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.
This petition had 431 supporters
Dear Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, Portland Trailblazers, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, and National Basketball Association:
As major league basketball teams and the NBA, you have an opportunity to contribute to ending one of the most serious human rights travesties of our day – the killing, maiming, torture and brutal occupation of the Palestinian people, including children, by the current Israeli regime. Palestinian athletes have also been targeted; several have suffered career-ending injuries from attacks by soldiers in Israel’s occupying army.
In October 2014, your team has been scheduled to play an exhibition game against one of the Israeli Maccabi teams, Maccabi Haifa or Maccabi Tel Aviv. These games are not just sport. They are intended to grant legitimacy to Israel’s very recent war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza that killed over 2100 people, its ongoing military occupation and violence against West Bank Palestinians, and its system of apartheid.
The Sacramento Kings’ October 18 game is also being used by the Sacramento Jewish Federation (Federation), as a public relations opportunity to drum up support for Israel and its deadly and racist policies. The Federation openly and uncritically defends Israel as part of its organizational work and is the local host for “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby”, AIPAC.
There are a number of actions you can take to stand against these abuses and racism, as many athletes and team officials did to oppose the apartheid regime in South Africa. If the game has not yet been played, please boycott it and any promotional events associated with it.
Whether the game has been played or not, we ask you to issue a public statement that you support Palestinian human rights and oppose Israel’s ongoing human rights abuses. In such a statement, you can reference recent attacks on Palestinian athletes, including the Israeli army’s shooting two Palestinian soccer players repeatedly in the feet and legs earlier this year and Israel’s bombing of children who were playing soccer in Gaza this past summer. Israel has also killed Palestinian soccer players, bombed stadiums and prevented players from traveling to matches.
The victims of the Israeli regime’s well-documented human rights abuses are not limited to Palestinians. Israel discriminates against black Ethiopian Jews, and this year, it has deported and/or jailed thousands of Africans who entered the country seeking refugee status due to threats against their lives in Eritrea or Sudan – inciting a rash of ugly racism against them in Israeli towns and cities. Even Israeli Jews who protest against these racist policies face mob violence and suppression of their rights to free speech.
Recently, it has become well known that Israel exports its racism and brutality to U.S. communities, including Ferguson, Missouri. At least two of the law enforcement agencies that were deployed in Ferguson, the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Police Department, received training from Israeli security forces in recent years. In response to the murder of Michael Brown and the subsequent police brutality directed against the community in general, Palestinians sent messages of solidarity to the people of Ferguson.
Israel’s violations of international law and human rights have caught world attention. Recent public pressure contributed to the Union of European Football Associations’ decision to host its 2020 semifinals in London, not Jerusalem as requested by Israel.
To learn more about the situation, please see the information that has been mailed to the Kings’ players, owner, president, coaches, general manager, and announcers. To get a copy, email SacReg4PalestinianRights@gmail.com.
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