Guardian provides PR for failing BDS campaign against EU football championship in Israel

The 2013 European Under-21 Football Championship (UEFA U-21) – hosted by Israel from June 5th through the 18th – represents the 19th staging of the event.  National football teams from all over Europe will compete, with England, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands and Norway, alongside Israel, all vying for the title of champion.

Anti-Israel boycott campaigners (branded as “Red Card Israeli Racism”) are campaigning for the tournament not to be held in Israel as part of a sporting boycott of the Jewish state. And, though their BDS efforts will certainly fail, the Guardian has begun providing these anti-Israel campaigners with the publicity they desire. 

Indeed, the latest two Guardian reports on their site’s Israel page are a letter calling on the UEF (Union of European Football) to reverse their decision to choose Israel as a venue (Uefa insensitivity to Palestinians plight’, May 27), and a story, in the sports section, reporting on the publication of the very same letter the Guardian had just published (‘Uefa accused of ignoring anti-Palestinian bias‘, David Feeny, May 28).


Here’s the text of the May 27 Guardian letter:

On Friday, delegates from European football associations gathered in a London hotel for Uefa‘s annual congress (Report, 24 May). They agreed new, strict guidelines to deal with racism, suggesting a commendable determination to combat discrimination in the sport.

We find it shocking that this same organisation shows total insensitivity to the blatant and entrenched discrimination inflicted on Palestinian sportsmen and women by Israel.

Despite direct appeals from representatives of the sport in Palestine and from anti-racist human rights campaigners across Europe, Uefa is rewarding Israel’s cruel and lawless behaviour by granting it the honour of hosting the European Under-21 finals next month.

Uefa should not allow Israel to use a prestigious football occasion to whitewash its racist denial of Palestinian rights and its illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

We urge Uefa to follow the brave example of world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking who, on advice from Palestinian colleagues, declined to take part in an international conference in Israel. We call on Uefa, even at this late stage, to reverse the choice of Israel as a venue.

Here are the signatories to the BDS call in the Guardian. As you’ll note by reading our brief bios, the group is dominated by ‘Patrons’ from the fringe group, Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu:  Former civil rights leader in South Africa with an apparent blind spot when it comes to Jews.  Tutu, for instance, has evoked classic antisemitic stereotypes and tropes about Jewish “arrogance”, “power” and money.

Frédéric Kanouté: A footballer who, we revealed in early December, had falsely claimed that several other footballers had called on European football’s governing body to cancel Israel’s hosting of the Under-21 Finals.

John Austin MP: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and Former Labour MP for Woolwich.

Rodney Bickerstaffe: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron.

Bob Crow: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron.

Victoria Brittain: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and former Guardian associate foreign editor, who once chaired an event at the pro-Hamas group, MEMO.

Jeremy Corbyn MP: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and an obsessively anti-Israel campaigner who had participated in a meeting organized by the openly pro-Hamas group MEMO, and has actually opined quite explicitly in defense of both Hamas and Hezbollah.

Caryl Churchill: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and author of the antisemitic play Seven Jewish Children’.

Rev Garth Hewitt: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron, and singer/songwriter.

Dr Ghada Karmi: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron, one-state promoter and ‘Comment is Free’ contributor.

Bruce Kent: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron.

Ken Loach: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron, and a film-maker who has participated in countless anti-Israel campaigns, and has even participated in the kangaroo court known as the Russell Tribunal on Palestine where he accused the Jewish state of adopting a policy of ‘racial purity’.

Michael Mansfield QC: A British lawyer and Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporter, who has endorsed the Muslim Brotherhoodled ‘Free Gaza’ campaign – and also has participated in the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

Kika Markham: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron, Actor, and supporter of Viva Palestina

Luisa Morgantini: Former vice-president, European parliament. 

Prof Hilary Rose, Prof Steven Rose: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patrons, and among the founding members of British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). Their obsessive criticism of Jews, and of the Jewish state, inspired Anthony Julius to observe that they seem “proud to be ashamed to be Jews”. 

Alexei Sayle: Author and comedian, Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and Marxist.

