About

Fight Israeli Racism through football

The Israeli government violates international law. It discriminates against Palestinian Arabs through laws and actions involving ethnic cleansing, cultural genocide and collective punishment.  This discrimination is severe, widespread, and unrelenting. It is generally unrecognised.

Palestinian footballers suffer their share. They are arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned without charge, cannot travel freely and cannot meet properly for games and training.

Shamefully, Western governments do almost nothing to stop this racism. We believe that sporting activities can do much to improve relations between communities.  Yet by admitting Israel to international sporting organisations those organisations directly condone the racism. By trying to cut off Israeli inroads into international sporting activities we believe that we can bring pressure on Israel to drop its racism and apartheid policies and laws.

We are also concerned that the state of Israel uses football to spread “brand Israel” across the world and to give the impression that Israel is a normal state, hiding the racism that the state imposes both in Israel and in the Occupied Territories.

Objectives.

Our campaign’s overarching objectives are:

  1. Suspension of the Israeli Football Association from UEFA and FIFA until Israel observes international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians.
  2. To highlight Israeli Apartheid and Racism
  3. To expose the hypocrisy of the “Brand Israel Football”

Current Actions

From late 2015 the following main actions are planned:

  1. Settlement Clubs. To get the five youth teams banned from playing in the Israeli leagues; currently this flouts FIFA statutes.
  2. Beitar Jerusalem. To get the club banned from playing. To date, the racism of the club and its fans has not been adequately punished.
  3. Al Shomoron. To help ensure that the youth leagues in this area that were segregated a year ago into Palestinian and Jewish leagues (with one minor exception) are recombined.
  4. Free movements of players. To help ensure that Palestinian players can move freely between the West Bank and Gaza and between those areas and other countries.

If any of these demands are not met, the Israeli FA should be suspended at the 2016 FIFA Annual Congress.

These demands were made by the Palestinian FA at the FIFA 2015 Annual Congress. A committee under the chairmanship of South African Tokyo Sexwale was established to negotiate the necessary changes by the Israeli FA. Our input is initially to the Sexwale committee.

Previous Actions

The main actions so far have been:

  1. 2015 Cardiff Rally against Israeli national team visit to Wales in the EURO 2016 competition (almost 2,000 demonstrators made a big impact).
  2. 2013-2015 Suspension of Israeli FA from FIFA at the FIFA 2015 Annual Congress, supporting the Palestinian FA initiative (greatly increased visibility of the campaign).
  3. 2013-2015 Removal of UEFA Women’s Under 15 finals from Israel (achieved ban on games in West Jerusalem)
  4. 2014 Exclusion of Jerusalem as host city for EURO 2020 (achieved)
  5. 2011- 2013 Removal of UEFA Under 21 finals from Israel (major publicity impact)
  6. 2013 Arrangement of UK Tour for Mahmoud Sarsak (effective consciousness raising)
  7. Ongoing Leafleting at a wide number of UK league matches (effective consciousness raising)

We also encourage direct support of Palestinian football teams by provision of coaching and by holding games between Palestinian and UK teams.

To achieve these we challenge football institutions, demonstrate at matches, and spread the message through the media and fan groups. We work in partnership with all those in the football world and with activists across Europe who oppose racism and oppression wherever it occurs. For further information see the Campaigns tab.

Campaign support

PSC (Palestinian Solidarity Campaign), FOA (Friends of Al-Aqsa JBIG (Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods), and BIN (Boycott Israel Network) all support the campaign. They see it as part of the wider BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) activity that was formally established by Palestinians in 2005.

The campaign is one of a number of several European national groups active in this area.

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