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Red Card for Racism: Activists demand FIFA kick out Israel

on 48 Comments
Kick Israel out of FIFA (graphic: Steph Westbrook)

Kick Israel out of FIFA (Poster: Stephanie Westbrook/

Last March we reported  Jibril al-Rajoub, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, demanded the expulsion of Israel from FIFA and the International Olympic Committee as a result of  “Israeli brutality” emphasizing “the occupation’s insistence on destroying Palestinian sport.”

Last summer FIFA president Sepp Blatter stated he would set up a taskforce to deal with the many problems Palestinians must deal with sporting under occupation. Those “problems” include everything from travel restrictions to the arrest, torture, maiming and killing of Palestinian athletes. At this time al-Rajoub threatened he would “call on delegates at the next FIFA Congress to expel Israel.”

That time has come. The FIFA congress is meeting again days before the World Cup begins on June 12th in Brazil next month. Supporters of Palestinian footballers are fed up and we are demanding Israel be kicked out of FIFA.


IRCR banner

An international campaign of sports activists, Red Card Israeli Racism (IRCR), believes” we can bring pressure on Israel to drop its racism and apartheid policies and laws.” Their objectives include:

  • Exclusion of the IFA from hosting any Euro 2020 tournaments
  • Replacement of Israel as host of the UEFA 2015 Women’s U19  tournament.
  • Boycott by UK teams and players of any tournaments planned in Israel and of any matches with Israeli teams
  • Direct support of Palestinian football teams


IRCR’s petition “Suspend the Israeli Football Association’s FIFA membership” available here (pdf) picked up thousands of supporters after details of the horrifying attack on two Palestinian soccer players, cousins Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, were reported by Dave Zirin, Sports Editor for The Nation, in March.

Middle East Monitor (MEMO) recent coverage of IRCR’s campaign, New campaign seeks to suspend Israel’s FIFA membership:

The campaigners cite a historic precedent in which FIFA officially suspended the membership of South Africa between 1964-1992 as part of the international pressure that aimed to end the apartheid regime.

Football players Eric Cantona, Frederic Kanoute joined other international stars of the game to declare their rejection of the decision by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to hold the men’s under-21 tournament in Israel. Arab-American activist Rahaif Awadallah called for the suspension of Israel’s membership in FIFA to pressure Israel to respect Palestinians’ human rights and allow Palestinian football players to play at home and abroad. Awadallah said it is now time that initiatives are taken to reinforce the sports boycott of Israel.

He accused the Israeli occupation of restricting football players’ mobility inside the West Bank and between the West Bank and Gaza, preventing players from participating in international tournaments and banning the entry of sports equipment that Palestinian teams and stadiums need. He also cited tens of cases in which Palestinian players were arrested, detained or killed.

He noted that there are well-documented cases in which Palestinian players in Israel were insulted by the audience in the stadium with chants including “death to Arabs” but the Israeli federation took no action to end such attacks.

UEFA is considering holding the women’s under-19 tournament in Israel in 2015. Israel was also selected as a venue for preliminary matches for Euro 2020. FIFA recently recognised some Israeli violations and created a task force aimed at facilitating the mobility of players and equipment in Palestine.

The Red Card campaign accuses the Israeli authorities of curbing the advancement of Palestinian football and sports through a number of procedures and restrictions that target the following aspects:

1. Sports’ infrastructure: Israeli procedures stand against the construction or development of stadiums. Israel sometimes demolishes existent Palestinian stadiums.

2. Restricting mobility: Palestinian players, visiting players, board members and journalists inside and outside the Palestinian territories often have their movements limited or travels banned.

3. Blocking sport shipments: Israel imposes complicated procedures that delay or prevent receiving shipments or donations sent by FIFA or the Asian Football Federation amongst other groups.

4. Political intervention: Overriding organised friendly matches between Palestine and teams of other states.

5. Human rights violations: Continuous violations of players’ rights through unexplained arrests and kidnaps.

Reportedly according to news agency Qodsna, another player of Palestine’s national soccer team, Sameh Moraebe, 22 years old, was arrested Wednesday by Israeli military forces en route to Qatar.

According to Abdola al-Fara, the coach of the Palestinian national football team, Israeli forces interrogated Moraebe after his arrest and he remains in custody. The source reports the arrest came one day after Israel refused to authorize 9 Gazans to leave the Strip to participate in training courses of the Asian Football Confederation held in the West Bank.

