection could be based on the map , which erases Israel.
        As to Jewish teams, an historical note:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakoah_Vienna
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakoah_Berlin

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        January 26, 2014, 10:35 am

        The objection could be based on the map , which erases Israel.

        It’s a silhouette of the region of Palestine that doesn’t erase anything. FYI, Israel was established through an act of unilateral secession from the Mandated State of Palestine. Its territorial jurisdiction and claims are the result of a UN Article 40 provisional measure adopted in Security Council resolutions 62 and 73. Those measures are without prejudice to the Palestinian counter claims:

        Article 40

        In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures.

        http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art40

        FYI, Chile was a member state of the League of Nations that created the Mandated State of Palestine and its frontiers.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        January 26, 2014, 9:53 am

        hophmi’s comments are becoming increasingly pathetic/desperate/devoid of any sense.

        Becoming? He’s never done anything but artlessly troll the threads here.

    • American
      American
      January 25, 2014, 10:21 am

      Jewish Israeldom cant be any more anti Palestine than it already is—-when they start showing Palestine on their maps and they and their helpers quit hasbaraing the world with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel—then you can complain.

      Google snapshot of Israel

      Israel

      Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, on the south-eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Wikipedia

      Capital: Jerusalem
      Dialing code: 972
      Continent: Asia
      Government: Parliamentary system
      Population: 7.908 million (2012) World Bank
      Official languages: Hebrew Language, Arabic Language

    • Mndwss
      Mndwss
      January 25, 2014, 10:25 am

      But if ?

      The Jewish team called Israel use this image all the time.

    • talknic
      talknic
      January 25, 2014, 11:00 am

      @ hophmi “But if a Jewish team were to use this image, you’d call it anti-Palestinian, right?”

      Not if the Jewish soccer team was formed 3,000 years ago!

      If it was a Jewish Israeli team, like the Israeli tourist commission, it would indeed be anti-Palestinian and a lie https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Israel%20Ministry%20of%20Tourism%20map%20wipes%20palestine%20off%20the%20map

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      January 25, 2014, 11:17 am

      hophmi: If a Jewish team * * * ?

      Well, the issue often denoted as I/P is not about the relations between Palestinians and Jews, however much you’d like to attribute Israel’s doings to Jews (or All Jews or The Jewish People). Nosiree, it is about the relations between Palestinians and Israel.

      Now, if an Israeli futbol team were to use a symbol on its jerseys — such as a six-pointed star, to select one symbol at random — would I think that was anti-Palestinian? Well, no, not so much as anti-Jewish (that is, grabbing up as if by ownership a Jewish symbol for the narrow use of Israel or of the narrower use of the futbol team).

      what would YOU think if a Palestinian futbol team were to appropriate the six-pointed star for its futbol jerseys? Misappropriation? Antisemitism?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        January 25, 2014, 1:45 pm

        Jon s – you have to go back to the Europe of nearly a century ago to find ‘Jewish teams’? Nice try, but you really, really must do better. Where are the ‘Jewish teams’ hophmi is referring to, do you think?

        Oh, and since you’re fretting over a map which ‘erases Israel’, you surely must be deeply disturbed by similar maps routinely used in Israel, which of course erase Palestine?

      • jon s
        jon s
        January 25, 2014, 3:52 pm

        Maximus, like I said, I was pointing out an historical footnote, the story of the Hakoach teams in Germany and Austria. Obviously no such teams are around any more.
        If you’ve ever read my comments on this forum, you should know that I support the principle of two states. So, yes , I’m disturbed by any map that erases one side or the other.

      • jon s
        jon s
        January 25, 2014, 4:24 pm

        Incidentally, Maximus , as to football teams with ethnic and religious identities, think of Celtic and Rangers in Glasgow, of the clubs in former Yugoslavia, of Barcelona FC as a focus of Catalan nationalism.
        I recommend:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Soccer_Explains_the_World

      • talknic
        talknic
        January 25, 2014, 9:20 pm

        jon s ” I’m disturbed by any map that erases one side or the other”

        Ditto …. The Israeli Tourist Commission erases Palestine TODAY. You’ll write them to complain I guess? Yes?

        Meanwhile, there was no Israel to erase from the map of Palestine in 1920 when the club was formed.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 25, 2014, 3:02 pm

      No Master Hophmi. We are only allowed to call it Zionism, but we are not allowed to call Zionism racism, because that would be antisemitic, too.

      • jon s
        jon s
        January 26, 2014, 5:15 am

        Talknic,
        I try to do my small part, in various ways, to promote the ideas I believe in.
        There’s been plenty of time, since 1948, to update the map, if they had wanted to.

      • talknic
        talknic
        January 26, 2014, 10:40 am

        jon s “There’s been plenty of time, since 1948, to update the map, if they had wanted to”

        Why? They weren’t from the region in 1948. It would be historically incorrect.

