The solidarity flyer seemed apropos. A stone’s throw from the Mole Antonelliana,  the 19th century tower dominates Turin’s skyline, evocative, in some ways, of the Dome of the Rock. Originally conceived as a synagogue, it’s difficult to disconnect the Mole from its religious intent, despite the fact that it was never used as such. There remains a distinctly Oriental quality to it, which renders anything Levantine in its vicinity local, as though the Turkish and Egyptian kebab parlors nearby had always been there.

Culturally, these connections are not without their value. Though complicated politically,  (What does a 19th century synagogue have to do with Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi?)  it all combines to constitute something of a counter-narrative to those who believe that everything in Europe is only about Europeans, not the Middle East. This is especially important, in relation to debates about diversity and immigration, which fail to understand the continuities, for example, between European Jewry, and Arab migrants.

Hence, the following flyer, protesting Israeli policies towards the Palestinians. Posted to a building in Turin’s San Salvario neighborhood, the charge of Apartheid, is not without its local referents, or significance. Not just because its about Israel. To argue about the injustice of segregation, and inequality, abroad, is also to make a case against the same, at home. That Turin serves as home to a large migrant community, from the Middle East, and has such a strong Jewish history, is equally important.

UEFA boycott flyer. Turin, June 2013.

UEFA boycott flyer. Turin, June 2013.

The Israeli government violates international law and discriminates  (against)Palestinians with its legislation and actions. These include ethnic cleansing, moving restriction(s), limited access to water, healthcare and education.

Palestinian footballers, too, suffer from this oppression: they’re arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned without accusations, cannot travel freely and meet for matches and trainings in the proper way.

The United Nations have formally identified Israeli system as (one of) APARTHEID. This institutionalized racism in not acceptable and cannot be found in any European country. Therefore, ISRAEL DOESN’T DESERVE TO HOST A UEFA CHAMPIONSHIP.

 

Red Card Israeli Racism Campaign

 The plea signed by footballers, intellectuals and activists has been ignored by UEFA. Italian Soccer Federation has passively accepted this.

The European Championship Under 21 from 5th to 18th of June will take place in Israel.

KICK APARTHEID OUT!

BOYCOTT (THE) UNDER 21 CHAMPIONSHIP IN ISRAEL

TURN OFF TV, AND MAKE OTHERS TURN IT OFF!

(Pictures: Gaza stadium, bombed in November 2012)

Boycott Israel Collective – for a unitary state in Palestine (info: www.forumpalestina.org)

 

Translated from the Italian by Giulia Pace. Introduction and photographs courtesy of Joel Schalit.