Scottish PSC has written to the Scottish FA requesting that the mens senior team match with Israel scheduled for 20 November be cancelled. A petition has been launched; please sign: https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-support-palestinian-rights?lang=en-GB
The text of the letter is as follows:
To Mr Alan McRae, President, The Scottish Football Association Ltd. Hampden Park, Glasgow, G42 9AY.
Dear Mr McRae
We are writing with regard to the upcoming Israel v Scotland (11 October) and Scotland v Israel (20 November) games and ask that you withdraw from the games and that you support the Palestinian call to suspend the Israeli Football Association (IFA) from FIFA until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observes international law.
This letter follows the withdrawal of Argentina from a game with Israel, and most recently news that Adidas has withdrawn its sponsorship of the IFA in response to a call from over 130 Palestinian football clubs. The Palestinian call highlighted the IFA’s “deep complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights”. This complicity is due to the IFA’s inclusion of six Israeli football teams based in illegal Israeli settlements. These settlements are considered a war crime under international law.
Israel uses international sporting events to whitewash its image as they are rightfully condemned for their violations of Palestinian rights.
Since 30 March 2018, Israeli snipers have killed more than 130 Palestinian protests in Gaza and injured over 10,000. On the first day of the weekly Palestinian demonstrations calling for their right as refugees to return to their homes, Israeli snipers shot Palestinian footballer Mohammed Khalil in both knees, ending his career.
There is a newly formed football team of 16 players in Gaza, each one lost all but two of their limbs as a result of 11 years of Israel’s bombings and siege.
Grounds for IFA suspension
Constraints on football in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Formal grounds for suspension of the IFA must be based on the Israeli actions of suppressing football activity in another State, thus flouting Section 3 of the July 2013 FIFA statutes: 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.
Responsibility of the IFA rests on the fact that it is state institution. The fact that the IDF acts to repress Palestinian football does not absolve the IFA from responsibility. The policy of repression is set by the State of Israel and the IDF simply implements that policy. The IDF is a state institution, but so is the IFA, and both are regulated by the same state body: the State Comptroller. The State of Israel also contributes significantly to the IFA’s budget. These official links make the IFA inextricably embedded in the discriminatory policies of the State and the repressive actions of the IDF against Palestinians. In that way the IFA contravenes FIFA Statutes.
Racism inside Israel. The IFA has failed to take adequate anti-racist measures inside Israel, thereby contravening UEFA and FIFA statutes.
- Fans at Beitar Jerusalem have continued their racist chants over the years; such behaviour in Europe would get the club’s gates closed. Examples abound, perhaps the worst of which is the ESPN report in 2012. In 2013 two Chechen Muslim players were hired. As a result, part of the club’s facilities were burned, the players and their supporters were jeered both on and off the field, and they and the manager and coach who hired them were obliged to leave the club.
- In late 2014 the IFA split off a number of Palestinian youth teams in the Al Shomoron area to form a separate league from the Jewish clubs. Comments by the IFA suggested that it was requests from Jewish parents that led to the change. This has been challenged in the courts.
- Taunts against the Muslim captain of Bnei Brod “Tuahmeh is a terrorist have been report to the IFA – just as they were seven years ago. The IFA has clearly failed to take effective action.
While the state of Israel continues to violate Palestinian rights with impunity, to kill and maim Palestinians, demolish their homes, imprison their children and political activists and steal more of their land to build even more illegal settlements, your voice would make a significant contribution toward the goal of freedom for the Palestinian people and equal rights for all in Israel/Palestine. Likewise, your silence will also be heard.
We look forward to your reply.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign