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From Israeli citizens to UEFA/FIFA - Red Card to Israeli apartheid now!

March 2015

From Israeli citizens to UEFA/FIFA - Red Card to Israeli apartheid now!

We are Israeli citizens, active against our government`s policies of racism,
occupation and apartheid.

Soccer/Football cannot take place without fair play. The Palestinian people
however, ethnically cleansed from their homeland and living under Israeli
occupation for decades, have experienced little fair play from FIFA and
UEFA. Palestinian daily life is dominated by military orders which prevent
any normal development of a sustainable economy, including Palestinian

The large-scale onslaught on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, and the
mass killing of civilians and children by the State of Israel, our state, is
just one of many examples of this. At least 2200 Palestinians were killed
and more than 10,000 injured, of whom three quarters were civilians (500
children and more than 20 athletes). At least 38,000 houses were damaged,
including 500 houses of athletes and 32 sports buildings. 18,000 houses were
almost completely destroyed. 400,000 people were forced to flee their homes
during the attack, and 100,000 of them had to do so due to the permanent
destruction of their homes. 400,000 children need psychological help to
process the trauma of the attack.

Palestinian athletes, including footballers, cannot practice their sport in
a normal way because of Israel`s violation of their human rights. Both the
Palestinian Football Association (PFA) and individual players are affected
by the military occupation in numerous ways. The destruction of sports
infrastructure, the severe restrictions on movement within the Palestinian
territories, the travel bans, the problems with the import of training
materials, the Israeli interventions in the organization of international
football matches, arbitrary arrests and violence, as well as arrest and
detention without charge - these are some of the hardships faced by
Palestinian footballers under Israel`s apartheid.

The state of Israel, which implements the aforementioned policies, supports
the Israeli Football Association (IFA). The IFA is in fact an official organ
of the State of Israel, and is thereby used to portray Israel in a positive
light, as a normal, democratic country where Palestinian athletes have equal
rights. Israels unlimited participation in the international sporting
events and their membership of FIFA (and UEFA) serves its propaganda
purposes, and comes at the expense of the Palestinian people.

UN experts state that Israel is responsible for a policy of apartheid,
colonization and ethnic cleansing. The International Convention against
Apartheid in Sport, adopted by the General Assembly in December 1985,
states: `Sports contacts with any country practicing apartheid in sports,
condones and strengthens apartheid.`

In view of these facts, we would like to ask the Royal Belgian Football
Association (KBVB) not to legitimize Israel`s crimes. In particular, we
would like to ask the KBVB to refrain from playing football matches in and
against Israel. These matches serve as a propaganda tool for the Israeli
government, and sustain the suffering of the Palestinian people.

We would also like the KBVB to advocate, at the annual UEFA congress on
27.03.2015 and at the FIFA congress (during the executive committee of
19.03.2015), for the exclusion of the IFA from both these international
associations, as long as Israel violates basic human rights and
international law. We would like to note that Israel`s policies violate the
code of ethics of FIFA and UEFA. In addition, we would like to remind you
that Apartheid South Africa was banned from FIFA between 1963 and 1992 and
from the Olympic Games between 1964 and 1988.

It is time to take firm action against Israeli apartheid, a policy which
destroys the lives and future of all people living in Israel/Palestine.
Please support us!


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