RCIR call for the Northern Ireland match against Israel to be cancelled.

RCIR call for the Northern Ireland match against Israel to be cancelled.

RCIR has sent the following letter to President Jim Shaw of  the Irish FA.

Dear Mr Shaw,

We urge you to cancel your friendly match with the Israeli FA, in line with the call by The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel made to you on 27 July 2018.

Palestinian football teams in the Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel are heavily restricted – regarding pitches where they can play and how they can move domestically or internationally.  Equipment has been held back.  Even a FIFA Goal project has been stopped.  Players have been killed, maimed and imprisoned without charge.  For the last two years the two-leg final of the Palestine Cup has been obstructed. In contrast, teams from Israeli West Bank settlements play there with impunity in contravention of FIFA Statutes and international law.

Football within Israel is blighted by state-sanctioned racism. Although 20% of the Israeli population is Palestinian, the fan base is particularly violent at the Beitar Jerusalem club and the Israeli FA does almost nothing to stop racist abuse of Palestinian players and fans. An attempt by the Israeli FA to racially segregate youth teams into Jewish and Palestinian had to be stopped by the courts.

The Human Rights of Palestinians in Israel are heavily suppressed by over fifty discriminatory laws and the belligerent racism of leading politicians. In the Palestinian Occupied Territories military law holds sway and brutal treatment of Palestinian adults and children is widespread.  According to UN definitions this is Apartheid. The Israeli government misrepresents what is happening there.  In particular, it uses football to present itself as a European country possessing European values. With regard to racism this could not be further from the truth.

We believe that Israel should be sanctioned until it observes international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians. One important sanction is to exclude all Israeli football teams from international competition. Therefore we urge you to cancel your planned fixture against the Israel FA.


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