Media Release; Sunday November 29th 2009:
Football fans to fly the flag for Palestine
Celtic fans are set to show solidarity with Palestine when their team takes on Israel’s Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Europa League on Wednesday.
Campaigners aim to issue ten thousand Palestine flags to fans entering the Parkhead venue, as an act of solidarity almost one year after the Israeli attacks on Gaza that left over 1400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.
Mick Napier, chair of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign described the flag-waving as “an opportunity to let the Palestinians know that we have not forgotten their ongoing suffering.
“Ministers and generals back in Israel, and the Israeli Ambassador who plans to attend the game, believe they will once again evade United Nations demands that they be prosecuted for war crimes. Whether they do or not, the flags will show that Israel has already been convicted in the world court of public opinion.
Lifelong Rangers fan, Alasdair Smith, has been leafleting recent Celtic games to publicise the upcoming activity: “The public in general is outraged at Israel’s crimes, and football fans are no different. We oppose each other on the terraces, but we stand together when it comes to human rights.”
The flags are being funded by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) as part of its support for the Boycott Israel campaign. Deputy General Secretary, Dave Moxham, said, “We hope that Celtic fans will join with us in a demonstration of support for a just and lasting peace in Israel/Palestine.”
Notes for editors:
1. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign started in autumn 2000 in response to the Palestinian second uprising against Israeli occupation (Intifada). The SPSC has branches and groups of supporters in several Scottish cities and universities, as well as individual members across Scotland and elsewhere.
For further information, contact:
SPSC Chair: Mick Napier: 0131 620 0052; 07958002591
Website: www.scottishpsc. org.uk
2. Scottish Trade Unions Call for Boycott of Israel, April 24th 2009
“The STUC is deeply concerned at the daily violations of human rights experienced by Palestinian people. The decision taken by our Congress is not a knee jerk reaction, but arrived at after careful consideration over a two year period. During this time the STUC engaged in discussions with interested groups in Scotland and the UK, and undertook a fact finding delegation to Israel and Palestine”. [STUC General Secretary, Grahame Smith]
3. STUC Press Release 27th November 2009:
STUC to ask Celtic fans to show Palestinian flags in solidarity with suffering Palestinians on December 2nd
Full text: http://www.stuc.org.uk/news/700/celtic-fans-palestinian-flags
4. For details of the 9 July 2005 call by Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it complies with International Law and universal principles of human rights, see: www.bdsmovement.net