The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Support IRELAND and PALESTINE on June 4th

Mags Glennon • 11 May 2005

Ireland play Israel in the second leg of the World Cup Qualifiers in Lansdowne Rd. on Saturday, June 4th.

As Palestinian solidarity campaigners and football supporters, we want to use this important sporting occasion to bring attention to the plight of the Palestinian population who, for the past 38 years, have endured a brutal military occupation that includes curfews, closures, checkpoints and deliberate destruction of homes, civilian infrastructure and farmland. In effect - ethnic cleansing.

We are urging those attending the Ireland -v- Israel match to show solidarity by displaying the flag of Palestine, so that our protest will be seen worldwide by people watching the match.

Racism in Israeli football

The Israeli government counters charges of racism and ill-treatment of Palestinians by pointing to the inclusion of two Arab-Israeli players in the Israeli team. In reality, these team members have been subjected to vile racist taunting at both Israeli league and international matches by sections of Israeli football fans. "No Arabs, no terrorism" is one such chant regularly heard at games.

Repression of Palestinian Football Team

Whatever about the abuse meted out to Israeli players of Palestinian descent, the situation faced by the Palestinian team as a result of Israeli apartheid is a lot more serious. Severe travel restrictions have hampered the team's attempt to qualify for the World Cup. Israel prevented 5 players from travelling to the World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan. Team members are regularly detained at checkpoints and prevented from travelling to and from practice and games.

Dying for the Game

The Israeli government's commitment to ?fair play? in sport was witnessed most recently in Rafah refugee camp in Gaza. On the 9th of April 2005, a group of boys were playing football in an open area when the ball was kicked towards the border fence. When the kids ran after it, Israeli soldiers opened fire at them, killing two, aged 14 and 15. It is conceivable that by Kick Off on June 4th, other such atrocities will have occurred.

Politics and Sport

Some people say that politics and sport don't mix and that politics should be kept out of sport. We argue that the two are often inseparable. The families and friends of the kids in Rafah and across Palestine might tend to agree.

As sports fans ourselves, we can point to examples in history where sporting events have been used by callous governments to influence their political standing abroad. The international rugby tour by the South African Springboks was intended to bolster the image of apartheid abroad. The economic and sporting boycott of South Africa in the 1980s had a huge effect in raising public awareness and helped to bring down Apartheid.


o Over 3,600 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army since September 2000. 722 of these were children.

o Over 12,500 homes demolished and over 60,000 people made homeless.

o 87 sick and injured, including children, have died at checkpoints as a result of being denied passage to hospitals.

o The restriction of movement and the deliberate destruction of Palestinian infrastructure have meant in the almost total collapse of the Palestinian economy.

We urge all Irish people, and especially football fans, to join the campaign to highlight injustice in Palestine by flying the flag on June 4th. Flags will be distributed outside Lansdowne Road.

We ask fans to bring in flags and banners and display them during the match.


Events on June 4th in Dublin

Central Bank, Dame St. * 3pm * Street Theatre + March to Israeli Embassy
* 5pm * Picket

Lansdowne Road * from 6pm * Leafleting & flags distribution for Match


Want to help the campaign?
Phone 085 7207775 or e-mail

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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

15 May 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

'The SDLP Hasn't Gone Away, You Know'
Tom Luby

Facing Fire
Anthony McIntyre

Venezuela: Arrival
Tomas Gorman

Fred A. Wilcox

Support IRELAND and PALESTINE on June 4th
Mags Glennon

11 May 2005

Always the Centre Ground
Anthony McIntyre

Those Voting Outside the Box are the Overall Winners
Sean Mc Aughey

Voting Respect
John Devine

Stand Down or Deliver
Paul A Fitzsimmons

Testing Free Speech in America
M. Shahid Alam

Whither Disorder?
Colin Kalmbacher



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