Jenny Tonge: Most notable for her remarks that she might have been a suicide bomber had she been born a Palestinian, as well as her claim that “the pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western World, its financial grips [and] a certain grip on [the Labor] party”. Tonge also is infamous for calling on Israel to “investigate” the IDF in light of charges they were stealing organs in Haiti. 

Dr Antoine ZahlanPalestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and Arab academic.

Geoffrey Lee: Affiliated with the group leading efforts to boycott Israeli football, ‘Red Card Israeli Racism‘ 

Tomas Perez: According to the Guardian, he’s affiliated with the group Football Beyond Borders

John McHugo: Chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine, board member of CAABU, the Council for Arab-British Understanding. He has also contributed essays for the website of the pro-Hamas group MEMO.

Roger Lloyd Pack: Actor best known for his role as ‘Trigger’ in the BBC series ‘Only Fools and Horses’

Whilst this campaign, like so many other abysmal attempts to isolate Israel by the anti-Zionist left, will certainly fail, it’s important to contextualize BDS in all of its manifestations as the political derivative of various Arab (and Soviet) led boycotts which have been used for many decades as weapons in the war against Israel.  In its modern incarnation BDS represents the main component of the “Durban strategy” – adopted by the NGO Forum of the UN’s Durban Conference (2001) – adopted by pro-Palestinian groups to completely isolate Israel by promoting economic, academic, cultural and even (as in this case) sporting boycotts of Israel.

As NGO monitor summed up the BDS movement:

  • Boycotts are the antithesis of dialogue, cooperation, and developing peaceful ties between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • Ali Abunimah, major BDS speaker and head of “Electronic Intifada,” labels Palestinian leaders who negotiate with Israel “collaborators.”
  • BDS activists promote “one-state” solutions, meaning the elimination of Israel as the historic homeland of the Jewish nation. (A political goal which is codified as antisemitic by the EU.)

Further, this particular boycott movement – targeting Israel by attempting to politicize European football – has garnered almost no traction beyond marginal figures and a few extreme anti-Israel movements.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said after Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell asked why the government was supporting the tournament: “I do not believe that sporting fixtures should be an obstacle to political progress of any form”. Responding to the president of the Palestinian Football Association, FIFA President Platini said that UEFA did not believe in “punishing people and isolating them”.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the Israeli U21 squad comes from a range of backgrounds, and includes Jewish Israelis, Arab Israelis and foreign football players.

We’ll leave you with a video featuring two outstanding Israeli players – Captain Eyal Golasa, a Netanya native who plays for Maccabi Haifa, and Moanes Dabur, an Arab-Israeli player for Maccabi Tel Aviv – talking about the Israeli national under-21 team and showing off their skills.

36 replies »

  1. A bunch of Racist Jew Hating Trash, getting absolutely nowhere with their racist drivel!……Laugh at them! Not a squeak about Iranian woman not even allowed into stadiums in Iran to watch games. Al Ahzdi,Stadium ,100,0000 patrons and not one female, F***in Hypocrites.!

  2. What terrifies these BDS scum is that the tournament will allow people to see Israel as she really is. The fact that Israel has an Arab-Jewish football team.will astound many who have swallowed the BDS propaganda.

    The BDS are going to be exposed for the liars they are. No wonder they are desperately trying to stop the tournament.

  3. “Whilst this campaign, like so many other abysmal attempts to isolate Israel by the anti-Zionist left, will certainly fail”

    You sure about that?

    I hope it succeeds. Israel is a racist ethnocracy.

    • Ethnocracy?! But Alex, not so long ago your kind of people called it judeo-plutocracy! Seems to me these strange words are too difficult for you and your comrades…

    • Alex: ” Israel is a racist ethnocracy.”

      Israel liberates Jews from racists like you. Your racist grand-daddy must be turning in his grave.

    • Are we sure that this campaign will fail? Er… yes.

      Do you really think that there is ANY CHANCE AT ALL – short of a nuclear war – that UEFA are going to change the arrangements for this tournament a week before it starts?

      Are you really that deluded?

