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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:42 AM

Killing Hope: Why Israel Targets Sports in Gaza

Last edited Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:23 AM - Edit history (1)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/171344/killing-hope-why-israel-targets-sports-gaza?rel=emailNation

I think however that we should all take a moment to ask the question, “Why?” Why has the Palestinian sports infrastructure, not to mention Palestinian athletes, always been a target of the Israeli military? Why has the Palestinian domestic soccer league completed only seven seasons since its founding in 1977? Why are players commonly subjected to harassment and violence, not to mention curfews, checkpoints and all sorts of legal restrictions on their movement? Why were national team players Ayman Alkurd, Shadi Sbakhe and Wajeh Moshate killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during the 2009 military campaign? Why did imprisoned national team player Mahmoud Sarsak require a hunger strike, the international solidarity campaign of Amnesty International, and a formal protest from both FIFA and the 50,000-player soccer union FIFpro to just to win his freedom after three years behind bars?

The answer is simple. Sports is more than loved in Gaza (and it is loved.) It’s an expression of humanity for those living under occupation. It’s not just soccer and it’s not just the boys. Everyone plays, with handball, volleyball and basketball joining soccer as the most popular choices. To have several thousand people gather to watch a girls sporting event is a way of life. It’s a community event designed not only to cheer those on the field, but cheer those in the stands. As one Palestinian man from Gaza said to me, “ is our time to forget where we are and remember who we are.”

Attacking the athletic infrastructure is about attacking the idea that joy, normalcy or a universally recognizable humanity could ever be a part of life for a Palestinian child. This is a critical for Israel both internationally and at home. The only way the Israeli government and its allies can continue to act with such brazen disregard for civilian life is if they convince the world that their adversaries collectively are less than human. The subway ads calling Muslims “savages”, the Islamophobic cartoons and videos that are held up as examples of free speech, are all part of a quilt that says some deaths are not to be mourned.

27 replies, 2455 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Killing Hope: Why Israel Targets Sports in Gaza (Original post)
eridani Nov 2012 OP
malaise Nov 2012 #1
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #2
FightForMichigan Nov 2012 #8
hack89 Nov 2012 #9
cali Nov 2012 #10
cali Nov 2012 #11
oberliner Nov 2012 #17
Fozzledick Nov 2012 #21
oberliner Nov 2012 #22
JoDog Nov 2012 #3
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #6
JoDog Nov 2012 #20
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #27
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #23
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #25
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #4
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #5
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #7
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #12
rdking647 Nov 2012 #13
cali Nov 2012 #14
rdking647 Nov 2012 #18
cali Nov 2012 #19
Scootaloo Nov 2012 #24
FightForMichigan Nov 2012 #15
Cal Carpenter Nov 2012 #16
Tierra_y_Libertad Nov 2012 #26

Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:45 AM

1. Good post

Rec

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Response to eridani (Original post)


Response to Odin2005 (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:44 AM

8. No.

That could only be said by someone who doesn't understand what the Nazis did.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:48 AM

9. Yes - because there was a population explosion of Jews in German

just like there is an ever expanding Palestinian population ... oh wait.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:49 AM

10. It's utterly different.

and your claim is shocking in its abysmal ignorance.

Fuck, I/P really brings out the worst in DU.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:55 AM

11. I feel compelled to add this:

The U.S. Government when it comes to occupations and killings in the ME is far worse than the Israeli Government. Hamas is an organization that oppresses women and LGBT folks and commits lynchings. Are either of them "little different than the Nazis"? Why, yes, yes they are.

And the comparison isn't only ignorant it's flat out disgusting and very ugly.

Get a clue. Read. Learn. Educate yourself.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:21 AM

17. Wow

This is really stunning.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:13 AM

21. Why? We see this viewpoint posted here all the time.

It's just usually phrased a little more discretely.

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Response to Fozzledick (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:50 AM

22. The lack of discreteness

To see it expressed so explicitly and without apology or very much disapprobation from other was startling.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:36 AM

3. Sports facilities and fields

are used as storage areas and launch points for rockets.

That is why they are targeted.

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Response to JoDog (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:40 AM

6. lol. so are residential areas, schools, etc. apparently, as they've all been targeted.

 

those little rockets can be launched from a toilet.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:43 AM

20. Um, actually, yes

Hamas hides and fires rockets from civilian facilities as part of its standard operating procedure. The expressed purpose of this is to force Israel to fire on these areas and inflict civilian casualties.

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Response to JoDog (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:24 PM

27. gaza is about as big as a wide tie. what areas *aren't* civilian areas? there are

 

nearly 10,000 people/square mile, one of the highest in the world; only city-states like monaco & macau have higher density.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934666.html

29 israelis died in rocket attacks 2001-2011.

israel killed over 100 just in this latest sorty.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:13 PM

23. More nonsense...they are not bottle rockets or fireworks

They require a flat open area and some time to set up. With repeated use or mensuration they can even be fairly accurate.

The rockets carry at minimum a 10kg warhead (Qassam III) and more with the Grads and larger rockets.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #23)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:55 PM

25. a flat area, not an entire sports field.

 



29 israelis died in pal. rocket attacks 2001-2011.

israel killed over 100 just in this latest sorty.

saying so isn't a brief for palestinian rockets, it's a comment on how disproportionate this conflict is & how strange it is.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:36 AM

4. You left out the part about dual usage of facilities and human shields

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:39 AM

5. sports brings a lot of people together in solidarity as well, it helps maintain

 

community. it's not just about hope but about maintaining or dissolving community.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:43 AM

7. "War is the terrorism of the rich and powerful...

...and terrorism is the war of the poor and powerless."

-Peter Ustinov

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:03 AM

12. I'm sure there are no Arabic anti-Jewish cartoons, or textbooks that do not show Israel at all, or

attacks on athletes.

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Response to eridani (Original post)


Response to rdking647 (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:15 AM

14. wtf??? It certainly does NOT. Your post is repulsive. Sick shit.

And Israel has no legal or moral right to do what you urge.

Fuck.

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Response to cali (Reply #14)


Response to rdking647 (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:29 AM

19. I'm sorry, but even if one went by your twisted "logic"

killing innocent civilians in retaliation for the killing of innocent civilians is beyond ironic. Or are some innocent civilians less innocent in your mind?

And sorry but the ethnic cleansing YOU are fucking advocating is just about as sick.

Vile.

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Response to cali (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:38 PM

24. "Or are some innocent civilians less innocent in your mind?"

Was that a rhetorical question, Cali?

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:17 AM

15. You're part of the problem.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:20 AM

16. With that logic

I can think of several nations that would be justified in leveling the US.

Your post is fucking disgusting.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:57 PM

26. Bogymen in jock straps and Nikes are terrifying.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” H.L. Mencken

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