Friday, April 07, 2006

FIFA on Gaza air strikes

Last week I wrote about a series of powerful Israeli F-16 airstrikes against Gaza City that shocked us awake, rattling our windows and leaving our ears ringing. One of these attacks was against a soccer field in the middle of Gaza City just two streets down from where I live. The bomb left an enormous crater in the middle of the stadium (one of Gaza's best and only stadiums), which is located in the middle of a denseley populated residential neighborhood.

Now, FIFA-the world's football association, is effectively condemning the attack, saying it was "without reason".

"[T]he field was not being used by Palestinians as a missile launching pad, as Israel's ambassador to Switzerland had claimed," said Jerome Champagne, FIFA deputy general secretary in charge of political issues

"FIFA has been fighting for more than a century to make this game universal. To hit a football field is really the wrong signal....[F]ootball should remain outside of politics..."

The Israeli army had said the air strike-the first by a fighter jet in Gaza City in several years-was part of an effort "to deter possible attacks after an increase in rocket launches from Gaza" (So let me see if I got this straight-since the whole starving Palestinians thing isn't working, now the Israeli army turns to destroying football stadiums? So Palestinians, enraged at finding it difficult to play a proper football match with a gaping hole in the ground, plead with armed groups to stop firing rockets, and they politely oblige? yes, likely scenario, "let's get them where it hurts". who thinks this stuff up anyway?).

Champagne has taken the matter up with FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the two will anounce a "decision" next week.

Not that it will have much consequence, but at least someone (FIFA of them all) is taking notice of an increasingly ignored situation in Gaza, and the disproportionality and immorality of Israeli "reprisals" against the civilian population.

Well, at least this way, if we starve, we'll always have football.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I see why people have a hard time to fell asleep in Gaza

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


As you said in your post, it is refreshing to see that someone is finally taking notice. But it's also a bit surreal to read that it's FIFA, and that they're upset over a football field (versus people's lives or homes for example).

9:11 PM  
Blogger Khaled said...

let me tell you what's the story :P
Israel is helping people in Gaza to ma make a diet so they can keep their bodies in shape, and FIFA will protect football yards, and this will lead to a strong Palestainian football team!!!!!

be2olkom: "Sharro elbalyete ma yod7ek" w salameh tsalemkom...

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their afraid some day palestian football team will humiliate them in a match!

after all the palestian soccer team did break the record of scoring a goal in almost half a second.

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you were aware, that the palestinian police are seriously opposing the opening of a passageway into the Gaza strip to be used instead of the Karni passage which is pretty much closed right now. The paper said they oppose it because they can't collect 'taxes' from anyone at the other passage. I dunno how true that is. but nonetheless, don't you think its kinda fucked up that they are OPPOSING the opening of a transit point into the Gaza strip, through which you can get some food!

Also, I just realized (or atleast think) that if the palestinian government were suddenly willing to negotiate (you don't have to negotiate for real, remember how Arafat did it? every deal they reached he immedietly raised the stakes)
But if you Made an Official Request to Start negotiating, Israel would -have- to STOP firing 200+ shells at the gaza strip on a daily basis.
They'd have to, there's no way the international community will let them keep shooting while you're asking to start talking.
Its not like you're giving -anything- up by starting to talk, but you're giving yourself an immediete ceasefire without asking for one.

Also, if things calm down in Gaza as far as pipes with bombs flying out in every which way, ill personally ensure that supplies and funds to rebuild that football court reach a buncha guys incharge of rebuilding it directly. Seriously, i know i'm anonymous but Fifa makes a good point damnit, no kids should be without a football court if they ALREADY HAD ONE!!!
But the way things are, i'm afraid to actually try to talk to anyone in there right now. nothing personal, it just sounds tense...around there right now.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:21 AM, it is Israel that refuses to negotiate. Abbas has been trying to negotiate ever since he became President, with Israel always refusing. Until the early to mid 70's it was the Arab states or entities that refused to negotiate with Israel or Jewish entities; since then the general pattern has been reversed. These are pretty basic facts about the conflict.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've linked to this from my site

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 12:05, you mean if Israel wants to talk, Hamas will? You can say what you want, but Ismael Haniyah's words are a bit more credible than some anonymous blogger, and he's saying the very opposite of what you said.

Hamas has people out in the fields of Gaza firing rockets at Israeli children... and Laila is moaning about a hole in a soccer field.

Someone's priorities are seriously messed up over here.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Randall said...

Another great post,
I to would love to see the israeli football team come over to help fill the hole and then play a 'friendly' game with the palestinians..;)

1:16 AM  

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