17 August 2018
SCOTTISH football's governing body has rejected calls for the national team to boycott forthcoming matches against Israel. Nearly 3000 have backed a campaign to have Scotland withdraw from fixtures against Israel away on October 11 and at home on November 20 in the inaugural Uefa Nations League. A petition launched by the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign calls on the Scottish Football Association to support a Palestinian call to suspend the Israeli Football Association (IFA) from FIFA, the world football governing body, "until Israel respects the human rights of Palestinians and observes international law".
In the meantime the campaigners say that the SFA should withdraw from the international matches. The SPSC said in its petition: "While the state of Israel continues to violate Palestinian rights with impunity... the SFA could make a significant contribution toward the goal of freedom for the Palestinian people and equal rights for all in Israel/Palestine."
But the SFA has said it has no plans to comply while the Israeli Embassy in London has said allegations made about Israel's actions were "hate-laden".
An SFA spokesman said: “We are aware of the situation in the West Bank territory. “We have consulted with UEFA, under whose jurisdiction both competitive UEFA Nations League ties with Israel fall, and with FIFA as the world governing body of the game. “We note and agree with the positions of both organisations; that interference, even in a football context, could potentially aggravate the situation and that football should remain politically neutral.”
SPSC Questions: Is the SFA aware of the Israeli Football Association's role in supporting the illegal settlements, a war crime under international law? Is the SFA really aware of Israel's deliberate crippling of Palestinian footballers by sniper fire and shooting in the foot and leg at close range? Do they know about Israel's bombing of football stadiums? Its deliberate blocking of movement to prevent training sessions?
SPSC Comment: The SFA is fully aligning with Israel by conceding to its demand for international bodies to look the other way while the Apartheid State continues its ethnic cleansing. This is not political neutrality but unambiguous political support for Israel.
In June, Lionel Messi's Argentina called off a pre-World Cup exhibition match with Israel following political pressure and claims of threats towards players, sparking outrage from Israeli officials. The head of the Palestinian football federation Jibril Rajoub had called on Arab and Muslim sports fans to burn photos and T-shirts of Lionel Messi if he attended the friendly.
The Palestinian FA said in a statement after the friendly had been called off: “The president of the Palestinian Federation of Football General Gabriel Rajoub confirmed that the Argentine Football Federation cancelled his game with Israel’s team... on the land of Jerusalem, as a result of the efforts of the Palestinians with the assistance of regional and international federations. “The will of values, ethics and the message of sport had triumphed today, and the red card had been lifted in Israel’s face by cancelling this match.”
The Israeli Football Association (IFA) laid the blame for the cancellation squarely on the shoulders of Rajoub describing "physical and brutal threats that crossed every red line".
SPSC Question: Does the SFA lend any credence to this standard piece of Israeli propaganda, devoid of any evidence in support, that seeks to brand ALL opponents of its crimes, Palestinian or otherwise, regardless of time and place, as 'terrorists', 'antisemites' or 'self-hating Jews'.
Israel Embassy spokesman Yehuda Avivi pointed to a "comprehensive independent report" from last year that alleged that up to 50% of activists involved with a Scottish pro-Palestine group hold anti-semitic views. The paper by Jewish Human Rights Watch, based on a study of comments made on social media by core supporters of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, claims that almost as many deny the Holocaust and liken it to a Jewish conspiracy theory. It claimed many are guilty of posting anti-semitic images and conspiracy theories about global Jewish domination. At the time the SPSC said it was "not inclined to take seriously the so-called research" and claimed it was part of an attempt to smear organisations that support Palestinian rights.
SPSC Comment: This is completely untrue, is rebutted in detail here (see especially sections 5 & 6) and is only able to be circulated due to SPSC's inability to match the deep pockets of the pro-Israel gang and its Embassy paymasters in a defamation court.
"Given its failure to address the rampant racism and bigotry within its very own ranks, it is surprising that the SPSC should have the temerity to obsessively single out a democratic state in which the rights of all are protected," said Mr Avivi. "The SPSC’s hate-laden accusations will do nothing to advance the peace between Israelis and Palestinians we all seek."
The SPSC has said the allegations by the Israeli embassy are "utterly false and levelled at us because we oppose Israeli snipers massacring Palestinian demonstrators".
Original article here:
Football chiefs reject petition backed by thousands calling for Scotland to boycott matches against Israel
The Herald 17
SPSC request: to build up the pressure on the SFA further, get your contacts to add their signatures here: https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-support-palestinian-rights
Interview with Argentine BDS campaigner on football victory