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January 15, 2014 2

Chilean Soccer Used As A Platform For Anti-Semitism, Discrimination And Politics

Chilean soc­cer author­i­ties and FIFA offi­cials have remained silent after reports of the highly politi­cized and unsports­man­like con­duct of the entire Chilean El Palestino soc­cer club. el-palestino-jersey-map-of palestine

The team, which is affil­i­ated with the National Asso­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sional Soc­cer in Chile, replaced their stan­dard uni­form with jer­seys imprinted with the out­line of what they see as the map of “Pales­tine” in place of numer­als. The imprinted map of “Pales­tine” includes the ter­ri­tory that is the state of Israel.

El Palestino team, by using these jer­seys in games on Jan­u­ary 4, Jan­u­ary 11 and again on Jan­u­ary 13, 2014, has been voic­ing the long-held vicious Pales­tin­ian pro­pa­ganda against the very legit­i­macy and exis­tence of the state of Israel.

In the Jan­u­ary 11 game, El Palestino fans cheered their team for their bold polit­i­cal mes­sage and some spec­ta­tors in the sta­dium even dis­played anti-Semitic flags equat­ing a swastika with the Star of David. swastika-el-palestino-chile-match

FIFA reg­u­la­tions clearly require that, “the team of a player whose basic com­pul­sory equip­ment con­tains polit­i­cal, reli­gious or per­sonal slo­gans or state­ments will be sanc­tioned by the com­pe­ti­tion orga­nizer or by FIFA.”  Addi­tion­ally, Arti­cles 14 and 23 of the FIFA code of Ethics clearly require teams and play­ers to “remain polit­i­cally neu­tral” and to refrain from offend­ing “the dig­nity or integrity of a coun­try, pri­vate per­son or group of peo­ple through con­temp­tu­ous, dis­crim­i­na­tory or den­i­gra­tory words or actions on account of race, skin colour, eth­nic, national or social ori­gin, gen­der, lan­guage, reli­gion, polit­i­cal opin­ion or any other opin­ion, wealth, birth or any other sta­tus, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or any other reason.”

Soc­cer, or “fut­bol”, is Latin America’s most pop­u­lar sport.  The El Palestino team’s actions remain unchal­lenged while they play in Chile’s first divi­sion; soc­cer author­i­ties in Chile and inter­na­tion­ally need to enforce reg­u­la­tions to pre­vent fur­ther incidents.

 

 

Fút­bol en Chile: Una plataforma para la dis­crim­i­nación y la política

Las autori­dades de fút­bol de Chile y fun­cionar­ios de la FIFA se han man­tenido en silen­cio después de informes sobre la con­ducta alta­mente poli­ti­zada y anti­de­portiva de todo el club de fút­bol chileno El Palestino. El equipo, que está afil­i­ado a la Aso­ciación Nacional de Fút­bol Pro­fe­sional de Chile, reem­plazó su uni­forme están­dar con camise­tas impre­sas con el esbozo de lo que ellos ven como el mapa de “Palestina” en lugar de números. El mapa de “Palestina” impreso incluye el ter­ri­to­rio del Estado de Israel. El equipo El Palestino, al uti­lizar estas camise­tas en los par­tidos del 4 de enero, del 11 de enero y otra vez del 13 de enero de 2014, está artic­u­lando la viciosa y antigua pro­pa­ganda palestina con­tra la legit­im­i­dad y exis­ten­cia del estado de Israel.

En el juego del 11 de enero, seguidores de El Palestino glo­ri­fi­caron a su equipo por su audaz men­saje político y algunos espec­ta­dores en desde las galerías del esta­dio incluso sac­aron ban­deras anti­semi­tas equiparando la esvás­tica con la Estrella de David.

