Human Rights Watch has published the most rigorous and powerful work on settlement football clubs to date. The main conclusion is that, if the clubs can’t play in Israel (which we think would be unrealistic), the Israeli Football Association must sever all links with them. This is in line with RCIR’s own proposal and the opinion of leading lawyers – see 22 September post.
What is special about the report is that it analyses in detail each of the six major clubs in settlements from the point of view of land ownership and commercial activity. There is comment by the Palestinian whose land has been taken for one of the fields. Also, like us, the report urges FIFA and UEFA to apply the recommendations of FIFA’s Ruggie report earlier this year on avoiding human rights violations. It quotes the predictable responses of the settlement club managers. The full report is at https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/09/25/israel/palestine-fifa-sponsoring-games-seized-land.
James Dorsey points out that shifting the clubs to Green-line Israel would tacitly endorse the continued illegal settlements and suggests that allowing the clubs to join Palestinian leagues would be constructive. See the full article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-dorsey/israeli-palestinian-strug_b_12188846.html.
The Guardian summarises the report well at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/25/fifa-kick-israeli-clubs-west-bank-palestinian-football-human-rights?CMP=twt_gu