Result: The campaign objective of exclusion of the IFA from hosting any Euro 2020 tournament was realised on 19 September 2014 when UEFA announced the chosen host cities. The list did not include Jerusalem. This was RCIR’s first major success.
In 2013 UEFA chose a new format for its major Euro 2020 competition: twelve mini tournaments held in different cites and then a larger finals tournament in a thirteenth city. On 14 April 2014 nineteen FAs submitted bids for host cities, including the Israeli FA for (West) Jerusalem. UEFA’s Administration Group then analysed the bids and produced an Evaluation Report. http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/competitions/General/02/14/49/29/2144929_DOWNLOAD.pdf
The decision by the UEFA Executive Committee was announced at a Press Conference with the following results:
Finals: London; Quarter finals: Munich, Baku, St Petersburg, Rome
Round of 16: Amsterdam, Bilbao, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow.
Campaign Strategy (see also posts)
14 March: Wrote to all UEFA member associations arguing for exclusion of Israeli hosting of any UEFA competitions in any city.
30 April: Archbishop Tutu and twenty four other Russell Tribunal and PSC Patrons wrote to the Independent newspaper calling for Israeli venue to be excluded from EURO 2020.
6 May: Wrote to home nation FAs to support exclusion on Israel from EURO 2020
16 May: Frederic Kanoute supported the exclusion of Israel from hosting EURO 2020
16 July: Wrote to home nation FAs to call for Israel’s exclusion from EURO 2020
31 July: Sent “Information Sheet” (see below) to the UEFA administration giving detailed arguments for exclusion of a Jerusalem venue .
11 August: Wrote to UEFA Executive Committee members calling for Israeli exclusion, forwarding the Information Sheet.
10 September: BNC published an open letter from twenty two Palestinian Groups calling for exclusion of Jerusalem.
15 September: RCIR send out a BNC e-action letter to its large email lists
Also during August a number of European groups took action by contacting their national FAs and requesting their support. Norwegian and Italian groups managed to get face to face meetings with FA officials, which is a very impressive result. A French group held a sit in at their FA’s offices.
Furthermore, our campaign contacted a number of journalists during August/September and articles were published by Adri Nieuwhof in Electonic Intifada, Annie Robbins in Mondoweiss and James Dorsey in Singapore.
Potential hosting of EURO 2020 in Jerusalem
Published by the Red Card Israeli Racism campaign, 31 July 2014.
This Information Sheet is to contribute to UEFA’s analysis of hosting capabilities of the various cities bidding to host one of the 13 tournaments in EURO 2020. It is structured, in part, according to the various Sectors of the Technical Requirements (TR) document.
In conclusion, we believe that a choice of Jerusalem as a EURO 2020 host city would effectively reward racial discrimination, support the breach of international law, greatly disadvantage the Palestinian population, and by ignoring the reality on the ground, it would enhance a false image of Israel whilst tarnishing UEFA’s own image.
Extract from Jonathan Cook’s article on conditions inside Israel as given in a confidential EU Heads of Mission report.
The [Heads of Mission] document, which warned that the chances of a two-state solution were rapidly fading, appeared to reflect mounting exasperation among the 27 European member states at Israel’s refusal to revive talks with the Palestinians. [Text omitted]
Last month Lieberman also expressed outrage at another secret EU report, this one a draft by European embassies in Israel on an even more sensitive subject – Israel’s Palestinian minority. The paper, which was completed in November, was leaked to Haaretz late last month. The Israeli foreign ministry accused the EU of drafting it “behind our backs”.
The 27-page report breaks new ground in proposing that the EU play a central part in protecting the interests of Palestinians within Israel’s borders rather than only in the occupied territories.
It catalogues widespread discrimination in education, employment, housing and access to land, notes a surge in legislative proposals targeting the Palestinian minority and “a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.”
It suggests that Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian citizens should move from being “second tier to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” to a “core issue.” It adds that Israel’s obligation to “ensure the equality of all its citizens” cannot wait on a revival of the stalled peace process. Tackling inequality, it concludes, “is integral to Israel’s long-term stability.”
A long list of recommendations for the EU to implement include lobbying against discriminatory laws, encouraging greater investment by European hi-tech firms in Arab areas, ensuring each European state “adopts” an Arab community, and awarding more scholarships for Arab students.
According to the Israeli media, several EU states, including the Netherlands, objected to these recommendations, but appear to have the backing of many key states.
The proposal to step up EU involvement inside Israel is particularly controversial given that Israel has vehemently objected in recent months to European funding of local human rights groups that assist Palestinians inside both Israel and the occupied territories. The cabinet has given its support to legislation that would severely limit foreign donations – chiefly from the EU – to such groups and heavily tax any remaining funding. Netanyahu put the bills on hold last month after coming under fierce criticism from Washington and Europe.
(For a general description of the restrictions under which Palestinian footballers play access Palestine, Israel and the beautiful game)
Brief outline of arguments against hosting by Jerusalem:
No Euro 2020 Matches in a City of Hatred. Jerusalem today is a city of hatred. Hatred of Palestinian Arabs. Its Arab residents face ever-escalating levels of racist violence. They are afraid to enter Jewish areas of the city. On 2nd July Muhammed Abu Khudair was kidnapped and murdered with appalling brutality. He was 16. Three alleged members of La Familia – the extremist football gang linked to Beitar Jerusalem FC – are facing trial for the crime.” The current upsurge in terror across Israel has been whipped up by politicians and by the slaughter in Gaza. But the Israel FA must bear its share of the blame – it has consistently failed to combat racist violence in
Israeli football, especially at Beitar Jerusalem.
No Euro 2020 Matches at the Teddy Stadium – the Home Ground of Hatred. How can Palestinians
possibly attend matches at the home ground of Beitar Jerusalem? They would be risking violent attack. UEFA must not reward La Familia for extremist violence. It must not reward Beitar Jerusalem for failing to hire a single Arab ever, in violation of employment law. It must not reward the Israel FA for its years of indifference and neglect. UEFA must not signal approval of the city’s climate of hatred and terror.
No Euro 2020 Matches in an Annexed City. No country accepts the Israeli claim to sovereignty over
West Jerusalem, its annexation of East Jerusalem, or the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land in order to cut Jerusalem off from the West Bank. The European Union has repeatedly emphasised the importance of the city to a future Palestinian state. UEFA must not signal approval of Israel’s criminal land-grabs.
Stand Up for Humanity, Equality and Fair Play. Former Israel player Mordechai Spiegler backs the country’s Euro 2020 bid. He says that “We are capable to show the world that Israel is not a
war country – it’s a normal sport country.” He is wrong. Israel has just slaughtered 2,000 people in its attack on Gaza. The UN has launched an inquiry into its recent war crimes. Israel has over 50 laws that discriminate against its own Arab citizens. The UN has confirmed that it is breaching the international prohibition of apartheid. Israel is not a normal country. It does not deserve to host international sporting events. UEFA must stand up for its own principles – of humanity, equality
and fair play.
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