Israel

It’s been barely noticed, but last month there was an incursion of politics into sports like no other, writes Dave Zirin.

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With little reason, the Israeli government made the decision to cancel the Palestinian national football (soccer) club championship, otherwise known as the FIFA Palestine Cup.

The Israeli city of Tel Aviv is preparing to host the Eurovision Song Contest in May, following Israeli artist Netta Barzilai’s win in Eurovision 2018.

In response, BDS Australia, which support the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, says: “As a serial human rights abuser, it is unacceptable for Israel to be the host country for a competition that, in SBS’s own words, is supposed to ‘bring people and cultures together’.

Four months after her release from an Israeli prison, Palestinian poet and photographer Dareen Tatour received the Oxfam Novib PEN Award for Freedom of Expression in The Hague in January.

More than 60 international NGOs have added their voices in protest against the plan to hold the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv this year. They are now part of what is quickly becoming an international campaign by civil society groups seeking to move the event, which is scheduled for May, from Israel.

Campaigners for gay, lesbian and transgender rights have urged a boycott of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May.

Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of besieged Gaza on January 29 to show their support of the democratically-elected government of Venezuela and it’s legitimate leader, President Nicolas Maduro.

The 45th Friday of the Great March of Return took place on February 1. Each Friday since March 30 last year, Gazans have defied Israeli snipers — who have shot unarmed protesters, journalists and medics — to demand their right to return to their now Israeli-occupied lands.

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OCHA-OPT) said there have been more than 26,000 Palestinian injuries since the Great March began. Israeli injuries stand at 23.

When it comes to the infrastructure of genocide, you could illustrate it using almost any photo of a school, house, shop or village in the West Bank. You could bookmark a Google maps page of a particular West Bank town — then look again in three or six months time and note the destruction wrought.

This is one way of keeping track of the demolitions of Palestinian homes and Israel’s attempts to impose an “Israeli only” identity on the landscape.

As I walked through the tight alleyways of Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza earlier this year, I was followed by dozens of curious barefoot children, fascinated that a foreigner had made them a visit. The siege on Gaza has made it nearly impossible for outsiders to enter.

With the children a few steps behind me, smiling and giggling, I made my way through the dusty camp, being greeted and welcomed by Palestinians who came to their doorways as we passed.

In the six months since the Great March of Return began in Gaza, with Palestinians demanding the right to return to land from which they were expelled from, Israel has killed 205 Palestinians and injured more than 21,000 others.

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