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Don’t be used as a screen for Israel’s attacks on civilians, children, and athletes. Take a stand against the NBA exhibition games with Israeli basketball teams. CANCEL THE PORTLAND GAME!

This petition states our grave concern about your decision to host the October 17, 2014 game with the Israeli basketball team--Maccabi Haifa.  This game is extremely regrettable given that Israel recently carried out a barbaric massacre in Gaza, killing more than 2,000 civilians including 500 children. Among those children were four young boys playing soccer on a Gaza beach. 

By hosting this game the Blazers are granting legitimacy to a government guilty of the crime of genocide and apartheid. Through an ongoing brutal occupation and military control, more than 4 million Palestinians are denied freedom--they cannot vote in elections for a government that controls their lives and renders them stateless. All Palestinians face daily checkpoints, travel restrictions, unlawful searches, land confiscation, house demolitions,  and are denied the basic freedoms we take forgranted. They live under an apartheid system as do 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel who face more than 50 laws that discriminate against them.  In addition, the 1.8 million people in Gaza continue to live under a life-threatening catastrophic seige.  Israel has NOT KEPT any of the promises it made in the cease-fire agreement to lift the seige and allow basic necesities such as food, mediciations, medical equipment, and building supplies to enter Gaza.

In some cities the appearance of the Israeli basketball teams this fall is being used to raise money for the Israeli military.  In some U.S. cities, the games are being used as a venue to celebrate and honor the Israeli military.  These are the very forces that numerous human rights organizations have found guilty of war crimes.

Athletes in Palestine are not free. They are often denied the right to travel to competitions, cannot host visiting teams, and have been killed or maimed by the Israeli military.

During the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, people and governments around the world implemented widespread boycotts against South Africa, including against sports teams from that country.  Many athletes and team officials supported those boycotts as their means to oppose the apartheid regime in South Africa.  White-ruled South Africa could not enter international rugby matches, for example, and this had a major impact on white South Africans who eventually chose equal rights over white supremacy.  These boycotts put tremendous pressure on the South African government to change its policies and peacefully bring about change and justice. 

And now we urge the Blazers to join the athletic boycott of Israel in order to bring justice for Palestinians and to pressure the Israeli government to make the right choice rather than continuing the status quo of war, occupation, and inequality.

We are Blazers fans!!  By making the choice to cancel this game, The Blazers can be the team our city of Portland is proud of. We urge you to show your respect for the lives of all those killed in the recent masacre in Gaza.  And in support of all Palestinians struggling under Israeli occupation and denied, on an ongoing basis, the human rights and freedom that we enjoy, PLEASE CANCEL THIS GAME!

 

 

 

 

 

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    Portland Trailblazers


    Maxine Fookson started this petition with a single signature, and now has 125 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.