7 June 2018
BDS Malaysia heartily applauds the decision by the Argentinian national football team to cancel a match it was due to play in Israel. It is an enlightened and humane decision reflecting the revulsion felt by the Argentinian team over the ongoing atrocities committed by Israel against unarmed and defenseless Palestinian civilians.
That the Zionist apartheid regime was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Argentinian team in Israel and for the match to be played there only shows how keen it was to receive the stamp of normality and respectability from the international community that it hopes will whitewash and gloss over the crimes it has perpetrated and continues to perpetrate against Palestinians.
The Argentine football team’s decision has dealt a welcome blow for the BDS movement worldwide. It should encourage the teams of other countries to follow suit and isolate the Zionist apartheid regime in football and all other arena's.
Let no one say that sports and politic do not mix. They do when it is an effective means to put an end to the international crime of apartheid. In this respect, BDS Malaysia would like the international football federation, FIFA, to bear two things in mind.
First, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), a component of FIFA, has for over forty years a policy that none of its member countries is to play in Israel or against any Israel-connected team. Therefore FIFA absolutely cannot argue that boycotting Israeli football is in contravention of its governing rules.
Second, FIFA in 1964 suspended apartheid South Africa from international football and then expelled the country completely in 1976. Only in 1992 with end of the apartheid regime was the country allowed to re-join FIFA.
The conditions of apartheid in pre-1992 South Africa are applicable to present day Israel with regard to its policies towards Palestinians. A United Nations report issued in 2017 entitled, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid” unequivocally concluded that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.
BDS Malaysia, therefore, urges FIFA be consistent in its stance against the international crime of apartheid and expel Israel from its membership and prohibit member countries from having any form of footballing contact with the Zionist regime.
And in the meantime, BDS Malaysia call on all countries in the world to emulate the humanity and enlightened stance of the Argentinian football team and avoid all forms of contact with the Zionist apartheid regime whether in football or other arena's.
Prof. Mohd Nazari Ismail, PhD.
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