It’s getting boring and tiresome and irritating and frustrating and above all screamingly unfair that Israel is the target of yet more boycott attempts by the BDS brigade, who shall henceforth be called the anti-peaceniks.
The first (not necessarily chronologically) is a call for the international football association FIFA to expel Israel from the organization for making life difficult for Palestinian soccer players who want to travel or cross into Israel:
According to an exclusive report on Monday from a website called Inside World Football, FIFA has given Israel until the summer to improve travel and playing conditions for Palestinian soccer players, with the threat of expulsion as a member of soccer’s world governing body hanging ominously overhead.
While this issue is not a new one, there has been added pressure in recent months after FIFA President Sepp Blatter visited the Middle East last July to try and help push forward the process between Israel and Palestine.
In recent weeks, the Palestinian Football Association has publicized that it would demand Israel’s expulsion from FIFA at this summer’s FIFA Congress at the World Cup in Brazil, unless travel restrictions for sportsmen between the occupied territories and Israel were removed.
Representatives from Israel’s highest soccer authorities have responded that Palestinian players and officials have enjoyed greatly improved access to move in and out of the West Bank and Gaza.
“It has never been the policy of FIFA and UEFA to mix politics and sport,” Israel Football Association CEO Rotem Kemer told http://www.insideworldfootball.com. “We are making our best efforts in order to help the Palestinian association. We are trying to make things easier for them.”
And who is the Palestinian football official instigating this boycott? Why, it’s no less than Jibril Rajoub in his current guise as head of the Palestinian Football Federation.
Who is Jibril Rajoub you may ask? He is no mere football official. He is an unmitigated and unreformed terrorist. Here is a partial bio from the Jewish Virtual Library:
In September 1970, he was arrested for throwing a grenade at an Israeli army bus near Hebron. He was later tried and convicted of this attack and of membership in an armed group, and sentenced to life in prison. In 1985, Rajoub was among the 1,150 Arab prisoners freed in an exchange deal for three Israeli hostages held by the PFLP terror group. He was soon rearrested for resuming terrorist activities but was released seven months later. In September 1986, he was yet again arrested for terrorist activity, and was imprisoned until March 1987.
Despite Western efforts to portray Rajoub as a moderate, he is repeatedly made incindiary remarks about Israel and its place in the Middle East. In July 2012, during international debate on whether to hold a minute of silence at the 2012 London Olympics in memory of the murdered Israeli athletes from the 1972 Munich games, Rajoub – as head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee – wrote to IOC President Jacques Rogges in opposition to the motion, saying that “sports are a bridge for love … and should not be used for divisiveness and the spread of racism.”
During an interview with Lebanese TV in May 2013, Rajoub said, “Resistance to Israel remains on [Palestinian] agenda … I mean resistance in all of its forms … we believe that popular resistance – with all that it entails – is effective and costly to [Israel].”
Wikipedia adds some choice quotes of his:
In July 2012, as head of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Rajoub called a request for a minute of silence to remember the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics by Palestinian Arab terrorists in 1972 “racist”.
Rajoub told Hezbollah-affiliated television network Al Mayadeen “until now we have not had nuclear weapons,” he declared, “but in the name of Allah, if we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them.”
One of the incidents that has triggered this boycott call was the libellous allegation that Israel deliberately shot at the feet of young aspiring Palestinian footballers simply for the fun of it in order to demolish their budding careers in the sport. The pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon has been all over this story, exposing the lies with the help of an enterprising commenter named Bob Knot.
Here is an excerpt from “the lies about the Palestinian footballers”:
A quick note first and then on with the findings; there was one detail that both Dusty and Edgar were incorrect about in otherwise excellent articles: the two “Palestinian” boys were first treated for their injuries in Hadassah Hospital and were released after four days. Their families checked them then in into a medical facility in Ramallah to be later transferred to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman.
Read the whole devastating take-down of the Palestinians’ lies – lies on which the call to ban Israel is based.
The Elder continues with a ripping apart of the Nation sports writer Dave Zirin who was the one who spread the libel in the first place, exposing him as an anti-Israel liar:
One of those writers was Dave Zirin of The Nation.
Even though he, and The Nation, were repeatedly contacted about the overwhelming proof that their reporting was completely wrong, there was never any response.
Three days before I published Bob’s expose, Zirin published a much longer piece trying to make his earlier lies look like a consistent, long standing policy of Israel against Palestinian Arab football, using older examples. Zirin’s newer piece defends his earlier reporting by disparaging those who doubted him.
His defense of course was destroyed by the piece I published. The photos clearly showed that they were not shot in the way described besides dozens of other inaccuracies. The Palestinian Arab sources indeed were proven to be mendacious.
Zirin then attempted to prove that his earlier lies are supported by a pattern of Israeli actions seemingly aimed deliberately at Palestinian Arab football players.
Bob has taken Zirin apart again, and it is devastating.
I strongly recommend that you read the entire exposé and then send it to your local football association, to FIFA and to any sports writer you can think of.
A further reminder of the blurring of lines between civilians and terrorists in the Palestinian territories occurred back in 2009 when Israel bombed a football field in Gaza, and was promptly condemned for this by the head of FIFA (same fellow as today). In response, Blatter was shown how the field was used for launching rockets against Israeli civilians:
In response to comments Blatter made during his visit to Israel, the Prime Minister decided to show him concrete evidence of how football fields are used as bases by Hamas for launching rockets at civilian populations in Israel.