Hat tip Stephanie Westbrook

Annie Robbins

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

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48 Responses

  1. Ellen on May 2, 2014, 3:35 pm

    As long as the fans are not demanding a change and players keep playing, FIFA will do nothing.

    Only when Israel’s documented actions against Palestinian players threaten the economics of the sport (as in the recent incident within the NBA) will Israel be thrown out of FIFA — if only temporarily.

    Am not holding my breath.

    Thanks for the report.

  2. Zach S on May 2, 2014, 3:36 pm

    FIFA is scheduled to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It is estimated that 4,000 slave workers will die there building the structures necessary to house the event:

    Apparently RCIR doesn’t see slavery or the deaths of thousands as worthy of FIFA’s attention. The Occupation is a much more pressing issue.

    By the way, I didn’t know that grabbing Palestinian kids in headlocks is the national sport of Israel. Learn something new every day.

    • annie on May 2, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Apparently RCIR doesn’t see slavery or the deaths of thousands as worthy of FIFA’s attention.

      hmm, not so sure about that. this is the first i have heard of these allegations myself. either way 2022 is a long way off, there’s lots of time to work on this and even FIFA president Sepp Blatter admits giving the tournament to Qatar “may have been a mistake” according to your link.

      but apparently, the journalist Eric Goldschein doesn’t see the arrest, torture, killing and maiming of Palestinian athletes as worthy of his attention. wonder why? hmmm.

      • Zach S on May 2, 2014, 4:17 pm

        this is the first i have heard of these allegations myself.

        Annie, I’m surprised a human rights activist like yourself hasn’t heard about this. The world has known for months about Qatar’s slavery:

        2022 might be a long way off, but many slaves have already been worked to death, and thousands will follow before it’s over. And of course that’s leaving aside Qatar’s other human rights abuses that don’t involve the World Cup. A statement of regret by President Blatter isn’t going to stop those things.

        the journalist Eric Goldschein doesn’t see the arrest, torture, killing and maiming of Palestinian athletes as worthy of his attention. wonder why? hmmm.

        Well, let’s see. I have 2 theories. 1: He’s writing an article about why FIFA shouldn’t hold the World Cup in Qatar, and the mistreatment of Palestinian athletes doesn’t help him make that case.

        2. He’s a dirty Zionist paid to cover for Israel’s human rights abuses. Just like all the other journalists who don’t write for Mondoweiss.

      • annie on May 2, 2014, 4:39 pm

        i am quite aware of qatars reputation of human rights abuses, i was not aware of FIFA’s 2022 plans.

        He’s writing an article about why FIFA shouldn’t hold the World Cup in Qatar, and the mistreatment of Palestinian athletes doesn’t help him make that case.

        not that different than IRCR focusing on why FIFA should expel Israel and qatar’s situation doesn’t impact that. you’re just creating diversion. no dif than redirecting to syria. can you address the point of the article? the palestinian initiated demand to expel Israel from FIFA and the International Olympic Committee which is evidenced in the first sentence above by the words of Jibril al-Rajoub, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association? as well as the international campaigns’ intention to do the same? stay on topic. criticizing the intentions of the campaign is an ad hominem/strawman and not relevant to the point.

      • on May 2, 2014, 6:13 pm

        Is Eric Goldschein a Zionist? If he is then you can throw theory 1 right out the window. The ONLY reason a Zionist would criticize Qatar is because it fits into the evil Muslim narrative and he could not care less about the victims of human rights in Qatar.

        And nobody here uses such pejoratives as “dirty Muslim”. We leave that to the Pam Gellers and Daniel Pipes of the world. A bit of projection by you perhaps?

      • RobertB on May 2, 2014, 11:18 pm

        @ Zach S….

        Your pale “zionist hasbara” & your lame attempts of sidetracking and diversions…just backfired in your face…

        The truth about your beloved Apartheid Israel is slowly seeping out for many Americans to see…to grasp…to evaluate …and to spread the details to their friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members…and so on!

        Yep…your zionist handlers are not going to be happy with your exposed outcome!

    • ritzl on May 2, 2014, 4:14 pm

      @Zach S- Again, reading comprehension eludes you.

      As bad as Qatar may be, what Israel is doing is a direct frontal assault on the international game. It’s targeting players and the sport itself. That’s completely within FIFA’s area.

