UEFA decision to organize championships in Israel is contrary to its own values Dutch activists staged a protest yesterday against UEFA’s decision to organize the under 21 year European Championship in Israel. Thousands of Chelsea and Benfica supporters were hailed in by dozens of BDS activists waiving red cards, banners and flags at the Amsterdam Arena displaying their message to “Kick Israeli Racism Out of UEFA!”.
The action drew many supporters, and there were many inquiries into the reasons for the action. Green Left party councillor Nourdin el Ouali addressed the public saying: “I had many conversations with supporters and was often photographed with our banners. For me, it was a clear sign that many fans agree with us: a major tournament like the European Championship for minors has no place in a country that systematically violates international law. Israel violates the most basic universal human rights, such as detaining Palestinian children without charge or trial. In such a country, no European Championships should be held. “
UEFA’s choice has led to a wave of protests and to the international Red Card to Israel campaign. Benji de Levie, chairman of the Dutch BDS organisation docP: “The practices listed are inconsistent with values as fair play, fraternising and anti-discrimination propagated by UEFA and the Dutch Football Association KNVB. We call on UEFA to reverse the choice of Israel as a venue. At the same time we call the KNVB to set an example to other countries in Europe and withdraw the Dutch national team from the Under 21 European Championships. “