Just as ‘music soothes the savage beast’, it seems the World Cup soothes the savage zionist. I just came back from my romp at the local shopping centre where two weeks ago the mood was vile….

Today it was talk about the World Cup….. who won this….who supported that….

The locals were huddled inside all of the coffee shops and restaurants to watch a game on TV… Slovakia vs. New Zealand…. definitely not the most popular teams in Israel…. but it didn’t matter. It was the World Cup! It was a live game!!

Israelis and Palestinians together again…..
after the horrors at sea that kept us all apart.

If this is what it takes to achieve Peace in the Middle East I am going to advocate that these competitions take place more often….. Anything is worth a try.

In the meantime I’ll circulate the following to insure that there is Peace at least during the games  😉

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Latest Matches

Côte d’Ivoire 0 : 0 Portugal Live update (5′)
New Zealand 1 : 1 Slovakia Highlights

Upcoming matches:
Brazil vs. North Korea 15 Jun 9:30pm (Israel Time) on Channel 2
Honduras vs. Chile 16 Jun 2:30pm (Israel Time) on Channel 1
Spain vs. Switzerland 16 Jun 5:00pm (Israel Time) on Channel 1
South Africa vs. Uruguay 16 Jun 9:30pm (Israel Time) on Channel 1


Israel and the World Cup: Always Scores High

by Haitham Sabbah

Congratulations to all football lovers, the countdown has finally come to end and now we can all watch the new edition of the World Cup. Football was always one of the few things that brings the world together. Well, everyone but Israel. It seems that Israel has an allergy to sports, joy and good times, especially if those who are trying to enjoy are Palestinians.

Of course, Palestine like all other nations, loves football and has always tried to build a national team that can compete and reach global tournaments. But how can this dream come true if we know that Israel misses no opportunity to shatter these dreams in ways such as denying players from travel or even killing them.

A couple of years ago, Palestinians expressed their national pride through a football team that decided to make history with its first ever international home game. Although Palestine has been a FIFA member since 1998 it has been denied a home ground and it has been forced to train and play overseas due to Israeli occupation.

Unable to compete in international matches, but still wanting to share the excitement of playing with other nations, the 16 teams in Gaza, 200 players altogether, were part of the “Gaza World Cup“, with matches against 200 internationals living or present at the time in Gaza who formed teams. For the Gazan players it may not have been quite the same as being able to compete with players of the same level of expertise, but one thing is certain, it was a victory for everyone, no matter which team was winning the matches.

But the picture was not always rosy. Israel respects no one and spares no one. Many players and athletes were denied traveling, but that’s not the worst that Israel has done. Killing youngsters is the best game Israel plays. In fact they have won the terrorists’ cup by killing thousands of children and civilians. Some of these children were just playing football, others where enjoying the sun and water on a Gaza beach before they got slaughtered with Israeli missiles.

Four years ago, on the eve of the World Cup 2006, a day like this day, Huda and her family were trying to enjoy their outing on Gaza beach when the Israeli navy decided to practice the game they play best, the massacre is still know as the Gaza beach massacre. Huda’s brother, sister and parents were blown to pieces on that bloody sunny day. Who knows, maybe Huda and her family were passing a football to each other, a game the Zionist soldiers hate to see without practicing their sport of killing by aiming at the ball and hitting the goal by killing seven innocent family members.

But Israel claims to love football! In fact in their infamous mobile phone ad, we saw them putting aside their killing skills to enjoy a football match “over the wall”, the Apartheid Wall. But it did not take much time to put their sport skills to test, and guess what? The killing instinct woke up when the Palestinians tried to test that advertising and did throw a football over the Wall to the Israeli Occupation Forces. They did not get their ball back, but they were treated with tear gas and bullets. The only game the Israeli knows how to play well.

The advert:

The reality of Israel sport:

Today, on the occasion of World Cup 2010, Bil’in activists tried to test Israeli football skills again, but you can guess, the result was still the same:

Demonstrators in Bil’in today formed their own Palestine national football team, coinciding with the start of the World Cup, to highlight their right to be an independent nation. The players, together with dozens of other Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, marched to the annexation barrier at the edge of the village, where a goal was constructed and a game was begun. Several footballs were kicked over the fence onto land once owned by the village. Israeli soldiers responded to this entirely non-violent activity by firing volleys of tear gas at the participants. They then came through the fence, and arrested 6 journalists, four of whom were soon released. Two – one Palestinian and one international – remain in detention at the time of writing.