    • Kay24 on May 2, 2014, 4:17 pm

      Yet another “look over there, they are worse” comment. What Qatar has done is not acceptable, and they should be held accountable. However, let’s start with the bigger culprit first, the long standing occupier, who for decades have violated international laws, and still hold 1.8 million civilians in open prisons, and who have to apply for special permits to leave their territories, and innocent people are thrown in Israeli dungeons, for no reason, and kept there, at the whim of the brutal military force (case and point young Sameh Moraebe,) and let’s also take a look at the young group who were refused permission to go to Qatar for training from the Strip to the West Bank, all pointing to the arrogance of the occupier, and collective punishment of youth, who only want to play sports. Israel deserves to be kicked out of FIFA, for showing it does not play fair.

    • Woody Tanaka on May 2, 2014, 5:08 pm

      “It is estimated that 4,000 slave workers will die there building the structures necessary to house the event:

      Apparently RCIR doesn’t see slavery or the deaths of thousands as worthy of FIFA’s attention. The Occupation is a much more pressing issue.”

      Oh, please, that number is a complete joke. The methodology used by the ITUC (if it’s even appropriate to refer to the process of the ITUC reaching up its ass and pulling out a number, as a “methodology”) demonstrates that this figure is hyperbole to make a point — as everyone, except apparently you, understands — and is not meant in any way to be a serious prediction.

      So, yes, the RCIR considers the very real harm done to the occupation more important than your anti-Arab racist ravings against Qatar.

    • Ellen on May 2, 2014, 5:18 pm

      The corrupt FIFA was most likely bought off to award Qatar the 2022 Cup. Qatar has a kafala system (or sponsorship -based) system for foreign employees. Under this system all workers are denied basic freedom of movement — which means, among other things, your sponsor must approve before an employee goes to a new employer or leaves the country.

      Many laborers are not able to open basic banking accounts and instead rely on expensive services to get paid or send funds home.

      Often dangerous and unfit living conditions (found in most countries) and restricting freedom of movement violates basic human rights. Zach’s estimation of 4000 “slave” workers dying is not based on anything – a number pulled out of the air and not sourced.

      By standards of the industrialized world (which Qatar considers itself, and already is in many ways) kafala and some working conditions for laborers is absolutely unacceptable. But to call it blanket slavery is wrong.

      But things are changing fast on this front in Qatar. (Well, hopefully by qatar standards) It has to if they want to not only move completely into the modern world, but also keep the cup.

      More on this below:

      • tree on May 2, 2014, 6:15 pm

        The kafala system in Qatar is similar to the sponsorship system in Israel in regards to migrant worker, and migrant workers in Israel suffer from some of the same denials of human rights that Qatar’s migrant workers face.

        There are an estimated 200,000 migrant workers in Israel. Most are indebted to recruiting agencies, beholden to a single employer for their livelihood, and unable to change jobs without their employer’s consent. Government policies restrict migrant workers from forming families. The Ministry of Interior deports migrants who marry other migrants while in Israel, or who have children there, on the basis that these events indicate an intent to settle permanently in violation of their temporary work visas.

        Migrant workers represent an extremely vulnerable population group within Israeli society, one whose rights are constantly trampled upon by both their employers and the state authorities. While the government works intensively to combat the issue of migrant workers residing illegally in Israel, it consistently fails to enforce the law against criminal employers who violate the basic rights of their migrant workers. In addition, the government views migrant workers as temporary residents who are only in Israel in order to work, and who must at all costs be kept from “taking root” in Israel. This approach results in draconian policies toward migrant workers that severely violate their right to family, among other basic rights.

        In 2003, the International Federation For Human Rights, at the invitation of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Kav La’Oved (Worker’s Hotline), conducted an investigation of migrants workers in Israel. They titled their report: “MIGRANT WORKERS IN ISRAEL – A Contemporary Form of Slavery”

        Many migrant workers go to Israel because they have been promised a job, and discover upon arrival that no such job exists. Workers who do not have any work or identification documents usually remain in Israel, because they cannot afford to go home. Such people are liable to arrest and detention at any moment, and ultimately to deportation. Because of their situation, the fundamental rights of migrant workers –both legal and illegal- are not respected: they receive no days off (or fewer than agreed in the contract), low wages, poor working conditions and are liable to confiscation of passports.