      • jon s
        jon s
        January 27, 2014, 1:55 am

        talknic,
        Huh? Who wasn’t from the region in 1948?

      • talknic
        talknic
        January 27, 2014, 5:26 pm

        @ jon s “Huh? Who wasn’t from the region in 1948?”

        OMGoodness. You haven’t been paying much attention… The members of Club Deportivo Palestino, when it was founded, in 1920.

    • annie
      annie
      January 25, 2014, 5:47 pm

      But if a Jewish team were to use this image, you’d call it anti-Palestinian, right?

      hops, is ‘anti palestinian’ a political or racist statement?

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      January 26, 2014, 9:59 pm

      No, I’d call it d e l u s i o n a l.

      And fyi, Zionists have already drawn a delusional map.

  3. Blownaway
    Blownaway
    January 25, 2014, 10:18 am

    So a map of Palestineis offensive to Jews and anti Semitic? That bodes well for peace

  4. American
    American
    January 25, 2014, 10:40 am

    The t-shirts may be gone but the ‘resentment’ of the eternal squeaking wheel of heavy handed Jewish-I censors will remain.
    The more these groups impose Jewish ‘feelings’ on the world as the most important and only “offended” that count the more resentment they will get.
    But pointing this out to them is like talking to a brick wall…..their brains are firewalled.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2014, 12:59 pm

    RE: “The New York Times piece on the league decision incorrectly conflated the jersey controversy with two recent soccer incidents that are believed to reflect antisemitic behavior… On Tuesday, the French player Nicolas Anelka, who plays in England with West Bromwich Albion, was charged by the country’s Football Association for making the quenelle gesture. Some people interpret it as anti-Semitic. Also Tuesday, three fans in London were charged with using the word ‘Yid’”… ~ Ira Glunts

    COMPARE AND CONTRAST: “Suspicion and Hate: Racist Attacks On Arabs Increase in Israel”, By Julia Amalia Heyer, Spiegel Online, 6/05/13

    [EXCERPT] . . . Football fan Asi, 23, says that he isn’t a racist, just a nationalist. “I have no problem with Arabs, as long as they raise the Israeli flag and sing along when our national anthem is played.” Lieberman used the same logic to justify a bill he introduced calling for new citizens to deliver an oath of allegiance.
    Asi, who lives in a small village [in Israel] near Caesarea, supports the Beitar Jerusalem football club. On a Thursday evening, he and other Beitar fans are standing at an intersection in Herzliya. Asi has a friendly face and a neatly trimmed beard. Like his fellow fans, he is here to demonstrate against the club’s owner.
    When it was revealed in January that the Club planned to sign two Muslim Chechen players, the stands in the stadium became filled with hateful signs, with words like “Beitar — Pure Forever.” The fans chanted: “We are chosen, we are holy, but the Arabs are not.”
    Beitar Jerusalem, says Asi, that’s the holy menorah on a yellow background. The team, he says, can only win as a Jewish team, which is why Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to play in the club.
    Beitar’s management has since cancelled the contracts with the Chechens and sent the two men back home. There were simply too many problems [most especially, Israeli racism – J.L.D.], the club wrote in a
    statement.

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/racist-attacks-against-arabs-increase-in-israel-a-903529.html

  6. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 25, 2014, 1:11 pm

    P.S. FROM WIKIPRDIA [La Familia (Beitar supporters’ group)]:

    La Familia are an Association football supporters’ group of Israeli Premier League club Beitar Jerusalem.[1] They are known for their opposition to Arab and Muslim players.

    • Organization
    The organization began in 2005 and occupy the eastern sections of Teddy Stadium. Estimates of the group’s numbers vary. A reporter put the number at a few hundred[2] while a leader of the group said that it encompassed a network of 3,000 supporters.[3] At a home match in 2008, a correspondent for the BBC said that the group was about 20% of the crowd. They are the most vocal in the stadium and some local fans follow their chants.[2][3]
    La Familia is proud of its Jewish identity. The group is notorious for chants that insult Arab and black players, and for displaying the flag of the banned Kach party.[2] Cheers with lines such as “death to the Arabs”[4] and “Muhammad is a homosexual”[5] are common. Unlike other top clubs in the country, no Arabs have ever played for Beitar. La Familia has continuously raised strong objections to any Arab transfers.[6] The group was adamantly against the signing of Nigerian Muslim (who lasted half a season in 2005) and the 2013 transfer of two Chechnyan Muslims.[7]
    The team has roots in the Betar Zionist youth movement and has been supported by several Israeli politicians on the political right throughout its history. La Familia has similarly been labeled far-right and is openly against those they view as being on the left.[4][8] The club has publicly condemned the group and has gone as far as barring it from a match.[7] Some Beitar fans have expressed embarrassment over the organization and openly oppose their ideals.[9][7]

