We’ll comment later more extensively on “Letters: Israel’s stance in the community of nations“, Oct. 6, which includes a letter signed by dozens of anti-Israel activists accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing, and another which accuses Israeli leaders of being “war criminals”.
But I wanted to focus on this one, which argues that the EU should not allow Israel to host an under-21 European football tournament and, more broadly, should exclude the Jewish state from the community of nations.
• Those who lead European football must respond to an appeal from Palestinians dismayed at the prospect of Israel hosting Uefa’s under-21 tournament in 2013. 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. But western powers continue to embrace Israel as an ally. [emphasis mine]
During the 2011 under-21 tournament in Denmark in June, 42 Gazan football clubs, backed by many sporting bodies, wrote to Uefa president Michel Platini calling on his organisation not “to reward Israel for its violent repression of Palestinian rights”. We ask Uefa to respond positively to this plea.
The letter is signed by:
Ken Loach, a film maker who’s accused Israel of adopting a policy of Nazi-like “racial purity”,
Miriam Margolyes: A UK actress who has argued that Israel’s behavior causes antisemitism and makes her ashamed to be a Jew.
Nurit Peled: An Israeli academic who is opposed to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, characterizes Zionism as inherently racist, and has justified suicide bombing as “the direct consequence of the oppression, slavery, humiliation and state of siege imposed on the Palestinians.”
John Pilger: An Australian journalist who routinely compares Israel to Nazi Germany, and even once even participated in a cross-border terrorist raid by members of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Jean Ziegler: Vice-president, advisory committee of the UN human rights council, who has promoted the work of Holocaust Denier Roger Garaudy, has referred to Israel’s leaders as “state terrorists”, and has depicted Israel in Nazi terms.
Such activists don’t target, for international opprobrium, for some reason, the countries who, according to Freedom House, are the world’s worst human rights records – such as North Korea, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Burma, Somalia, & Sudan – but, rather, the nation with the best human rights record in the Middle East by far.
So, Israel, in the eyes of these sage jurists, has lost the right to be treated as a member of the community of nations and should be completely isolated by the international community – a view which the Guardian at least finds within the boundaries of respectable liberal thought.
The decision to publish this letter by such rabid Israel haters and antisemites is just another example of the truth behind Robin Shepherd’s recent observation that “No mainstream media outfit in the Western world has been more hostile to Israel than the Guardian.”