Israel targeting Palestinian footballers…

13 Mar

Over the weekend two US senators wrote an open letter to FIFA demanding action against Russia, namely the removal of the hosting of the 2018 world cup and also expulsion of the Russian team from the world cup in Brazil soon to commence this year.

In their letter to the Fifa chairman, Sepp Blatter, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Dan Coates of Indiana, both Republicans, cite the exclusion of Yugoslavia from the 1992 European Championship and 1994 World Cup and say: “Since Russia has similarly displayed a brazen disrespect for fundamental principles of Fifa and international law, [we] hope you will agree that it doesn’t deserve the honour of either hosting the World Cup or participating in one.
“We ask that a more deserving World Cup 2018 bid should be re-considered instead.”

(http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m … -world-cup)

Whilst it remains to be seen how a western supported, military coup of the Ukrainian parliament, legal placing of troops in the autonomous Crimea region (where Russia are allowed 25000 troops) and the invitation from the democratically elected Crimean government openly asking Russia for protection alongside holding a referendum on becoming part of the Russian Federation relates to the bloody troubles in the former Yugoslavia, there are other issues to ponder.

Firstly, by adopting the warped logic of Kirk and Coates, should the US itself not be removed from this year’s world cup? Illegal invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya seem to have flown under the radars of the venerable senators. Unfortunately the same cannot be said to the three countries which have suffered huge death counts engineered by US foreign policy.

The Russians must surely be congratulated on their efficiency, for their alleged ‘invasion’ and ‘occupation’ has a body count presently of 0. Its questionable that a shot has been fired by Russian forces. But lets stick to the football angle…assuming, of course, that the US are exempt from the very laws they see fit to demand others adhere to.

As far as we know, Russia have yet to target Ukrainian footballers. Which would surely – we must assume – be the hook to bring in the involvement of FIFA. The fact that Russia have yet to target anyone is a matter for a different debate. However, there is a country which targets footballers from a foreign country. A country which just happens to be an intimate ally of the US.
Image
From the stadium to the hospital, Jawhar Nasser Jawhar,19, former palestinian footballer.

Whilst returning home from a training session at the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium on January 31st of this year, two young Palestinian footballers, Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17 approached a checkpoint in the West Bank. They were fired upon many times, mauled by dogs then beaten. Adam was shot once in each foot. Jawhar fared much worse, receiving ten bullets in his feet.

Suffice to say, neither of the wounded will ever set foot on a football pitch again. Other than to limp and maintain a keen eye overhead for Israeli war-planes.

The border patrol police explained the situation as follows-
‘“During operational activity, a group of individuals was seen just seconds before throwing bombs at security forces. When they saw the Border Policemen, the group attempted to run away and tried again to throw bombs at the policemen. The policemen initiated the protocol for opening fire in order to neutralize the threat. The suspects were apprehended, and a bomb was found on them, which has been deactivated.”

Well that clears up all loose ends then!

That is, if you believe that two kids, known for their football, returning from a football stadium, decided on a whim to throw bombs at soldiers on their way home.

When a regime has countless accusations levelled at it, not just by the victims, but by respected bodies on the international stage as well as major players in the international community, revolving around persecution, torture, wrongful imprisonment and land theft of another country, the explanations given for shooting two footballers in the feet, gives rise to suspicion. (When I talk of the ‘international community’ I am not referring to the same ‘international community’ as President Obama, for the hype man for Murder Inc means ‘The US and its allies’, whereas I mean ‘country states of the world’.)

And what of Mahmoud Sarsak?? A member of the Palestinian National Football team who was arrested at a checkpoint whilst en-route to a national football competition in July 2009. Held without trial or charges. Deemed an ‘illegal combatant’. His family, friends, lawyers prohibited from visiting him. After embarking, out of desperation, upon a hunger strike in early 2012 and gathering widespread support for his liberation, he was finally released in July of that year after 3 years of prison.
Image
Mahmoud Sarsak, his talents on the field couldn’t save him from the IDF.

Whilst in jail, and I cannot help but continue to repeat, with no charges or trial a possibility, Sarsak’s cause was picked up by campaigners in London who staged several protests, as well as Celtic FC’s Green Brigade. In June of 2012, FifPro (which represents professional footballers globally) called for his immediate release. Joining the chorus of demand for justice was none other than Eric Cantona, Freddy Kanoute, Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter. Renowned dissident and linguist, in my opinion one of the most aware and just campaigners on the planet, Noam Chomsky, voiced his own demands for Sarsak’s release the same year.