    • Contrary to your wishes, this stupid campaign has never even come close to getting off the ground. It is already an utter failure. Thank God.

  4. The Feeney article about the group is even more ridiculous.
    If a similar non-entity like myself were to write a letter, would the G. then headline “BDS movement accused of being time wasters”? (get a footie reference in there, of course)

  5. “…a similar non-entity like myself…”

    You’re being uncharacteristically modest, pretzelberg – but I agree with you 100%.

  6. I forgot to mention that the article is well researched, with good background informations about the involved persons.

  7. It is worth mentioning that there are 5 Arab players on the Israeli squad, 4 of which are Muslims. Guess which of the 8 under 21 national teams participating in the tournament has the highest number of Muslim players?

    • I imagine said Arab players would be none too pleased about the preposterous proposed boycott!

  8. Take a look at the PSC blog . They have changed their logo in order to present a more acceptable sanitised version . More or less abstract . Unfortunately they’ve yet to change their face book logo .
    It stills shows the River to the Sea image .
    They should really get their act together if they want to give the right impression to the powers that be . Fortunately most of us are privy to this charade and the screen saves of their twin set logos will always be there to remind us of the malign despicable and racist nature of the BDS and their patrons including supercessionist Ben White and the antisemite Ali Abuminah

  9. Boycotts are the antithesis of dialogue, cooperation, and developing peaceful ties between Israelis and Palestinians.

    Strange that, when boycotts were the first port of call to confront the new German government in 1933, before it had done anything.

    Furthermore, the boycott tactic is said to have worked, and Zionist authors like Edwin Black claim that violence that the Nazis were forced to “vigilantly restrain” violence against the Jews.

    Wouldn’t it be good if Israel “vigilantly restrained” restrained itself from inflicting what Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, called: “disproportionate force”?

    • Ha! Back to your merry Brownshirt fantasies, huh?
      In the years 1931-1932:(Still Weimar, to be sure)

      SA thugs physically prevented customers from entering Jewish shops, windows were systematically smashed and Jewish shop owners threatened. In Christmas 1932[Before the Nazi rise to power; C101], the central office of the Nazi party organized a nation-wide boycott. In addition German businesses, particularly large organizations like banks, insurance companies, and industrial firms such as Siemens, increasingly refused to employ Jews.

      To boot, the virulently anti-Semitic Nazi charter, and the already widely acknowledged Nazi program to repress Jews wherever they(the Nazis) found them.
      So clearly, they’ve been doing something; “something” of which you incidentally approve…
      I bet you secretly wish you could go back in time and join the SS, don’t you?

      • Stop hopping around – boycotts are what I said they were, perfectly proper and used against the Nazis.

        In the case of the Nazis, they were used even before the new government had done anything.

        Were the Nazis in government guaranteed to bring in policies that would rob the Jews and kick them out of the country anyway? Perhaps they were, perhaps that became certain from 9 years earlier, 1924, when Hitler was in prison and read a sensational book from the US called “The International Jew” , parts of which he copied into his own political manifesto.

        However, it was by no means as sure that the Nazis would attack Jews as it was sure that the Zionists were going to attack the Palestinians and steal all their land, which was the case since Theodore Herzl invented Zionism in 1895!

        • Aha! Now we know… Straight from the Horse’s mouth, or is it ar..?
          “…they were used even before the new government had done anything…”
          But my dear Proto-Fascist fiend, what did I bother bringing you the account of the ramblings of your brownshirt comrades ,when in fact, they were rampaging Jewish businesses and harassing the Jews themselves as early as 1932?
          “Perhaps they were…” — Nah, don’t tell us! You’re here to exonerate Hitler, after all. Lest there be any doubt in your Neo-Nazi mind, “Nick” — you wish to live to see the “Sieg des Willens”.
          “Attack the Palestinians”… Hummm, was it Zionists who massacred 67 Men, women, and infants in Hebron in 1929?
          Or perhaps 300 Jews in the ’36-’39 riots?
          Oh, no, silly me… It was the Palestinians!

    • Nick: “the new German government in 1933, before it had done anything.”