The tear gas canisters fired also caused large fires on the dry ground around the olive trees. Soldiers fired more canisters, aiming for the groups of villagers attempting to put out the flames.

It seems that Israel does not have a sense for football like all other nations. Only time and new matches can tell how many more lives they will “score”.



‘At Least Under Apartheid…’: South Africa on the Eve of the World Cup

Dave Zirin

At long last, soccer fans, the moment is here. On Friday, when South Africa takes the field against Mexico, the World Cup will officially be underway. Nothing attracts the global gaze quite like it.

Nothing creates such an undeniably electric atmosphere with enough energy to put British Petroleum, Exxon/Mobil and Chevron out of business for good.

And finally, after eighty years, the World Cup has come to Africa. We should take a moment to celebrate that this most global of sports has finally made its way to the African continent, nesting in the bucolic country of South Africa. And yet as we celebrate the cup’s long awaited arrival in the cradle of civilization, there are realities on the ground that would be insane to ignore. To paraphrase an old African saying, “When the elephants party, the grass will suffer.” In the hands of FIFA and the ruling African National Congress, the World Cup has been a neoliberal Trojan Horse, enacting a series of policies that the citizens of this proud nation would never have accepted if not wrapped in the honor of hosting the cup. This includes $9.5 billion in state deficit spending ($4.3 billion in direct subsidies and another $5.2 billion in luxury transport infrastructure). This works out to about $200 per citizen.

As the Anti-Privatization Forum of South Africa has written, “Our government has managed, in a fairly short period of time, to deliver ‘world class’ facilities and infrastructure that the majority of South Africans will never benefit from or be able to enjoy. The APF feels that those who have been so denied, need to show all South Africans as well as the rest of the world who will be tuning into the World Cup, that all is not well in this country, that a month long sporting event cannot and will not be the panacea for our problems. This World Cup is not for the poor – it is the soccer elites of FIFA, the elites of domestic and international corporate capital and the political elites who are making billions and who will be benefiting at the expense of the poor.”

On Thursday morning I was apoplectic and an umpire was the target of my rage. Yes it was irrational. Yes I probably need to start putting Prozac on my pancakes. But my anger was real.

That most exotic of baseball specimens—the perfect game—was yanked away from Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga by first base umpire Jim Joyce. As if the city of Detroit hasn’t suffered enough!

In South Africa, the ANC government has a word for those who would dare raise these concerns. They call it “Afropessimism.” If you dissent from being an uncritical World Cup booster, you are only feeding the idea that Africa is not up to the task of hosting such an event. Danny Jordaan the portentously titled Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, lamented to Reuters, “For the first time in history, Africa really will be the centre of the world’s attention—for all the right reasons—and we are looking forward to showing our continent in its most positive light.”

To ensure that the “positive light” is the only light on the proceedings, the government has suspended the right to protest for a series of planned demonstrations. When the APF marches to present their concerns, they will be risking arrest or even state violence. Against expectations, they have been granted the right to march, but only if they stay at least 1.5 km from FIFA headquarters in Soccer City. If they stray a step closer, it’s known that the results could be brutal.

You could choke on the irony. The right to protest was one of the major victories after the overthrow of apartheid. The idea that these rights are now being suspended in the name of “showing South Africa…in a positive light” is reality writ by Orwell.
Yet state efforts to squelch dissent have been met with resistance. Last month, there was a three-week transport strike that won serious wage increases for workers. The trade union federation COSATU has threatened to break with the ANC and strike during the World Cup if double-digit electricity increases aren’t lowered. The National Health and Allied Workers Union have also threatened to strike later this month if they don’t receive pay increases of 2 percent over the rate of inflation.

In addition, June 16 is the anniversary of the Soweto uprising, which saw 1,000 school children murdered by the apartheid state in 1976. It is a traditional day of celebration and protest. This could be a conflict waiting to happen, and how terrible it would be if it’s the ANC wields the clubs this time around.