Reglamen­tos de la FIFA estable­cen clara­mente que, “el orga­ni­zador de la com­peti­ción o la FIFA san­cionará al equipo de un jugador cuyo equipamiento básico oblig­a­to­rio tenga men­sajes políti­cos, reli­giosos o per­son­ales”. Además, los artícu­los 14 y 23 del Código Ético de la FIFA clara­mente requieren que los equipos y los jugadores “man­ten­gan una posi­ción política neu­tral” y que se absten­gan de ofender “la dig­nidad o inte­gri­dad de un país, de una per­sona o de un grupo de per­sonas medi­ante pal­abras o acciones despec­ti­vas, dis­crim­i­na­to­rias o den­i­grantes, por razón de su raza, color de piel, etnia, ori­gen nacional o social, gen­ero, idioma, religión, posi­cionamiento político o de otra índole, poder adquis­i­tivo, lugar de nacimiento o proce­den­cia, ori­entación sex­ual o cualquier otro motivo”.

El Fút­bol es el deporte más pop­u­lar de América Latina. El equipo El Palestino con­tin­uará con sus acciones mien­tras juegue otros par­tidos de la primera división chilena a menos que las autori­dades de fút­bol de Chile como a nivel inter­na­cional hagan cumplir las nor­mas y reg­u­la­ciones para evi­tar nuevos incidentes.

 

 

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December 27, 2013 5

Campaigns In Atlanta And London Target Israeli Policy In Bethlehem

st-james-church-wall-bethlehem

St. James Church Wall

Right in time for Christ­mas, two cam­paigns have begun that demo­nize Israeli pol­icy in the West Bank city of Beth­le­hem, the birth­place of Jesus.

In Atlanta, Geor­gia, five elec­tronic bill­boards are cur­rently on dis­play for a two week dura­tion that depict Jesus’s par­ents Mary and Joseph being unable to gain entry into Beth­le­hem in mod­ern times because of Israel’s secu­rity bar­rier on the bor­der of the West Bank (the image was cre­ated by the artist Banksy). These bill­boards are spon­sored by If Amer­i­cans Knew (IAK), a vir­u­lently anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tion that has been run­ning anti-Israel bill­boards in cities across the United States over the past year.

In Lon­don, Eng­land, St. James’s Church erected a large dis­play out­side of the church to depict the secu­rity bar­rier that sur­rounds Beth­le­hem. The church’s rev­erend, Lucy Win­kett, claimed that the dis­play, which resem­bles the secu­rity wall in Israel, was designed to show passersby “what the peo­ple of Beth­le­hem are expe­ri­enc­ing today.”

The mock secu­rity wall out­side St. James’ Church is part of a fes­ti­val called “Beth­le­hem Unwrapped,” which is being spon­sored by the Holy Land Trust, a Bethlehem-based group that advo­cates for Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns against Israel. The fes­ti­val will take place in Lon­don from Decem­ber 23, 2013 until Jan­u­ary 5, 2014. It will fea­ture, among other pro­grams, a com­edy show called “Stand Up Against the Wall,” a “Beth­le­hem Christ­mas din­ner,” and a debate titled “Both sides of the Bar­rier – Sep­a­ra­tion or Secu­rity?” which will fea­ture Jeff Halper, the founder of the Israeli Com­mit­tee Against House Demo­li­tions; Leila San­sour, a res­i­dent of Beth­le­hem; Yif­tah Curiel, the Pub­lic Affairs spokesman at the Embassy of Israel in Lon­don; and Alan John­son, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Britain Israel Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Research Centre.

Both the bill­board and mock wall dis­play delib­er­ately fail to account for Israel’s legit­i­mate secu­rity con­cerns. While IAK claims that their bill­boards, “will be seen an esti­mated 4 mil­lion times,” those who view the bill­boards will not receive any infor­ma­tion about why the secu­rity bar­rier was built and what it has done to thwart ter­ror­ist attacks.

Indeed, Israel’s secu­rity bar­rier was built as a defen­sive mea­sure that was first approved by the Israeli gov­ern­ment in 2002 to pre­vent Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists from reach­ing their civil­ian tar­gets inside Israel. Since it was built, there has been a sharp decrease in Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ism – not because there have been no attempted attacks, but because the secu­rity bar­rier has impeded ter­ror­ists from reach­ing Israeli cities, or has forced them to take more cir­cuitous routes, lead­ing to their capture.