        The migrant workers are mainly from the Philippines, Thailand, China and other Asian countries, Romania and other Eastern European countries, and a number of African and Latin American countries. The business of recruiting foreign workers is very lucrative for the employers. Employers’ pressure groups in Israel and their contacts in government and Parliament have been promoting the recruitment of migrant workers.

        … the legal or documented migrant workers are put under the total control of their Israeli employers, most of whom hold on to the workers’ passports illegally. If the workers complain, they are liable to be dismissed, in which case they immediately lose their work permits and become illegal residents.

        I’m sure that now that Zach is aware that migrant workers in Israel are subject to similar denials of civil rights in Israel that he will join us in condemning Israeli practices as well as Qatari practices, right?

      • just on May 2, 2014, 6:30 pm

        Thanks, tree. Beat me by a mile with your comment and sources….. I can rest easy now. ;)

        As to Zach joining in the condemnation of Israeli practices, I ain’t holdin’ my breath.

      • Kay24 on May 2, 2014, 7:34 pm

        Excellent response. Perhaps the pot conveniently forget it was calling the kettle black.
        (IRIN) – Migrant workers in Israel’s agriculture sector are among the most exploited, according to a 28 October report by Kav LaOved, an Israeli NGO campaigning for the rights of disadvantaged workers in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

        Ninety percent of such workers work more hours than allowed under Israeli law, without overtime payments, said the report, which has been presented to members of parliament.

        The report summarizes hundreds of complaints by agricultural workers and dozens of inspections by Kav LaOved volunteers at work sites around the country, and paints a grim picture of systematic exploitation and severe violations of workers’ rights in the agricultural sector.

        Hanna Zohar, Kav LaOved director, said the workers, mostly Thai, are completely unaware of their rights.

        “Having paid US$8-10,000 to work in Israel, they are prime material for abuse by the farmers, as they are afraid to lose their jobs and not able to pay off the loans taken to cover these payments to the middlemen,” Zohar said. ”

        I am sure Zach is happy he opened this can of worms. :))

    • NickJOCW on May 2, 2014, 7:54 pm

      @ Zach S. The issue is not about Qatar but about Israel. You are kicking the ball off the pitch, through an open window, and claiming a goal. Yours is a classic example of familiar false reasoning, something that appears convincing but isn’t. It even has a name Straw Man, you will find an extensive description of it in Wikipedia.

      The so-called typical “attacking a straw man” implies an adversarial, polemic, or combative debate, and creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition by covertly replacing it with a different proposition…and then to refute or defeat that false argument instead of the original proposition


    • talknic on May 2, 2014, 8:33 pm

      Zach S “Apparently RCIR doesn’t see slavery or the deaths of thousands as worthy of FIFA’s attention”

      It had already been brought to FIFA’s attention long ago.

      But I get your point. If RCIR complained to FIFA about Qatar, Israel wouldn’t brutalize Palestinians, it would end the stupid occupation, adhere to International Law and the UN Charter, withdraw from ALL non-Israeli territories for the first time ever, take all its vile illegal settlers, go live in Israel, pay rightful reparations for 66 years of illegal facts on the ground in territories illegally acquired by war …. right?

    • Hostage on May 2, 2014, 11:23 pm

      It is estimated that 4,000 slave workers will die there building the structures necessary to house the event

      It would be more honest to say that Eric Goldschein should hire a good managing editor and replace himself. He cites false allegations and then admits they have been retracted. He repeats dubious “estimates” from an International Trade Union Confederation special report written in hopes that FIFA and the 2022 World Cup can be used as a catalyst for improved labor laws and working conditions. It extrapolates data from two embassies, India and Nepal, for total deaths from all causes over the past three years and a projected workforce of an additional 500,000 people. No real effort is made to connect these deaths to FIFA related projects. So this is a worst case analysis. The report claims:

      Whether the cause of death is labelled a work accidents, heart attack (brought on by the life threatening effects of heat stress) or diseases from squalid living conditions, the root cause is the same – working conditions.

      That isn’t how an actuary or public health official would calculate or factor-in actual work-related deaths that will result from the FIFA games. The report may be accurate in describing poor working conditions and abuses permited under the kafala system, but this estimate is based on natural deaths and work-related deaths that will occur anyway, whether the FIFA moves the games somewhere else or the persons concerned leave Qatar and return to their homes.

