THE Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) plan to hold a peaceful protest outside the Dundalk v Maccabi Tel Aviv Europa League match at Tallaght Stadium tonight (Thursday) at 7pm.
The IPSC say the protest aims to highlight the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) call for the expulsion of the Israeli FA from FIFA and UEFA due to Israel’s ongoing human rights abuses against the Palestinian people which also includes Palestinian sportspeople.
The BDS works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.
Maccabi Tel Aviv fans disgraced their club with a flag display 12 months ago during an Israeli league match.
With supporters across Europe unveiling flags saying ‘Refugees Welcome’ in response to the growing humanitarian crisis, Maccabi Tel-Aviv decided to go the opposite route displaying the message ‘Refugees Not Welcome’ against Kiryat Shmona in response to a decision by UEFA to donate some of its proceeds to help Syrian refugees.
An IPSC spokesperson said:
“The protest will be an act of solidarity with the people of Palestine who have suffered so much injustice, and continue to suffer daily, at the hands of the Israel’s apartheid regime.”
Outside the stadium, banners reading, ‘Love Football, Hate Apartheid’ and ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ will be displayed alongside Palestinian flags and fans will be leafletted before entering the stadium.
The IPSC spokesperson added:
“Following in the footsteps of the successful sporting boycott against apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, Israeli apartheid should similarly be boycotted and Israeli teams excluded from international sporting arenas like UEFA and FIFA.
“Our protest is calling for a sporting boycott of Israeli football teams due to the apartheid nature of the Israeli state, the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the continual denial of rights to the Palestinian people.”
The spokesperson said that while some people may suggest that sports and politics shouldn’t mix, Palestine solidarity campaigners “believe there is no place in sport for racism or teams who act as ambassadors for racist or apartheid states”.