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BDS: World Reacts as Argentina Cancels Match With Israel

Business  (tags: Argentina Cancels Match with Israel, BDS international, BDS America-international, BDS, sport, Argentian, israel human rights crimes, Palestine-siege of Gaza, illegal occupation, apartheid state regime, israel, media, news, world, goodnews, children, ameri )

- 134 days ago -
Argentina officially canceled its final World Cup warm-up match against Israel on June 9, as a result of BDS pressure.


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fly bird (26)
Wednesday June 6, 2018, 7:39 pm
BDS: World Reacts as Argentina Cancels Match with Israel.

Gonzalo Higuaín: 'The right thing was not to go to Israel.'

Argentina officially canceled its final World Cup warm-up match against Israel on June 9, as a result of BDS pressure.

The announcement is considered one of the greatest achievements for the BDS movement in years.

Many reacted to the decision on social media:

Gonzalo “El Pipa” Higuaín felt it was the right decision:

Argentinian player, Gonzalo “El Pipa” Higuaín, who is also a striker for the Italian football club Juventus, told ESPN: “the right thing was not to go to Israel.”

Carlos Latuff, Political Cartoonist had a message:

A few hours before the official announcement, popular Brazilian political cartoonist Carlos Latuff created an image which went viral.

The BDS movement issued a statement:

“We welcome news that @Argentina’s “friendly” football match with Israel has been canceled! The team responded to creative campaigning from fans around the world, denouncing Israel’s sports-washing of its crimes against Palestinians. @FIFAcom: Take note! #NothingFriendly”

Yasser Zaatra, political analyst wrote:

“Criminal Lieberman is angry over the cancellation of the match between Argentina and the Zionist entity. Let him go to hell. Israel’s international isolation (as well as Trump’s) is mounting. We don’t expect much from this, but it is part of the struggle. Resistance is the choice. People respect who fight invaders and respect their sacrifices.”

BDS South Africa welcomed the decision:

BDS South Africa welcomed the decision to cancel the match. They stated in a press release:

“As a people who experienced Apartheid, we agree – no normal sport with an abnormal regime!”

(PC, Social Media)

Judy C (91)
Wednesday June 6, 2018, 8:51 pm
This is good news. Thanks Fly.

fly bird (26)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 3:21 am
Argentina Won’t Play Israel in Soccer Because Slaughtering Palestinians Has Consequences.
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 7:10 p.m.

Palestinians celebrated a diplomatic victory on Wednesday as Israel confirmed the cancellation of a high-profile visit to Jerusalem by Argentina’s national soccer team, which had been scheduled for Saturday.

A statement from the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires late Tuesday night claimed that Argentina’s players had decided to back out of a planned game against Israel’s national team because of “threats and provocations directed at Lionel Messi,” the superstar Argentine captain.

The nature of those threats was not immediately clear, but Argentina’s foreign minister, Jorge Faurie, said in a radio interview on Wednesday that the team had been unsettled by “a series of threats that came via the internet.” When a journalist pointed out to Faurie that Messi had apparently shrugged off threats from ISIS about traveling to Russia for the World Cup, the foreign minister suggested that these messages were somehow worse.

Israel’s sports minister, Miri Regev, even described the reported threats against the Argentines as a form of terrorism comparable, she said, to the 1972 hostage crisis at the Olympic Games in Munich, in which 11 Israeli athletes were seized by Palestinian militants and killed during a botched rescue attempt.

On Wednesday evening, though, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported that an Argentine sports journalist close to Messi, Juan Cortese, said “there were no threats against the players’ lives and they did not take part in the decision” to cancel the match, which had been taken by Argentina’s government.

While Palestinian officials and activists from the grassroots Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement had appealed to Messi to not take part in what they called a political stunt, the only threat they leveled against the player was that his popularity would suffer. The Palestine Football Association president, Jibril Rajoub, called on fans to burn replicas of the star’s shirt if he played in Jerusalem.

Catalan protesters who waved two Argentina soccer jerseys daubed with red paint outside the squad’s training ground in Barcelona on Tuesday told the Argentine newspaper Clarín that they were not threatening Messi, but appealing to him to not help Israel launder its image by distracting attention from its ongoing slaughter of Palestinian protesters in Gaza.

