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Celtic FC VS Hapoel Tel Aviv Palestine Protest Success At Football/Soccer Match

David Neill | 06.12.2009 17:35 | Smash EDO | Anti-racism | Palestine | Repression | World

This article explains the success of the joint palestine solidarity protest organised by the STUC (Scottish Trade Union Congress) and SPSC (Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign) against the negative mainstream media spin during the Glasgow Celtic football club versus Hapoel Tel Aviv football/soccer match.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) always tries to achieve goals that are both ambitious and possible. Wednesday night's effort at Celtic Park was a very creditable performance, in the face of significant opposition from Celtic management, who were concerned that their reputation as a safe haven for war criminals on the Board such as John Reid would be dented. Celtic management announced they were "extremely concerned" at the protest; this is because they were aware of the historical solidarity that many Celtic supporters feel for the Palestinian struggle. The STUC and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign distributed all the 10,000 flags to supporters at the football ground on the night of the match. A large number of activists took part in the distribution. They worked at ground level to carry out the excellent decisions taken and acted on by the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), a trade union body that campaigns actively for the people of Palestine.
The SPSC kept their promise to the people of Palestine that the Israeli Ambassador, Ron Prosor, defender of the Gaza massacres, and others of his ilk will never attend an event in Scotland uncontested. The Israeli Ambassador had to come to Glasgow on this occasion with a security escort, had to have secret meetings around Glasgow, and had to be secretly escorted into and out of Celtic park. The flag distribution stimulated lively debates between fans on the issue of Palestine solidarity - an investment for the future and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Debate is essential for any mass campaign to progress. When we debate, we win. This is the only way forward with a mass audience inevitably influenced by the spin of the pro-Israeli British media. (Remember the BBC refused even to broadcast a humanitarian appeal for Gaza earlier in the year.) We confirmed that the opposition to our presence was based on opposition to 'politics' as such, not on any species of support for Israel, of which there was zero. We reached out to our thousands of supporters and stood our ground against a few hate-filled, ignorant characters.

Most of the press took a hostile stand to the introduction of what they call 'politics' into a football stadium. Even though poppies a clearly political statement had to be worn by Celtic player’s a few weeks back.

Hostile reporting from major news organisations such as the BBC and Zionist supporting Jewish Chronicle claimed that Celtic supporters rejected the protest. The Jewish Chronicle states that “Some flags were taken inside, though not anywhere near what the organisers had hoped. ” This contradicts the fact that the STUC and the SPSC distributed all the 10,000 leaflets outside the ground during the night of the football match.
Major news agencies tended to use the same quotes from a few apparent critical Celtic supporters, taking the quotes from anonymously blogged news discussion boards and posting it on their written articles to create a propaganda spin, this created an illusion that Celtic supporters were against the protest, bear in mind that all 10,000 flags were distributed outside the stadium, Some people and news agencies thought the protest was actually against Hapoel Tel Aviv. The leaflet distributed at Celtic games prior to the protest made it abundantly clear that the protest was to show “solidarity” with Palestinians. Nowhere on the leaflet states did it state the protest was against Hapoel Tel Aviv. View this link to download the leaflet which was distributed out.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is on a personal critical of Hapoel Tel Aviv. This is a separate subject. But it must be stressed that the protest organised with the STUC was solely to show solidarity with the Palestinians. Please view this link to gain some understanding why the SPSC is against Hapoel Tel Aviv.

The Celtic bosses were very accepting of the attendance of the Israeli Ambassador, and his meeting with war criminal John Reid and the ethnic cleansers of the Zionist JNF (Jewish National Fund) UK. Celtic Plc hosted the Israeli Ambassador and, after their defeat, the Hapoel team went to a Glasgow fundraiser for the Jewish National Fund, a key organiser of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

View this link for more info on the horrible activities of the Zionist JNF in regards to a separate subject. 00289

There was substantial international coverage of this Palestine solidarity action here in Scotland, e.g. Reuters, and a spokesman for the STUC was able to argue the case for solidarity with Palestine on national UK media, e.g. BBC Radio 4. This is a very rare occurrence. Boycott Divestment and Sanctions is now mainstream, and is one thing the ethnic cleansers in Israel really fear.

Many supporters did fly the distributed flags however its limited size didn’t produce the desired effect to be adequately seen by other people around the stadium. This can be proven by closely looking at photos or videos of crowds of Celtic supporters taken from a distance away during the match.
Much congratulations to the Celtic supporters who brought their own full sized Palestinian flags as they stood out much more within the stadium

David Neill