Fight Israeli Apartheid Through Football

Apartheid rules in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Over sixty five Israeli laws and over two thousand military ordinances repress the Palestinian community. The majority of Israelis support this repression. Discrimination is severe, widespread, and unrelenting. Israeli contempt for international law is all pervasive. This has to end.

Protests in South African sport played a major role in the elimination of apartheid. The “Red Card Israeli Racism – Fair Play for Palestine” campaign takes its inspiration from those protests. By calling for the elimination of an Israeli presence in international football we believe that we can bring pressure on Israeli governments to drop their apartheid laws. Sport can do much to improve relations between communities and we look forward to such an impact across Israel and Palestine once the apartheid has been banished.

Palestinian football itself has suffered greatly. Players are arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned without charge, they cannot travel freely and cannot meet properly for games and training. They suffer inferior facilities. They are exposed to life threatening attacks, from tear gas to bullets and several have been injured or have died. The Palestinian Football Association has fought for its rights and this campaign is committed to support for its actions.

Shamefully, Western governments do little to stop this Israeli repression, nor do international sporting organisations. That is not through ignorance. The international football authority, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) took an initiative in 2015 but that has had only very limited results and further action has been lacking. Our campaign insists that further action is taken.

At the same time the Israeli government uses football to spread “brand Israel” across the world and to give the impression that Israel is a normal, European state. Such whitewashing of Israeli apartheid has to stop.

Campaign 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”

A number of immediate objectives have been established for campaigns in specific areas. Currently the main campaigns are: :
1. Boycott of Puma. To ensure that the Puma company adheres to its principles of equality of opportunity and drops its sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association. We are campaigning with PACBI and PSC.
2. Ban on Settlement Clubs. To ensure that the six teams in settlement clubs are banned from playing in the Israeli leagues; currently these clubs flout FIFA statutes and international law.
3. 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.
4. International games. To demonstrate at all games played in the UK against Israeli teams and to call for all international friendlies are cancelled.

To achieve these we challenge football institutions (using our data base of all FIFA member associations), we demonstrate at matches, and we 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), BIN (Boycott Israel Network), and JFJFP (Jews For Justice For Palestinians) 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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