Although both cam­paigns seek to rein­force the point that Beth­le­hem has become inac­ces­si­ble because of the wall, thou­sands of Chris­t­ian pil­grims from around the world visit Beth­le­hem for Christ­mas Eve cel­e­bra­tions every year. This year was no excep­tion, accord­ing to news reports, the turnout was “the high­est in years.”

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December 26, 2013 2

University Presidents Across The Country Reject Academic Boycott Of Israel

The deci­sion by the Amer­i­can Stud­ies Asso­ci­a­tion (ASA) to boy­cott Israeli aca­d­e­mic insti­tu­tions has yielded a sil­ver lin­ing: a wide­spread con­dem­na­tion of the deci­sion – and the broader Boy­cott, Divest­ment Sanc­tions (BDS) move­ment – by uni­ver­sity admin­is­tra­tors across the United States.asa-harvard-statement

Since the ASA’s Decem­ber 16th deci­sion to sup­port a boy­cott, which ADL decried as “intel­lec­tu­ally dis­hon­est and shame­ful,” there has been an increas­ing groundswell of rejec­tion by uni­ver­sity pres­i­dents, fac­ulty and aca­d­e­mic asso­ci­a­tions. These state­ments, which num­ber in the dozens, have force­fully and respon­si­bly affirmed the prin­ci­ples and soci­etal ben­e­fits of aca­d­e­mic free­dom and open dialogue. 

Uni­ver­sity pres­i­dents of large and small col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties have made pro­nounce­ments on the topic, including:

  • Pres­i­dent Drew Faust of Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, who said:  “Aca­d­e­mic boy­cotts sub­vert the aca­d­e­mic free­doms and val­ues nec­es­sary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the world­wide com­mu­nity of schol­ars. The recent res­o­lu­tion of the ASA propos­ing to boy­cott Israeli uni­ver­si­ties rep­re­sents a direct threat to these ideals, ideals which uni­ver­si­ties and schol­arly asso­ci­a­tions should be ded­i­cated to defend.”
  • Pres­i­dent Ronald J. Daniels  and Provost Robert C. Lieber­man of Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity, who said: “The Israeli-Palestinian con­flict is, of course, a com­plex mat­ter on which many in our com­mu­nity hold pas­sion­ate and com­pet­ing views. We can all agree, how­ever, that one essen­tial ingre­di­ent to the res­o­lu­tion of that con­flict will be the free exchange of infor­ma­tion and open debate of ideas. This boy­cott is a con­tra­dic­tion, one that threat­ens what it pur­ports to pro­tect: the free­dom of thought and expres­sion that is the heart­beat of our aca­d­e­mic community.”
  • Pres­i­dent Mary Sue Cole­man and Provost Martha Pol­lack of Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, who said:  “The Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan strongly opposes the boy­cott of aca­d­e­mic insti­tu­tions in Israel that was recently endorsed by sev­eral aca­d­e­mic asso­ci­a­tions. While we affirm the right of indi­vid­ual fac­ulty, fac­ul­ties, and pro­fes­sional aca­d­e­mic asso­ci­a­tions to hold and express dif­fer­ent view­points, we believe that aca­d­e­mic boy­cotts vio­late the prin­ci­ples of aca­d­e­mic free­dom and free­dom of speech, which are fun­da­men­tal to our mis­sions of edu­ca­tion and research. The Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan is com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing and strength­en­ing its long-standing and pro­duc­tive insti­tu­tional rela­tion­ships with Israeli uni­ver­si­ties and institutes.”

Sev­eral Amer­i­can Stud­ies depart­ments have also resigned from the ASA.  

ADL has com­piled a list of select state­ments which we are updat­ing daily.  Other blog­gers are also main­tain­ing full lists of all uni­ver­sity state­ments and actions. 

Here’s what you can do:

Check these lists to see if offi­cials at your alma mater have spo­ken out.  If they have, write the pres­i­dent or chan­cel­lor to com­mend them. 

If they have not, con­tact the office of the pres­i­dent or chan­cel­lor and call on them to join their col­leagues around the coun­try in con­demn­ing the aca­d­e­mic boy­cott of Israel and stand­ing firm in sup­port of aca­d­e­mic freedom.

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