Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
التضامن الإيرلندي الفلسطيني

Open Letter to UEFA: “Do not reward Israel for its violent repression of Palestinian rights”

The following letter was published in the Irish Times on Monday 7th November, 2011.

Sir, – 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.

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. – Yours, etc,

ROBERT BALLAGH, artist and set designer;
FELIM EGAN, artist;
STEPHANE HESSEL, diplomat, co-author of Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
TREVOR HOGAN, former Munster, Leinster and Irish international rugby player;
KEN LOACH, filmmaker;
MAIRÉAD MAGUIRE, peace activist, 1976 Nobel Peace Prizewinner;
NURIT PELED, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought joint winner 2001;
JOHN PILGER, journalist and filmmaker;
AHDAF SOUEIF, novelist and commentator;
JEAN ZIEGLER, vice-president, advisory committee of the UN human rights council,
C/o Lower Baggot Street,
Dublin 2.
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