    • talknic on May 3, 2014, 1:45 am

      Zach S “Apparently RCIR doesn’t see slavery or the deaths of thousands as worthy of FIFA’s attention.”

      Can we use the same criteria you use to justify your fake concern for workers in Qatar? “He’s writing an article about why FIFA shouldn’t hold the World Cup in Qatar, and the mistreatment of Palestinian athletes doesn’t help him make that case”

    • Ecru on May 3, 2014, 2:05 am

      @ Zach S

      Qatar should never have been given the World Cup, and it should be stripped of it now, but how do the human rights abuses in one nation, Qatar, cancel out human rights abuses in another, Israel? How does that work?

  3. ritzl on May 2, 2014, 3:37 pm

    “4. Political intervention: Overriding organised friendly matches between Palestine and teams of other states.

    That’s a biggie. The others are bad enough, but if Israel has done #4 even once (I assume it has) it should be a no-brainer suspension. It seems to me that #4 is the whole reason for the existence of FIFA. Maybe it should be #1.

    Can Israel say to FIFA “Thanks for the tourney$, but you’re not a serious organization and we don’t subscribe to your purpose anyway (btw we’re exceptional…).” and get away with it? Sadly, maybe so.

    Breakdown of FIFA structure to follow.

  4. German Lefty on May 2, 2014, 4:08 pm

    OT: Next week, the Eurovision Song Contest will take place again. This time in Copenhagen, Denmark. Israel has a very catchy song.
    I really hope that Palestine will join the Eurovision Song Contest in the near future. Then the people of Europe could directly show their solidarity.

  5. ritzl on May 2, 2014, 4:22 pm

    Oh and Katie Miranda and Stephanie Westbrook should get their own little media consortium together (with others). They’re both brilliant!

  6. RudyM on May 2, 2014, 4:58 pm

    (OT: Hello Friendfeed Crew. I have no intention of signing up for Facebook, which I hate for many different reasons. Twitter might be a possibility but for now I’m going to do without, since I’m afraid my impulse control wouldn’t be good enough and I’d tweet things (probably under my full name, if I set up an account) I’d later regret. No Facebook>No Twitter>impulse control>extreme introversion>avoidant personality disorder>paranoia>luddite tendencies>look ma, it’s a list!)

  7. SamT on May 2, 2014, 5:49 pm

    @ German Lefty.
    A little off topic, but could someone please explain why Israel is even in Eurovision at all, if it is the “only democracy in the Middle East”?

    • Citizen on May 2, 2014, 7:50 pm

      @ SamT
      Good question. Why is Israel in Eurovision? It’s a Middle East religion-ethnic state.
      What other Middle East states are participating in Eurovision?

    • Ecru on May 3, 2014, 2:06 am

      @ SamT

      It’s down to funding the company that runs it.

    • German Lefty on May 3, 2014, 3:53 am

      could someone please explain why Israel is even in Eurovision at all

      See here:
      “Eligible participants include Active Members (as opposed to Associate Members) of the EBU. Active members are those who are located in states that fall within the European Broadcasting Area, or are member states of the Council of Europe. […]
      Eligibility to participate is not determined by geographic inclusion within the continent of Europe, despite the “Euro” in “Eurovision” — nor does it have any relation to the European Union. Several countries geographically outside the boundaries of Europe have competed: Israel and Cyprus in Western Asia, since 1973, 1981, 2006 respectively; and Morocco, in North Africa, in the 1980 competition alone. In addition, several transcontinental countries with only part of their territory in Europe have competed: Turkey, since 1975; Russia, since 1994; Armenia , since2006 ; Georgia, since 2007; and Azerbaijan, which made its first appearance in the 2008 edition.”
      Other EBU members who can participate but have never entered: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Vatican City

      • SamT on May 3, 2014, 11:32 am

        Thank you. Very informative..

  8. Bumblebye on May 2, 2014, 6:26 pm

    Adam and Johar, the victims of the IOF brutal shooting attack, were arrested by Israeli forces on their return from Jordan on April 28:

    (provides a link to a dropbox article which my computer refused to download)

  9. The Truth on May 2, 2014, 8:28 pm

    This is in reference to Zach S.’s attempts to D.A.D, a common Zionist strategy which stands for “Deflect and Deny”.

