Under the slogan of âDon’t Play with Israeli Occupation Troopsâ, Scottish protestors boycotted the July 30th cricket match between Gibraltar and Apartheid Israel to draw international attention to the intrinsic link between the Zionist regimeâs sports teams and its policies of occupation, colonization, and ethnic cleansing.
Prior to the Israel-Gibraltar game, protesters rendered the cricket pitch at Meigle unusable. ‘Free Palestine’ was painted in large white letters on the grass and some of the turf was dug up. Under police protection, apartheid Israel went on to play their game against Gibraltar that same day in a different venue,., Israel lost.
Adding to the many initiatives of a growing global movement to Isolate Apartheid Israel, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) opposed the invitation by Meigle Cricket Club and the European Cricket Council to Israel to participate in a European cricket tournament. In a written public announcement, SPSC stated that:
Such an invitation to an Israeli team to participate is deeply shocking to many Scots at a time when Israel continues its campaign of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians on a daily basis. Israel continues to flout the International Court’s demand from a year ago for Israeli to dismantle its illegal wall. We understand the frustration of those who are forced to watch as Israel is rewarded for its crimes against humanity by being made an honorary European country.
Official Israeli teams should be expelled from all European sporting and cultural events.
Israeli sporting teams are not welcome here in Scotland while Israel
â¢ murders thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children
â¢ breaks numerous UN resolutions on Palestinian human rights
â¢ violates International Court rulings to tear down its illegal apartheid Wall
â¢ continues its ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people
Israel is the only country which
â¢ maintains an apartheid system which makes Jews legally superior to non-Jews
â¢ maintains most of its land for the benefit of one ethnic group, excluding Arabs
â¢ allows the legal use of torture (against Palestinians only)
â¢ has elected a mass murderer as Prime Minister
â¢ maintains its nuclear arsenal as a threat to regional and international peace
â¢ does not allow marriage between Jews and non-Jews
It is time that international sporting organizations such as FIFA and UEFA take up their responsibility in front of their continuous cooperation with the worldâs remaining apartheid regime and are reminded that no discourse of âneutralityâ can hide their complicity in legitimating Israeli policies through international sporting events by allowing sports teams to represent a state based on continuous crime and violation of international law.
Actions such as the Scottish initiative or soccer protests in Ireland depict the growing grassroots awareness of the importance of sports boycotts as a form of international pressure against Israel, and a sign of solidarity with Palestine. These are positive initiatives that need to be adopted more comprehensively, wherby,local and national sporting teams and athletes refuse to play their counterparts of Apartheid Israel. Applying strong enough pressure will force international sporting federations to take action in the name of justice and the liberation of the Palestinian people.