The anger flows from a sentiment repeated to me time and again when I walked the streets of this remarkable, resilient, country. Racial apartheid is over, but it’s been replaced by a class apartheid that governs people’s lives. Since the fall of the apartheid regime, white income has risen by 24 percent, while black wealth has actually dropped by 1 percent. But even that doesn’t tell the whole story, since there has been the attendant development of a new black political elite and middle class. Therefore, for the mass of people, economic conditions—unemployment, access to goods and services—has dramatically worsened. This is so utterly obvious even the Wall Street Journal published a piece titled, “As World Cup Opens, South Africa’s Poor Complain of Neglect.”

The article quotes Maureen Mnisi,  a spokeswoman for the Landless People’s Movement in Soweto, saying, “At least under apartheid, there was employment—people knew where to go for jobs.

Officials were accountable.” Anytime someone has to start a sentence with “At least under apartheid…,” that in and of itself is a searing indictment of an ANC regime best described as isolated, sclerotic and utterly alienated from its original mission of a South Africa of shared prosperity. A major party is coming to South Africa. But it’s the ANC that will have to deal with the hangover.



Unfortunately, the following has been denied by UNICEF….
Full Report HERE

Zinedine Zidane to visit Gaza

Former international soccer star to visit Strip in March as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF

Retired international soccer star Zinedine Zidane is planning a visit to the Gaza Strip as part of UNICEF’s efforts to promote regional peace in the Middle East, Ynet learned Wednesday.

The former French National Team midfielder is expected to visit the Strip in March 2010, as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund.

“I’m thrilled to be appointed by the UN children’s organization as an envoy to tour Gaza Strip. I will make every effort to give Gaza residents great big smiles on their faces.

“Gazans have suffered serious losses, damage, and injuries due to Israeli acts of violence,” Zidane stated.

Zidane, 37, who is a French-Muslim, played in 506 games in his career, for such prominent soccer clubs like Real Madrid and Juventus.



This is how it started…..

bush sharon

Bush-Sharon: Ping Pong expanding Israeli illegal settlements

(Jalal Al-Rifa’i, Ad Dustour, 8/23/04).

Who would have ever imagined that baseball would be used as a tool to support oppression? Ping Pong was once used in China to facilitate normal relations between the East and the West…. in Israel to support illegal settlements…. and now baseball clubs are joining in.

New York Mets called on to cancel settlement fundraiser
Press release, Adalah-NY, 4 November 2009


Eleven organizations from the US, Palestine and Israel have called on baseball’s New York Mets to cancel a 21 November dinner at the Caesars Club at Citi Field for the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund. The dinner is a fundraiser for Israeli settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank City of Hebron. In a letter sent to the Mets on 3 November, the groups said, “The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the Obama administration’s call for a freeze in settlement construction, and that actively promote racial discrimination, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron.” Seven hundred Israeli settlers, living amidst 150,000 Palestinians in Hebron, are expanding their hold on the historic old city by driving out the Palestinian residents.The groups added that “It would be a tragic irony for an event funding Israeli settlers’ violent actions and discriminatory policies against Palestinians to be held at Caesars Club which, according to the Mets, “sits directly on top of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda,” which was named “in honor of Jackie Robinson, the … great American who broke baseball’s color barrier.” The Mets and Major League Baseball promote Robinson’s legacy, including Robinson’s value of “Justice: Treating all people fairly, no matter who they are.” Mets owner Fred Wilpon has explained in the past that, as a 16-year-old, meeting Jackie Robinson was an experience that never left him. “As a kid, a nothing, he treated me with all of that dignity that he treated everyone else in his life.”

On the Hebron Fund webpage, clicking on the symbol which says “Give to Hebron” leads to a donations page on the website for the Jewish Community of Hebron which says, among other things, “keep Hebron Jewish for the Jewish people.” In a report on Hebron, the Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and ACRI labeled the demands of Hebron’s settlers as “racist.” Hebron settlement leader Moshe Levinger, praised in a Hebron Fund dinner video, has been quoted saying,”The Arabs know to behave like good boys around us.” Hebron Fund Executive Director Yossi Baumol also made very derogatory comments about Arabs in a 2007 interview.