    The RICR is under no obligation to go scouring the Earth for various Human-Rights abuses, before it can advocate for Palestinian rights. This is a favorite-tactic of Zionists which they also use to attack BDS, by saying, “why isn’t BDS boycotting other human-rights violators, only Israel, they must be anti-Jewish”.

    Can you imagine during the American Civil Rights Era, if Southern Whites confronted the call to equality with, “I don’t see you marching for the rights of Vietnamese laborers in Chad, meaning your entire movement is simply an excuse to single-out whites”. They would be laughed out of town, though we don’t really know, since even Southern Whites never had the audacity to try such a tactic.

    The idea that Pro-Palestinian groups need to acknowledge and advocate for every other Human Rights abuse, in order to credibly advocate for Palestine, is an UNPRECEDENTED standard that NO OTHER movement has EVER been held to. Its a sign of desperation that Zionists would try to make this a winning argument.

    • Citizen on May 3, 2014, 3:04 pm

      @ The Truth

      So, consider, who invented Chutzpah?

      chutzpah |ˈho͝otspə, ˈKHo͝otspə, -spä|(also chutzpa or hutzpah or hutzpa )
      noun informal
      shameless audacity; impudence.
      ORIGIN late 19th cent.: Yiddish, from Aramaic ḥu ṣpā .

    • JeffB on May 3, 2014, 9:27 pm

      @The Truth

      Americans had obvious ties to Jim Crow and Jim Crow related issues. Yet even still in areas outside the south there were questions raised about whether civil rights efforts weren’t better spent on more local issues. The situation with Israel would be more analogous to say Spanish activists focusing on Jim Crow. And for Spanish activists of course the issues would be raised why the level of disproportionate focus or hypocrisy.

      It take a not theoretical example. Italy is quite active in the anti-death penalty movement. For a while Italy focused heavily on the United States and ignored: China, Saudi Arabia… (example last year: China several thousand, Iran carried out at least 314 executions last year, Iraq at least 129 and Saudi Arabia at least 79. In the United States, 43). And yes Italian focus on the USA was criticized as disproportionate. Moreover when there were objections to Italian justice (ex Amanda Knox) where Italians didn’t feel they should have to answer to American standards, the death penalty issues were repeatedly raised.

      So yes other groups do have to deal with the same thing.

  10. Mayhem on May 2, 2014, 8:41 pm

    As I posted before at
    in football most Middle Eastern countries refuse to play Israel, which is contrary to FIFA’s “Say No to Racism” campaign and Article 3 of the FIFA statute, which states that discrimination on account of “ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason” is punishable by suspension or expulsion. So much for Mondoweiss’s double standards.

    • annie on May 3, 2014, 3:12 am

      “ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason”

      if you’re going to quote please quote accurately

      Discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.

      refusing to play Israel is not related to political “opinion”, race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation.

      it has to do with israel’s critical human rights violations which are, very much a matter of discrimination by israel based on ethnic and national origin. and as such, according to Article 3, is “strictly prohibited” by FIFA and “punishable by suspension or expulsion”…of israel!


    • Hostage on May 3, 2014, 3:21 am

      in football most Middle Eastern countries refuse to play Israel, which is contrary to FIFA’s “Say No to Racism” campaign and Article 3 of the FIFA statute, which states that discrimination on account of “ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason” is punishable by suspension or expulsion. So much for Mondoweiss’s double standards.

      Your logic is a little flawed. Israel has designated most of the countries in the Middle East as enemy states and has its own travel restrictions and outright bans in effect. So Israel needs to decide if it wants to carry-out regular bombing missions in Syria or play football with them?

    • talknic on May 3, 2014, 3:59 am

      @ Mayhem “in football most Middle Eastern countries refuse to play Israel, which is …”normal for countries Israel claims to be at war with. Same reason Israeli law prevented Israeli citizens and residents from worshiping in territory under Jordanian Sovereignty.

      It’s amazing how nut case Zionists and stupid Israeli propagandists try to blame Arabs for Israeli laws and normal behaviour between hostile parties

  11. Susie Kneedler on May 2, 2014, 8:56 pm

    Thanks very much, Annie and Bumblebye. Here’s the link to the site Bumblebye found:

    “Shot by the Israeli army And now arrested with no charge

    “Adam and Johar Halabiya were attacked by Israeli soldiers on their way home from football….They were shot, mauled by dogs, taken into the military camp and beaten by soldiers. They suffered serious injuries to their legs and hands. They had some time in a hospital in Jerusalem when their parents were not able to visit them.