In a letter to his Argentine counterpart last week, Rajoub had urged Argentina to cancel the match because the Israeli sports minister had intervened to move it from Haifa, a city inside Israel’s 1948 borders, to Jerusalem, where Israel has ruled over hundreds of thousands of Palestinians it denies full civil rights since in 1967. “The Israeli government has turned a regular sports match into a political tool,” Rajoub argued. The match, he added “is now being played in order to celebrate the ’70th anniversary of the State of Israel,’ and the match itself is to take place in a stadium built on one of the at least 418 Palestinian villages destroyed by Israel 70 years ago, Al Malha.”

While Rajoub thanked Messi on Wednesday and said that he would not have objected if the game had been played in Haifa as originally scheduled, supporters of the BDS movement pledged to keep pressing for a full sports boycott of Israel, modeled on the pressure campaign against apartheid-era South Africa.

Even if the Argentine captain has not endorsed the boycott movement, Palestinian and Israeli activists correctly noted that his team’s refusal to play in Jerusalem was a blow to the promise Israel’s government makes to its citizens: that they can live normal lives and pay no price for continuing to deny civil rights to millions of Palestinians under their army’s control.

As Hagai El-Ad, director of the Israeli rights group B’Tselem, told me two years ago in Jerusalem, most Israeli voters are clear on what they want: “more of the same, with no consequences.” Which means that Israelis who see no need to end the occupation that started 51 years ago this week want to hear that the country can be accepted as a normal member of the international community without making any concessions for peace.

By pressing the Argentine soccer team to avoid Israel after the country’s military used snipers to shoot thousands of unarmed Palestinian protesters in recent weeks, activists have forced Israelis to suffer at least some consequences.

“Whatever the real reasons for the cancellation,” Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer observed on Twitter, “the Netanyahu government’s politicization of the match, particularly the ego-trip of vainglorious Sports Minister Regev made it a convenient target and unearned win for the boycotters. BDS is not a real threat to Israel. Hubris is.”

Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, posted an old photo of himself with Messi on Twitter along with the comment, “Another victory for Messi (and the Palestinians), 1:0 from the own-goal of Miri Regev.”

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Regev’s boss, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, personally telephoned Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, late Tuesday at her request, to attempt to keep the match from being canceled. Macri, however, informed Netanyahu that he would abide by rules imposed by international soccer’s governing body which prevent governments from interfering in such sporting decisions.

“Netanyahu’s government may be gaining Trump, but it’s losing the world,” Ayman Odeh, who leads a coalition of Palestinian parties in the Knesset, said. “You can’t just keep enjoying games while the rights of millions of Palestinians are being trampled. There’s only one way to win — ending the occupation and a real peace treaty. It’s still possible.”

Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 7:10 p.m. EDT This news analysis column was updated to include information about the nature of online threats reportedly made against Argentine soccer players which came to light after publication.

Evelyn B (61)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 3:43 am
Food for thought to those who parrot Israeli objections to BDS ...

Did the South African boycott & sanctions de-legitimise South Africa?
Did boycott & sanctions of Iraq de-legitimise Iraq?
No - that question never arose - it was the politics of the country (& the leadership) that was criticised (and effectively punished for the human rights abuse represented by the policies).
So - why do so many people want you to believe that the non-violent BDS movement is anti-Semitic, de-legitimising Israel? ...

Because BDS does hurt - it creates pressure.
And support for BDS is growing! This is another success story!

Following Shakira's announcement that she won't perform in Israel ...
And Nathalie Portman's stance, because she disapproves of Israeli strategies on the Gaza border

And now there is hesitation about holding the next Eurovision Song Contest in Israel ... :)

BDS is a non-violent movement, designed to criticise Israeli policies & strategies against the Palestinian people.

Cathy B (426)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 5:42 am
When politics and sport become intertwined it becomes very Messi!

Colleen L (3)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 7:38 am
Agree with Cathy and Judy. Thank Fly

fly bird (26)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 1:37 pm
messier or not - necessary to continue to uphold human rights, and fight back against racism and apartheid policies, and crimes against humanity.

Criminal actions must not be condoned, ignored or 'normalized"- under any circumstances.
Sport is about freedoms, for all people, not mere physical activity.
Freedoms to travel, to choose to travel, to participate in sports, to compete, to train, to live, free of oppression. Freedom of movement for children, and all communities, to exercise these fundamental rights, and not be shot, maimed, or blown to pieces.