    • Incidents
    During a December 2007 Toto Cup semifinal game between Beitar Jerusalem and the Israeli-Arab team Bnei Sakhnin, Beitar Jerusalem fans took up provocative chants that insulted Muhammed. The Israel Football Association (IFA) punished Beitar by forcing them to play their next game against Sakhnin with no fans present. Vandals set fire to the IFA’s offices and left graffiti threatening the life of the IFA chairman. The graffiti included the initials “LF” for La Familia, but the group denied involvement.[10][11]
    Beitar was disciplined in 2008 after fans disrupted a minute of silence to mark the death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Later that year La Familia led a pitch invasion in what would have been a title-clinching win against Bnei Herziliya. The IFA deducted two points from Beitar and ordered that the next game be played behind closed doors.[12] In December 2011, fans yelled “Give Toto a banana”[2] towards Nigerian-born Toto Tamuz. The IFA again punished Beitar with a two-point deduction and another game in an empty stadium.
    Supporters stormed the Malha Mall after a match in March 2012 while chanting racist slurs. It was reported that Arab workers were harassed and beaten.[6]
    The club’s 2013 signing of two Chechnyan Muslims, Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev, raised anger from the supporters. Members of La Familia set a team office blaze after the announcement.[7] Fans walked out of a match in March that saw Sadayev score his fist goal for Beitar.[13]
    [REFERENCES]
    [EXTERNAL LINKS]

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Familia_(Beitar_supporters%27_group)

    ● P.P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA [Betar]:

    (EXCERPT) The Betar Movement (בית”ר, also spelled Beitar) is a Revisionist Zionist youth movement founded in 1923 in Riga, Latvia, by Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky. Betar has been traditionally linked to the original Herut and then Likud political parties of Israel, and was closely affiliated with the pre-Israel Revisionist Zionist splinter group Irgun Zevai Leumi. It was one of many right-wing movements and youth groups arising at that time out of a worldwide emergence of fascism.[1] Some of the most prominent politicians of Israel were Betarim in their youth, most notably Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, the latter of whom idolized Jabotinsky.[2]. . .
    . . . The group initially praised Mussolini for his anti-communism and fascist principles, leading it to adopt the black uniform shirt of Italian fascism for a short period. Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, however, was seen as “cowardly” by Betar and led them to break with him shortly after.[12] . . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betar

    ● P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “The Hidden History of Zionism”, Chapter 6, by Ralph Schoenman

    [EXCERPT] . . . Mussolini set up squadrons of the Revisionist Zionist youth movement, Betar, in black shirts in emulation of his own Fascist bands.
    When Menachem Begin became chief of Betar, he preferred the brown shirts of the Hitler gangs, a uniform Begin and Betar members wore to all meetings and rallies – at which they greeted each other and opened and closed meetings with the fascist salute. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.marxists.de/middleast/schoenman/ch06.htm

    ● P.P.P.P.S. RE: “Mussolini set up squadrons of the Revisionist Zionist youth movement, Betar, in black shirts in emulation of his own Fascist bands.” ~ from the Wikipedia excerpt above
    • SEE WIKIPEDIA [Blackshirts] – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackshirts
    • AND SEE THIS VIDEO – Mussolini in Color : The Blackshirts [VIDEO, 02:24] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97nSCWU_hXQ

  7. ckg
    ckg
    January 25, 2014, 2:58 pm

    The controversy in South America comes on the heels of recent incidents in England as the sport grapples with incidents of racism and anti-Semitism.

    This controversial article in the NY Times comes on the heels of many recent newspaper and media displays of anti-Palestinian bias and fealty to the perspective of what many human rights activists call an apartheid state.

  8. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    January 25, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Israel lobby israel lobby..everywhere.

    No loss really, this brave chilean football club have already raised attention to palestinians with this move.

  9. Stone
    Stone
    January 25, 2014, 5:55 pm

    Stupid of them to mention the “Yid” incident. Spurs fans have continued to use that word in chants to this day. I guess the NYT thinks they are self-hating Jews then. Stupid of them to combine the two stories. Also the Anelka incident is highly argumentative. It’s a good thing they didn’t have yellow jerseys either. That may have been seen as anti-Semitic then…

  10. jayn0t
    jayn0t
    January 26, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Thanks for this. I’ve blogged quite a bit about faux “anti-racism” in football, the lack of humor in the authorities about the jokey “y-word” banter between Tottenham supporters and their opponents, and the more serious persecution of West Brom’s Nicholas Anelka for supporting his friend the black French comedian Dieudonné with the “quenelle” gesture. This story from Chile is also more serious, and shows that there is one kind of “anti-racism” which is not tolerated in football.

    Jay Knott

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