read message | The pirate must stand firm against the boycott

read message | The pirate must stand firm against the boycott

The Boycott Sanctions (BDS) movement has once again tried to undermine South African sport by creating controversy as there is nothing in a pre-season match scheduled in Spain this week between Orlando Pirates and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Instead of allowing SA sports teams to abide by international rules and participate freely in international matches, BDS is trying to harm a sports team like the Pirates, by pressuring them to cancel this positive sports participation.

This particular aim would be a grave injustice to SA sports, and in addition to the positive role that sports play in bringing people of diverse backgrounds together, we call on the Pirates to stand firm.

Key stakeholders in the BDS movement fear that South Africa will see the diversity of the Israeli soccer team, which is made up of Arabs and Jews. Since Israel is the only Jewish country in the world, BDS wishes to discriminate against it only among the community of nations, while remaining silent when serious human rights violations occur daily.

If SA were to play Russia or Iran, or any major human rights abusers, BDS would encourage our beloved players, rather than bully them.

Football can play a unifying and meaningful role in bridging the gap created by the incitement tactics of BDS, which only seek to sow hatred and division. This dishonest attempt to dehumanize Israelis and bully South Africans must be rejected and condemned.

Bafana Modisi, Head of Communications, Friends of Israel in South Africa

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