      Nazi asshole or sanctimonious left-wing Jew-baiter? Who cares any more, you couldn’t put a cigarette paper between them.

    • Again trying to twist history. Before the German goverment had done nothing?

      The Anti-Nazi Boycott of 1933 was a boycott of German products by foreign critics of the Nazi Party in response to antisemitism in Nazi Germany following the rise of Adolf Hitler, commencing with his appointment as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933.
      Following Adolf Hitler’s appointment as German Chancellor in January 1933, an organized campaign of violence was undertaken by Hitler’s Nazi Party against the Jews of Germany. Jewish stores were picketed and shoppers at these stores were harassed. Protests by the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (the Jewish communal organization) against these systematic tactics were ignored, with Hermann Göring stating that “I shall employ the police, and without mercy, wherever German people are hurt, but I refuse to turn the police into a guard for Jewish stores”.

      • “Again trying to twist history. Before the German goverment had done nothing?”

        What I said. The boycott was announced before the new Nazi government had done anything.

        In the event, there were a lot of people who had helped Hitler to power that he didn’t like, and in 1935, he turned on the very most antisemitic, the SA (mentioned above as the culprits attacking Jewish shops) and decapitated it with the night of the long knives.

        But that was too late for there to be peace again – Russian thugs such as Jabotinsky in Jan 1934 had declared war – saying, at least according to some sources: “Our Jewish interests demand the definitive annihilation of Germany; the whole German people poses a threat for us.”

        • Russian thugs such as Jabotinsky in Jan 1934 had declared war – saying, at least according to some sources: “Our Jewish interests demand the definitive annihilation of Germany; the whole German people poses a threat for us.”

          A short list of the sources of this falsified crap of Nick (aka dubitante):

 The Myth of the Justice of Nuremberg
 The Jews think that Germany is a donkey. Now Germany has proved them right. Instead of trying to free itself, Germans pay reparations and self-humiliates. No more Triumph of the Will, just donkyish slavery
 Who was behind the 911 attacks?
 The myth of Zionist anti-Fascism by Roger Garaudy

          One of Nick’s (dubitante) favorite MO is quoting falsified sayings or writings of Jewish/Zionist leaders – all of them freely and easily available on neo-Nazi and Islamist websites – obviously the spiritual home of Nick.

          • There are numerous sources which make it clear that elements of Zionism decided to make war on Germany.

            Edwin Black’s famous “Transfer Agreement” suggests these measures did the German economy considerable damage – but he also suggests they had an effect, largely protecting the Jews from violence. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, “legal” forms of ethnic cleansing were put into effect instead and were very effective).

            The quote from Jabotinsky, in Jan 1934, is said to come from “Natscha Retsch” – if its false, then what did that newspaper really print?

            A quick search on the web brings up practically nothing about this hate-rag and I cannot even find any firm evidence it existed. But Mondoweiss is perfectly happy to carry clips from it such as “The war against Germany will be waged by all Jewish communities, conferences, congresses… by every individual Jew. Thereby the war against Germany will ideologically enliven and promote our interests, which require that Germany be wholly destroyed. The danger for us Jews lies in the whole German people, in Germany as a whole as well as individually. It must be rendered harmless for all time…. In this war we Jews have to participate, and this with all the strength and might we have at our disposal.

            Jabotinsky is a huge figure in pre-war Zionism, its impossible that his views are not known. They appear to be hatred of Hitler and a determination to have a war on Germany.

            • Jabotinsky is a huge figure in pre-war Zionism, its impossible that his views are not known. They appear to be hatred of Hitler …

              Re. hatred of Hitler: fine by me and the rest of the civilised world. His animosity (and that’s an understatement) towards Jews was already clear by then, after all.
              How about you? Perhaps the poor failed painter/corporal was simply misunderstood?

        • In the event, there were a lot of people who had helped Hitler to power that he didn’t like, and in 1935, he turned on the very most antisemitic, the SA (mentioned above as the culprits attacking Jewish shops)

          Ah yes, that well known chapter from history when Hitler saved the Jews from murderous anti-Semitic barbarians …

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