Tag Archives: ireland


Six months have passed since the 2011 UEFA Under-21s competition in Denmark and the launch of a campaign to persuade European football’s governing body to reverse its decision granting Israel the junior final in 2013.

Photo: Agence-France Presse

So far UEFA President Michel Platini has stubbornly refused to respond  to the appeal last June from 42 football clubs in besieged Gaza, not to reward Israel for its persistent infringements of Palestinian rights.

This is despite a steady stream of protests including a pitch invasion by French protesters,  a “Love Football, Hate Apartheid” action in Ireland and publication of a letter signed by high-profile individuals in two leading European newspapers.

The letter, over the names of renowned diplomat Stephane Hessel,  film-maker Ken Loach and Nobel Peace Prizewinner  Mairead Maguire among others, appeared in both the Irish Times and the UK Guardian.

“A state that uses military might to hold sway over land it illegally occupies and exploits, flouts international law and ignores UN resolutions surely forfeits the right to be treated as a member of the community of nations,” the letter said.

It called on UEFA to “respond positively” to the appeal from the 42 Gazan football clubs, backed by many sporting bodies.

Supporters of  the Red Card Israeli Apartheid campaign are now preparing to ratchet up the action with direct approaches to national football association presidents, supporters clubs and fans.

“UEFA is faced with serious ethical and moral problems by the choice of an Israeli venue for the finals,” said London-based campaign coordinator Geoff Lee. “With all the concern about racism in and around the game at the moment, it’s time to wake up to the fact that Israel’s entrenched discrimination against Palestinians amounts to systematic racism affecting football along with  the rest of society.”

Add your voice to the campaign by using this e-tool set up by the  Palestine Solidarity Campaign and following it on the BDSmovement website.


Culture and the Right Hand of the State: Lessons from Filmbase’s “Israeli Film Days”

This piece by Raymond Deane, cultural officer of Ireland’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign, reposted from Irish Left Review, includes a useful discussion of how to apply the criteria for cultural boycott.

Image of the protest at Filmbase during “Israeli Film Days” courtesy of Broadsheet.ie.

Between 24-27 November 2011, the Government of Israel held “Israeli Film Days” at Filmbase in Temple Bar, Dublin’s “cultural quarter”. In advance of this event, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) requested Filmbase to reconsider its decision to host the festival:

“At a time when Irish peace activists have been illegally imprisoned in Israel after their humanitarian ship the MV Saoirse was hi-jacked in international waters by Israeli commandos, hosting these ‘Israeli Film Days’ sends out the worst possible message: that Filmbase is indifferent to its exploitation as a site of propaganda for the state that perpetrates such atrocities.  To cancel the event at this point would… be perceived worldwide as an honourable gesture of solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people who have called for an international cultural boycott of the Israeli state.”

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) also issued an “Open Letter to Filmbase“, expressing its surprise

“that a prominent Irish cultural institution would allow the Israeli embassy to carry out this audacious ‘Brand Israel’ activity on its premises hardly two weeks after Irish peace activists were illegally apprehended by the Israeli navy in international waters, humiliated, and imprisoned in Israel…”

These approaches were rejected by Filmbase, despite much dissension among its employees, not all of whom supported the decision to host the event.

Read more.

Irish Times publishes UEFA Under-21 protest letter

The Irish Times has published a protest letter challenging UEFA’s decision to let Israel host the Under 21 finals in 2013 Irish Times.

The letter (appearing under the headline “Israel to host tournament”), mirrors one published in the UK Guardian a month ago, with the addition of prominent Irish names including that of  1976 Nobel Peace Prizewinner  Mairead Maguire.

This marks another step in the Red Card Israeli Apartheid campaign after a recent pitch invasion by French protesters and a “Love Football, Hate Apartheid” action in Ireland.

Photo: Agence-France Presse

European football’s governing body has yet to reply to an appeal from Palestinian football clubs in June not to reward Israel for its persistent infringements of Palestinian rights.

Red Card Israeli Apartheid campaign scores in France and Ireland

Pitch invasions by French protesters and a “Love Football, Hate Apartheid” action in Ireland last week expressed growing outrage at  UEFA’s decision to let Israel host the Under 21 football final in 2013.

Photo: Agence-France Presse

European football’s governing body has yet to reply to an appeal from Palestinian football clubs in June not to reward Israel for its persistent infringements of Palestinian rights. This is despite a deluge of protest messages to UEFA president Michel Platini and a direct challenge from prominent Europeans published in a UK national newspaper.

French protesters invaded the pitch five times when Israel’s national women’s team played at Troyes on October 26. Irish campaigners used leaflets and banners to get their message across at another women’s European Cup qualifier at Tallaght stadium on October 22.

Photo: Irish PSC

Martin O’Quigley of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “Some say that sport and politics should not mix, however we say that sport and racism should never mix.”

He drew a comparison with the sporting boycott against South Africa, which was one of the most effective tools employed in ostracising that state and revealing to the world its Apartheid regime and disregard for human rights.

O’Quigley said that while Israeli teams can travel and play freely,  Israeli authorities regularly refuse visas to Palestinian female and male footballers alike.

According to Stephane Mahon, an organiser for the French campaigning group EuroPalestine, five girls and boys wearing green boycott Israel T-shirts or carrying Palestinian flags ran onto the pitch during the second half of the France-Israel match at Troyes. The last young woman suffered a cracked rib while being roughly handled by ground staff.

This is not shown on the video because the camera operator and other activists were ejected from the ground while the protest was going on.

Go to the BDS website for information on how to support the Red Card campaign.