[News] Chilean football club sparks Israeli outrage with pro-Palestinian uniform

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 10 13:07:06 EST 2014

  Chilean football club sparks Israeli outrage with pro-Palestinian uniform

Published Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Chilean football club has sparked debate over its new jerseys, in 
which the number "1" is replaced by an outline of pre-1948 Palestine, 
angering Israel which demanded the uniform's removal, local media reported.

Club Deportivo Palestino, a first division football club created in 1920 
by Palestinian immigrants, revealed on Saturday its 2014 uniform, on 
which the geographical outline of Palestine can be seen.

View image on Twitter

/Yesterday, the Palestino football team revealed the historical 
territory of Palestine on its jersey. Remarkable!/

Chilean newspaper /La Nacion/ 
reported on Tuesday that the Israeli foreign ministry had contacted the 
Chilean embassy to express its discontent over the football club's move.

According to a statement by the Israeli embassy in Chile, the Foreign 
Ministry's Deputy Director General for Latin America Itzhak Shoham 
called the map a "provocation."

The statement relayed Shoham's "hope to avoid anti-Israeli provocations 
such as presenting a map in which the state of Israel appears as part of 
Palestinian territories, with the evident intention of denying the 
existence of Israel."

Shoham added that "while Israel is determined to generate a positive 
step towards a two-state solution, it seems inappropriate to use sport 
for political ends."

The former president of the Jewish Community of Chile (CJCh) Gabriel 
Zaliasnik reacted to the news on Twitter and accused CD Palestino of 
"importing" the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, saying the uniform 
controversy was a sign of "hate and fanaticism."

/We have to be forward. It is shameful that the leadership of Palestino 
is tarnishing Chilean football. Hate and fanaticism don't have limits./

/The issue here is different: The responsibility that leaders of each 
community and their institutions must show. Importing conflicts is 

On Monday, CJCh Executive Director Marcelo Isaacson demanded a public 
apology from CD Palestino, removal of the jerseys and sanctions from the 
Chilean National Association of Professional Football (ANFP) and the 
International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).

Isaacson argued that the jerseys were an "act that affects the dignity 
of spectators at a sporting event and a use of the sport as a platform 
of political demands," Chilean newspaper /La Nacion/ reported 

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Federation of Chile 
<http://www.oicpalestina.org/?p=13967> expressed its support of the 
football club in a statement released on Tuesday.

"We deplore the hypocrisy of those who express outrage at the presence 
of this map, as they talk about the occupied territories," the statement 
read. "We deeply regret that Chilean Zionists seek to import the Middle 
East conflict to our country" by "tarnishing the history and the 
fundamental contribution that CD Palestino has made to the development 
of this sport in our country."

The federation also expressed its thanks to Chilean nationals, "and 
especially the Jews of our country," who have spoken out in solidarity 
with the football team.

Chile is home to the largest Palestinian population outside of the 
Middle East, with an estimated 500,000 citizens of Palestinian origin.


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