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 conforms to the ICC’s 1998 definition of Apartheid. It is generally unrecognised around the world.

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

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 its racism. By trying to cut off Israeli inroads into international sporting activities we believe that we can bring pressure on Israel to drop its racist policies and actions.

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 repression of Paletinians 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”

Immediate objectives are:

  1. Settlement Clubs. To ensure that the six youth teams in settlement clubs are banned from playing in the Israeli leagues; currently these clubs flout FIFA statutes.
  2. 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.
  3. Boycott of Puma goods. To call on the general public to boycott Puma goods as part of a world-wide action.
  4. International games. To demonstrate at all games played in the UK against Israeli teams and to call for all international friendlies are cancelled.
  5. Beitar Jerusalem. To ensure that no international games take place in Beitar’s West Jerusalem

To achieve these we challenge football institutions (using our data base of all FIFA member associations), 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.

 

If RCIR’s specific targets are not met we will call for the Israeli FA to be suspended at the FIFA Annual Congress or at a FIFA Council meeting.  We will work independently from the Palestinian FA but will keep our actions in line with its actions.

Previous Actions

  1. 2015 – 2018 Settlement clubs.  Putting our voice with that of the PFA in calling for the settlement clubs to be excluded from Israeli leagues (limited response from FIFA to date). Challenging FIFA for suppression of the Sexwale report.  Contacting the Court of Arbitration for Sport with respect to lack of publication of its report on  PFA motions to FIFA.
  2. 2018 Adidas withdrew from sponsorship of the IFA   as a result of joint action by RCIR and PACBI
  3. 2015 Rally in Cardiff against Israeli national team visit to Wales in the EURO 2016 competition (almost 2,000 demonstrators made a big impact).
  4. 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).
  5. 2013-2015 Removal of UEFA Women’s Under 15 finals from Israel (achieved ban on games in West Jerusalem)
  6. 2014 Exclusion of Jerusalem as host city for EURO 2020 (achieved)
  7. 2014 Call to reverse the segregation of youth leagues into Palestinian and Jewish leagues. (achieved by action in the Israel courts by Adalah)
  8. 2011- 2013 Removal of UEFA Under 21 finals from Israel (major publicity impact)
  9. 2013 Arrangement of UK Tour for Mahmoud Sarsak (effective consciousness raising)
  10. 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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