Angela J (61)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 5:27 pm

Janet B (0)
Saturday June 9, 2018, 6:38 pm

Cathy B (426)
Monday June 11, 2018, 7:14 am

Thank you, BDS, for making us stronger

BEN SWARTZ National Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, writes a tongue-in-cheek letter thanking BDS for helping Israel and the world to promote the Zionist cause, and castigating them for what they are not helping to do. If you don't have a good laugh at this, you must be a member of BDS. But, whether you laugh or cry at what Ben has to say to BDS, you will come out on the other side of it far better informed about the anti-Israel lobby group's activities.

by BEN SWARTZ | Mar 08, 2016

Dear BDS,
I would like to offer this message of thanks to all the members and supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement around the world. As chairman of the Zionist Federation it remains my task to strengthen and galvanise the support of the Jewish State not only amongst all South African Jews, but beyond, to include all those that share and appreciate the values and relevance of the State of Israel in the context of global affairs.

You have made our job that much easier …

You have tried to threaten us and what we stand for. Through your endless tirades of hatred from calls to “Shoot the Jew”, to fermenting calls to expel Jews from campuses around South Africa. From consistently lying to and entrapping the media, academia and civil society, and by leading marches on business (perceived by you to be run by Jews) – you have forced more Jews and friends of Israel to stand up and be counted.

You have made us realise that we can never take the gift of Jewish sovereignty in our historical and biblical homeland for granted. You have forced us to work very hard to show the world that you are neither telling the truth, nor representing the best interests of the Palestinian people. You have helped us build a friendship circle of pro-Israel ambassadors, all willing to share the truth of what is really taking place in the Middle East.

We thank you for showing those who were “on the fence” that racism and hatred can never lead to peace.

Through your efforts to intimidate and propagate blatant lies you have only strengthened our resolve to appreciate who we are, where we come from and what we represent.

You have forced us to break the shackles of isolation that for so long we have used to protect ourselves and you have pushed us to reach out and engage with the outside world like never before. We have made many new friends!

You have been instrumental in bringing people of ALL FAITHS, CULTURES, NATIONS AND SOCIETIES of the world together – whether it be massive parts of the Christian world including the Evangelic Church, the Catholics and the largest Black Churches in Africa, or the mighty nations of India, China and all of Africa.

Thank you too for helping us educate the world by your actions that have caused us to explain the importance of a place one can freely practice their own religion – no matter what it may be – and showcase the democracy that is Israel.

You have pushed the mighty nations of the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and France to pass legislation that not only protects Israel against your devious efforts but has strengthened and fortified the economic relationship between Israel and these nations.

Thanks to you the US CONGRESS has agreed “to increase the use of its voice, vote, and influence in international organizations and other appropriate international forums to actively oppose politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel.”

Thanks for ensuring that BRITAIN took a decision in February planning to completely outlaw BDS. The measure is expected to make Britain the second major EU country to outlaw boycotting Israel.

The difference between us and you is that we are defending our right to exist – not just as free people but as a people that understand that when people threaten us it is never to be taken lightly. Over the past 2000 years we have learnt that when others say “Shoot the Jew” – we know what they mean.

But now, most South Africans and the rest of the world have seen through you.

Thanks to you, BDS, the community of nations has been able to find ways to work together to help Israel to help themselves through leading-edge technology, water management, agri-tech, medicine and business innovation. The world’s fight-back against your movement, in the Arab world and even amongst the Palestinians, continues to gain incredible momentum.

But now let me tell you what we don't thank you for …

As much as you have tried to get our fellow-South Africans to further embroil themselves in a conflict thousands of miles away, you have shown them that you don’t really care about the issues facing us as South Africans.

When it comes to the key issues of food or water security, health and medicine or business innovation – areas unsurpassed in excellence by Israel – yet issues that remain so critical to South Africa today - your hatred for Israel remains so great that you would rather see South Africans go hungry, without water or with no access to revolutionary medical solutions and exposure to innovative ways of doing business - all at the expense of your hateful agenda.

Even more so, as all South Africans are today confronted by the demons of racism, you deem it wise and expedient to throw as much fuel onto this flame as possible.

When it comes to the Palestinian cause you should be ashamed of your arrogance and its consequences in exacerbating the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

You are no better than any state or organisation that for the last 70 years has been guilty of instructing the Palestinians not to resolve their differences with the Jewish State by shackling and inciting the very people you claim to represent as opposed to encouraging the Palestinians to seek a constructive and peaceful resolution to the very painful conflict that affects everyone involved.

How do you justify the disingenuous concept and belief that “You” will sort out their problems?

To paraphrase Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, supreme leader of Hezbollah (and I never thought I would ever be quoting him) who just this week stated “Arab regimes have never done anything for the Palestinians”. Well let us be very clear on this - neither have you and it is clear to all that you never will.

BEN SWARTZ is the National Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation

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