    “It seems that the international interest that their case has aroused has led the Israeli military to claim that Adam and Johar did something wrong. They were taken to hospital in Jordan where they got much better….It looked as if their horrible story was over….

    “However when they got to the border between Jordan and the West Bank which is controlled by the Israeli military, the two youths were taken from their fathers and arrested by the Israeli army. There is still no charge against them.

    “When they are tried (and they don’t know what for) they will be tried by a military court….[which] does not allow witnesses.
    Adam and Johar should be freed now and compensated for the hurt they
    have suffered.

    “JOIN THE CAMPAIGN TO FREE ADAM AND JOHAR FB CADFA (Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association)

  12. Ecru on May 3, 2014, 2:15 am

    I don’t I’m afraid hold out much hope of FIFA doing anything here – they’re in it for the money and ego NOT for what’s best for the sport. Especially with Blatter at the head of it who hasn’t exactly shown himself as someone who thinks human rights and equality are at all important.

    But I wonder if those Jewish people in football who reacted with such dismay to his comments about racism and how it can be solved with just a handshake will urge him to truly castigate Israel for its violent and murderous bigotry or whether, because after all it is the “Jewish” state, they’ll let it slide this time…..

    • Kay24 on May 3, 2014, 8:36 am

      Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia, and it clearly gives reason for FIFA to kick Israel out. Israel does not protect Arabs even in the sporting arena. Ugly.
      “Racism in soccer stadiums is a worldwide problem, and Israeli stadiums are not free from racism.[101] The first racist incidents took place in the 1970s, when the Arab player Rifaat Turk joined Hapoel Tel Aviv. Turk was subjected to anti-Arab abuse during nearly every game he played.[100] Arab soccer player Abbas Suan was confronted once with a sign reading “Abbas Suan, you don’t represent us”.[102] Under Israeli law, soccer fans can be prosecuted for incitement of racial hatred. The “New Voices from the Stadium” program, run by the New Israel Fund (NIF) amasses a “racism index” that is reported to the media on a weekly basis, and teams have been fined and punished for the conduct of their fans. According to Steve Rothman, the NIF San Francisco director, “Things have definitely improved, particularly in sensitizing people to the existence of racism in Israeli society.”[101] In 2006, Israel joined Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), network set up to counter racism in soccer.[103]

      After a soccer game in March 2012, in which Beitar Jerusalem defeated a rival team at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium,[104] a group of at least a hundred Beitar fans[105][106][107] entered the nearby Malha Mall chanting racist slogans and allegedly attacked Arab cleaning workers, whom some reports described as Palestinians. The police were criticized for initially failing to make arrests;[108] it later investigated the incident, issuing restraining orders against 20 soccer fans and questioning several suspects among the cleaning crew seen waving sticks at the fans.[109]

      • Ecru on May 3, 2014, 11:50 pm

        @ Kay24

        I’m not doubting there’s reason to expel, there is and plenty of it, what I doubt is that FIFA will actually do anything about it.

  13. German Lefty on May 3, 2014, 5:56 pm

    OT: I just read this on Haaretz:

    Chelsea Clinton’s announcement Thursday afternoon that she and Jewish hubby Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child has set off a fairly predictable wave of reactions Jewish-wise, not unlike the interest their 2010 wedding generated. […]
    The Jewish Press chose this headline: “Chelsea Clinton Pregnant With Non-Jewish Child.” Calling the former first daughter “America’s poster child for intermarriage,” the Brooklyn-based Orthodox newspaper noted that in marrying four years ago the pair was “effectively pruning away that 3,300 year old Jewish branch of the Mezinsky family.”

    Now, imagine the uproar if non-Jews wrote like that about Jews.

  14. brenda on May 3, 2014, 9:34 pm

    “…we are demanding Israel be kicked out of FIFA”

    Brilliant, Annie. Truly, this would be even better than boycotting Starbucks.

    “South Africa did not compete at Olympic Games from 1964 to 1988, as a part of the sporting boycott of South Africa during the Apartheid era.” wikipedia has a page, I looked it up because it rang a distant bell — I remember that

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