The signers of the letter include Adalah-NY, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Brooklyn For Peace, Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel), CODEPINK Women for Peace, Gush Shalom (Israel), Jews Against the Occupation-NYC, Jewish Voice for Peace, Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (Palestine), US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and WESPAC Foundation. The letter was cced and sent to Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Middle East Envoy George Mitchell, who has a history of involvement with Major League Baseball, and Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s wife.

The letter explains that reviewing last year’s and this year’s Hebron Fund dinner shows that some dinner honorees support violence and terrorizing Palestinians. In 1990, Noam Arnon, who is to be honored at the dinner, called three Israelis who were convicted of killing three Arabs and maiming two Palestinian mayors in car bombings “heroes.” In a video on the Hebron Fund website, 2008 dinner honoree Myrna Zisman pays tribute to Hebron settler Yifat Alkoby. Alkoby became famous worldwide in 2006 when she was videotaped in Hebron terrorizing and calling a Palestinian woman and girl “whores” who were caged inside their own home as protection from settler attacks. In another video featuring 2008 dinner honorees, three children who appear to be the honorees’ children are briefly shown holding guns and smiling.

All Israeli settlements violate international law, according to a broad international consensus. The Hebron Fund’s dinner invitation says, “Join us in support of Hebron and in protest of today’s building freeze in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank].” In a September 2008 radio interview, the Hebron Fund’s Yossi Baumol explained, “There are real facts on the ground that are created by people helping the Hebron Fund and coming to our dinners.”

The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius recently highlighted the Hebron Fund and noted that “critics of Israeli settlements question why American taxpayers are supporting indirectly, through the exempt contributions, a process that the government condemns. A search of IRS records identified 28 US charitable groups that made a total of $33.4 million in tax-exempt contributions to settlements and related organizations between 2004 and 2007.” The Hebron Fund has been the subject of complaints to the IRS regarding its tax-exempt status. The complaints request investigations of allegations that it raises funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli organization Gush Shalom recently urged the National Lawyers Guild, an American organization, to encourage American tax authorities to strip US non-profits that support Israeli settlements of their tax-exempt status.



The following short video shows exactly what the fundraiser would support…..


No…. not the International Court of Law in the Hague where Israel’s war criminals will one day stand trial…. this court is one where basketball is played.

It’s reports such as this one that shows there is hope! Hopefully soon!!

Jews and Palestinians unite in basketball ‘peace league’

By Steve Klein
Scores of teenage boys Thursday – Israeli and Palestinian – helped kick off the second season of the Jerusalem Peace Basketball League, a joint initiative of the Jerusalem municipality and PeacePlayers International – Middle East. The league is comprised of six integrated teams of Arab and Jewish youth, who participate in the Twinned Basketball Clubs program, and four other teams from across Jerusalem and a West Bank town.

The league is actually in its second incarnation, according to Michael Cherubin, the organization’s operations manager and co-director of the league. The first, he explained Thursday, ran about six years before falling apart in the early days of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

Cherubin noted that the involvement of Americans helped to bring this league to fruition in a city entrenched in the heart of the conflict. He said the Jerusalem municipality, which ran the first league, “thought it was a dead idea, but they were happy to financially support it as soon as they understood it was possible.”

The league draws from youth who have been playing basketball with PeacePlayers since 2006, practicing twice a week in their communities and twice a month with their twin club. “They were getting older and lacked a competitive league structure,” said Cherubin, who came from the U.S. after studying for a master’s degree in peace and conflict resolution at the American University.

Cherubin says the league works because the kids “have been playing together for years.” The neutral, American nature of the organization made it easier for Palestinians to not feel guilty about participating in such a league, he noted. After building the connections in recent years, Cherubin said, the league became an easy sell. “Instead of making a cold call to someone, I could say: ‘You know me, you trust me. We want to start this league. What do you think?'”

Cherubin feels lucky to have a hand in helping the youths strengthen their bonds, especially after the recent fighting.

Still, because of the sensitivity of the ongoing conflict, the names of individual players or even the neighborhoods are not widely publicized to preempt a possible backlash against the efforts of these brave children.

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