Saturday, June 04, 2005


Shame on them

It's reported that human rights campaigners are planning protests at this evening's international soccer game between Ireland and Israel.

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign will be using the event to highlight what they describe as Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

One Palestinian player will play on the Israeli team. The group's chairperson, Raymond Deane, said we must not forget the plight faced by the Palestinian player's people.

"For the duration of the match, particularly if he does well, he will be a hero and then he will return to his status as a member of the 20% Palestinian minority in the state of Israel who are discriminated against in what is essentially an apartheid set-up", said Mr Deane.

"What is happening in Israel-Palestine is an illegal occupation, dispossession, ethnic cleansing -that has to be dealt with before people can genuinely reconcile with one another.

"Until that time, a football team [including Palestinian and Israeli members] would give a completely false impression of realities in the country," he said.

I would just like to say that I condemn this protest. Sport and politics should be kept apart whenever possible. I wonder how the Palestinian player on the Israeli team feels about this protest? He'll likely find the thing off-putting and unnecesary. Sport can be a great way of getting past political problems but this protest won't allow for that. I just hope people won't get hurt because of all this foolishness.


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