Take us to your leader®. Then take us to your reader®.
How it works? [Click here]
Who we are
Our Agenda

Latest News
Good & Bad News

101 Palestinian History
Link & Resources
The Valley Galleria
nileMedia Reader

Join US
Contact Us

July 16, 2001
Israelis Protest Maccabiah Games



Israelis Protest Maccabiah Games
www.btselem.org and www.law.org,

At the opening ceremony of the 16th Maccabiah Games 8 brave women, divided into two groups and dressed in black took action to protest Israeli policies. When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon started speaking, one group of women stood with a large banner, "War Criminals." When this first group was dragged and beaten by other spectators and then brutally removed from the stadium by Israeli police, the second group of women stood with a large sign, "Stop Ethnic Cleansing." Again, Israeli spectators hit and grabbed the women, and again, Israeli police came and dragged away the peaceful, nonviolent protesters. The women were detained outside the stadium and then taken to Talpiyot Prison, where they were being held. The group was released after being charged with improper behavior.

The group released the following statement by circulating flyers at the ceremony:

To the Jewish Communities:

We citizens of Israel want to warn you that you have been duped!

The Israeli government invited you to come as a show of support for the State of Israel. And yet, your presence here does the exact opposite.

Any support for the State of Israel today, is a rubber stamp for assassinations, bombings of civilian cities, ethnic cleanings, forced impoverishment, discrimination and apartheid of millions of Palestinians. These were the warning signs in the Munich 1936 Olympics. The whole world turned away then, and look what happened. Are you ready to do the same?

We, who have been living this nightmare day in and out, want to tell you the truth that you will not hear from the Israeli Maccabiah officials who brought you over. The Israeli government does not act in self-defense, but purely on an offensive basis. The Israeli military is occupying a foreign land and the struggle to end this occupation and return Palestinian refugees is a struggle for liberation from oppression like in South Africa. Just look at the facts. In the last 10 months, the Israeli government murdered 560 Palestinians (31% children), shot and injured over 16,000 Palestinians, beat up 72 journalists, damaged over 4000 Palestinian buildings, uprooted 25,000 olive and fruit trees, bulldozed 42,000 dunams of Palestinian land, closed 41 schools (20,000 students) and caused $2 billion in losses to the Palestinian economy.

The entire world human rights community including Israeli organizations, have denounced Israel's killings and excessive use of force against the 3 million Palestinians under Israeli occupation and the 1 million Palestinian citizens of Israel.

And while you sit here in Teddy Stadium, built on the destroyed Palestinian village of Malha, and celebrate a Jewish ("white-only") sports event, know that those same indigenous Malha residents are just a few miles from here, barely surviving in squalid refugee camps inside Jerusalem and in the West Bank. Just last week, Jerusalem Mayor Olmert destroyed 13 homes of these same refugees rendering these Palestinians homeless and destitute once again. Is this the Jewish dream?

Your presence here for the Maccabiah supports Ariel Sharon, under indictment for war crimes and who at the very moment together with the security forces, is planning the next round of bombings, assassinations, destruction and atrocities. Most of these actions have and will be carried out with US made weapons, financed by US tax dollars.

We citizens of Israel cannot sit silent, when the writing is on the wall for the next atrocity against the Palestinian people. We plead with you to get up and leave and withdraw your support for the Israeli government's horrific policies against Palestinians. They kept silent, and millions of Jews suffered. It's your chance to speak up.

For more information: www.btselem.org, www.law.org, www.hdip.org.