Netanyahu presented photographs showing missiles being launched at Israel from the heart of civilian populations in Gaza. The aerial shots from November 16, 2012 show Fajr-5 missile launch sites in the Gaza football stadium. A photograph of a building that was hit by missiles in Rishon Lezion and a video clip that was taken by civilians on March 10, 2012, which shows a football match between Be’er Sheva and Um Al-Fahm being suddenly halted due to rocket fire in the stadium area, was also shown.
Anyone who has any sense of fairness at all, in fact anyone who has any sense at all, will know that this boycott call to FIFA is based on nothing but lies and animus towards Israel. Unfortunately there do not seem to be enough people with sense, let alone a sense of fairness. It would be nice to be proven wrong.
The second boycott call in recent days comes from the British architects association RIBA. CifWatch has been following this issue closely. First they covered Guardian reporter Harried Sherwood’s initial article about the proposed boycott:
Sherwood’s report begins:
Britain’s leading architectural association has called for its Israeli counterpart to be excluded from the International Union of Architects in protest at Israel‘s occupation of Palestine, in a further indication of the growing momentum of the boycott movement.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) has demanded the suspension of the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the international body, saying it is complicit in the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and other violations of international law.
Riba’s president, Angela Brady, told a meeting of the its council on Wednesday that failure to back the motion “would send a clear message to the world that we as an institution turn a blind eye or by inaction support what’s going on – land grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights, and reinforcement of apartheid“.
Additionally, we glanced at the website of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) which provides more information on the effort to boycott Israeli architects:
Is it even debatable that banning the sale of land based solely on the fact that the potential buyer is Jewish represents a perfect example of ”ethnically purifying” the land?
But, of course, the BDS movement has never been concerned with the equal application of moral standards, but, rather, with legitimizing their racist witch-hunt – the targeting of Israeli Jews for delegitimization, demonization and exclusion.
It now appears, in a similar manner to the above revelation about the anti-Israel sports-writer letting his biases get in the way of a story, the former president of RIBA, the instigator of the boycott call, has past form as an anti-Israel hater, as CifWatch write:
It appears that the resolution was based in part on the anti-Israel activism of RIBA’s past President Angela Brady, and a dishonest and highly propagandistic presentation by an extreme Jewish critic of Israel named Abe Hayeem. Hayeem is a RIBA member, chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine and ‘Comment is Free’ contributor.
There is some good news though:
However, there’s been some push back against RIBA’s resolution by Stephen Games, a RIBA member who published anop-ed at The Jewish Chronicle condemning the organization’s bigotry and hypocrisy, and calling for the removal of their Royal Charter if the resolution is not reversed.
Mr. Games has published the following open letter to the president of RIBA.
I am not a member of any interest group within the RIBA but was nonetheless disappointed to learn of Council’s decision to call for the Israeli architects’ body to be suspended from the International Union of Architects. I had no previous knowledge that this was coming up for a vote, I have not seen it reported in the RIBA, and I have not had any documentation about it, otherwise I would have protested earlier.
I object to the vote for five reasons:
Read the rest of Mr. Games’ excellent letter.
CifWatch also call on everyone to sign a petition (or a few petitions) calling for the rejection of this racist boycott.
To assist Mr. Games and others in the UK who oppose the boycott, please sign this petition , and (per the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s approach) consider contacting the president of the Union of International Architects (UIA), Prof. Albert Dubler, and ask that the group reject RIBA’s endorsement of a policy of racist exclusion targeting Israelis.
Reader Rob Harris sent a further petition site, from Stand With Us.
Please sign the petitions and forward them on to your friends and families.
To strengthen our argument against this boycott call, CifWatch have also listed the factual errors behind the boycott call:
First, the claim that “Israeli projects in the West Bank are “illegal” – despite what the UK media claims – represents a highly disputed legal contention. Additionally, almost all Israeli settlements are in ‘Area C’ of the West Bank, and is under full Israeli military and administrative control per the Oslo II Accord (1995) – an agreement, signed by the Palestinians, which contains no prohibition against settlement construction.
Also, Israel has not contravened the Geneva Convention. Article 49 (6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention states
“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.
No court of law has ever found Israel to be in breach of this Article.
3. Hayeem also told the RIBA Council the following:
“Palestinian land has become so fragmented that a viable Palestinian State has been rendered impossible. The map of Palestine, for the indigenous Palestinians, has shrunk from being 97% of the land in 1917 to 44% in 1947 to 22% in 1967.”
First, the “map” he’s referring to has been exposed as a lie.
Read it all. If it doesn’t convince the haters at least you’ll have some more facts to bolster your arguments in the future.
What I find so tiresome and outrageous in all these boycott calls is that Israel and its supporters are always on the defensive. The boycott attempts seem to come from any and every direction in an almost constant wave. It’s all very well having the facts and figures at our fingertips. The truth is, anyone who is interested in learning about the Middle East can find out these details for themselves. They are not hard to find and are easily available online or in libraries everywhere.
All that is lacking is the will – and the good will. How do we spread this good will and stop the evil from overwhelming us? It is such a depressing thought to contemplate that today, in the 21st century, we are still being forced to engage in the kind of Debates that Jews were forced to go through in the Middle Ages, only instead of debating the truth about our religion we are forced to defend the truth about our country and our nation-state.