Amnesty International also got in on the act accusing Israel of ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’.
After his release, the footballer has this to say…
First I have to say that sport carries many values. Sport is about tolerance, about humanity. Sport means love and peace. That is the message. Like all peoples of the world, we in Palestine, we want to play sports, especially football.
Israel is a country of discrimination and apartheid. It does not stop at the destruction of homes and trees, but it also wants to break human beings, including athletes.
I am Palestinian and I have a Palestinian passport just like Omar Abu Rouis and Muhammad Nimr who have also been imprisoned. And there is Zakaria Issa, who was also a footballer and was detained. He died of cancer in prison because of lack of care.
You should know that during the war against Gaza in 2008-2009 all sport facilities were destroyed. Several great athletes from Gaza were killed and the building of the Paralympic committee in Gaza was bombed. Mohammed Al Araby here is a witness.
Not only the Palestinian National Stadium in Gaza was bombed, but also that of the city of Rafah.
I will speak on behalf of all Palestinian athletes who live in the West Bank, in Gaza, in Jerusalem or those inside Israel who also suffer from apartheid. We want to use the opportunity of our visit to France to send a message to Michel Platini, to the president of FIFA Joseph Blatter and their employees, to withdraw the organization Israel from the world Cup under 20 years’

In 2009 three members of the Palestinian team were killed during a bombing campaign which also took out the HQ of the Palestinian Football Authority as well as their national stadium.

Then there was the story of Palestinian Olympic goalkeeper, Omar Abu Rwayyis. Arrested when an IDF vehicle was damaged during a visit to a refugee camp near the West Bank village of Ramallah. 
Israeli government mouthpiece, Haaretz, reported the incident as follows-
‘Thirteen residents of the Amari refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah were arrested recently for alleged involvement in an attempted attack on Israel Defense Forces soldiers two months ago, the Shin Bet security service said Monday.

The suspects include employees of the Palestinian Red Crescent, a member of the Palestinian Olympic soccer team and an officer in the Palestinian General Intelligence Service.
The incident in question occurred on January 20, when shots were fired at IDF forces operating in Ramallah. No one was wounded in the attack, but one IDF vehicle sustained damage.
The suspects named in the attack included Salah Barael, 23, who works as a guard for the Red Crescent and Omar Abu Rwayyis, also 23, who also works for the Red Crescent. According to the Shin Bet, Abu Rwayyis is affiliated with Hamas and is also a goalkeeper on the Palestinian Olympic soccer team.

According to the Shin Bet, the suspects shot at IDF forces using Kalashnikovs, then hid the weapons in an abandoned building. Later, Abu Rwayyis allegedly handed off the guns to another resident of the camp, Ahmed Hattab, who is also employed by the Red Crescent.

After Abu Rwayyis was arrested, Hattab gave the guns to another man, Mansour Abbas, who serves as an officer in the Palestinian General Intelligence Service in Ramallah and is responsible for the guards at the Red Crescent. The Shin Bet also suspects Hattab of dealing in arms.

No evidence was found or reported. I will leave you to make your own minds up about an arrest for shooting at vehicles, in which no weapons were found, but somehow it is known that the guns in question were first hidden, then handed over to friends, then handed over to other friends…all of whom are terrorists. 
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I see kids enjoying themselves with a football, yet how do they look through a snipers sights???

Its wretched enough that Israel are allowed to place their domestic and international teams within European competition. Wretched, not solely due to the obvious geographical issues, but because Israel have a history of crimes against humanity tantamount to genocide. But there I go again, allowing my eagerness to condemn what appears, time and time again, one of the most clear cut cases of what FIFA refers to as 
‘‘discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.’”

A score of UN resolutions have been passed against Israel, the majority of which have been vetoed by…the US government. 

Should we be surprised that Murder Inc aka the US political establishment, avoid any mention of their own crimes against humanity, and those of their allies, then have the gall to demand Russia are punished for targeting and killing ZERO people in Ukraine.

Further Reading
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stat/neff-un.html
http://www.thenation.com/blog/167827/wh … cer-player
http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/committee … rture.html
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stat/un.html
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali … ined-reach

 

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3 Responses to “Israel targeting Palestinian footballers…”

  1. Geoff March 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    I’d very much like to publish this article in our football programme in England. Would that be acceptable to you?

    • thegutterpoet79 March 15, 2014 at 12:20 am #

      Yes, Geoff…Why not eh?? Which football programme are you referring to???

      • Geoff March 15, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

        I’ll give you a link to the online version when I’ve done it. Just a small circulation non-league club.

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