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A Clear Case of Off-Side

category national | crime and justice | opinion/analysis author Tuesday May 24, 2005 15:40author by Dermo - WSM Report this post to the editors

Marx said that religion was the opium of the people but sport has eclipsed man's fascination with the supernatural. Football is the heroin of sport. I can remember the first time I stood with my father on a terrace and watched men chase a bag of wind around a field. I still can be found standing on those steps in all sorts of weather.

In June, Israel come to Dublin to play against the Republic as part of a European group World Cup qualifiers. You know this already! What you probably don't know is that the man who scored the equaliser for Israel in Tel Aviv is called Abus Suan, and he is subjected to racism in his homeland because he is an Israeli Arab. He plays for a team called Bnei Sakhnin, in the town of Sakhnin. This team is unusual as they have 12 Arab, seven Jewish and four foreign players and a Palestinian president. They play their games 19 miles from their town, and when they show up to other games they are subjected to chants like “death to Arabs”.

As much as we might seek to escape via football, football does not escape the realities of the world. Israel is a state where racism exists and is rife. Barriers are not broken down in this place, in fact it's busily erecting a wall around the Palestinian community there. The wall is being built with the help of the Irish Company – Cement Roadstone.

Football is supposed to be about breaking barriers down. We can send a message of solidarity and support to the people of Palestine on that Saturday in June. We can let the Israelis know that we don't have any truck with their systematic killing, torture, and oppression of the Palestinian people. We should let them know we are against the criminalisation of young people who refuse to serve in the executors of this oppression, the national army. We do not tolerate racism in our football grounds around the country, we should certainly not tolerate the inhuman attitude of the Israeli state towards Arabs.

While the football team of Israel is attempting to qualify for the world cup in the European qualifiers, Palestine compete in the Asian qualifiers. They have no stadium, very little money, and the players from Gaza are frequently prevented from travelling by the Israeli authorities. They were not allowed attend a training camps in either Egypt or Hungary, despite protestations from FIFA. When they make it to the playing field it is an achievement in itself. As the General Secretary of the Palestinian FA says "It is amazing to see the colours [of our flag] outside our land... It is also a great challenge for the Israelis and their checkpoints. We are saying, 'We are here, we can reach Spain, Chile, the whole world.”

http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/

author by Jon Glackin - Street Seenpublication date Tue May 24, 2005 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The game is scheduled for 4 June @ 7.30, Landsdowne Rd........

author by Alpublication date Tue May 24, 2005 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How do you intend to show your support? if its by booing and abusing the Israeli team then I think its a bad idea as you will be allowing yourself to be dragged down to the yobs level. If its by showing support for the Arab players then im all for it and think it would send a great message on behalf of all the decent Irish people.

author by redjadepublication date Tue May 24, 2005 18:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dermo

In the recent indy debates about the new pope and such, I tried to stay out of it - not into religion anyway, so i felt that it wasn't my game to debate. But one point I *almost* made is the one you have made here .

If religion is such a distraction from reality then certainly sport is more so - and even more meaningless! Not that I really have anything either sport or religion.

But back the question raised by Al - What is to be done?

I agree with Al 'booing and abusing the Israeli team' is not a good idea - something more creative is required.

The Dublin Catholc Worker Community and the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Committee did a small protest at the Israeli Embassy back in March on this subject....

Fairplay for Palestine - Vigil at Israeli Embassy
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69125

author by Caobhinpublication date Tue May 24, 2005 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Support and solidarity for the people of Palestine will be shown by Irish supporters flying the Palestinian flag (will be available outside the ground).

Noone is encouraging the booing or abuse of Israeli players, don't know where you're getting that notion from.

Related Link: http://www.ipsc.ie/
author by Alpublication date Tue May 24, 2005 21:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you are going to fly the flag then I hope you have allowed for the Irish people that will not understand your purpose or in fact that its not the Israeli flag.
How many travelling fans will there be? This could cause a riot.

author by Caobhinpublication date Wed May 25, 2005 11:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What are you on? Now how exactly are people supposed to "allow for the Irish people that will not understand your purpose "?? Any ideas yourself? If some mythically militant Irish Zionists fans take offence and start trouble then it'll be the IPSO's fault for not "allowing for" them seems to be what you are implying.

You are also insulting the intelligence of Irish fans by implying many of them would confuse the Israeli and Palestinian flags and almost appear to be hoping for the prospect of a riot with your tabloid "fears".

author by Nicolopublication date Wed May 25, 2005 11:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its obvious that this guy is trying to stir up some tension prior to the game. I agree its insulting to people to insinuate that they dont know the difference between the israeli and palestinian flags. Im afraid Al the relaity is that Israels genocidal policies have not gone unnoticed in Ireland and most people recognise and are willing to support Palestine.

As regards a riot, this is non sensense. Are we to stop protesting because the object of the protests might take offence. We are not in the West Bank or Gaza thankfully and any Israelis that might take offence may just have to live with it. The occupation of palestine is offensive so I hope they do take offense but they wont be any violence. We are not the so called "IDF" here in ireland, wait and see the Irish footballing public are well informed and intelligent.

Go back to the embassy Al cos the protests are coming and there is nothing you can do about it.

End the Occupation

Free Palestine

author by Usual Suspectpublication date Wed May 25, 2005 11:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He's sees riots everywhere.

author by Joepublication date Wed May 25, 2005 11:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As article on the Man U takeover by the same author is at http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=556

author by Alpublication date Wed May 25, 2005 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its amazing how every comment I make is met with such venom.
I dont care if you fly the flag. I support your cause as I already said but because Im a cop everything I say is met with the same stupid "we are here and we will do it" response.
As far as the flag is concerned, you are wrong. I dont think the vast majority of irish supporters will know the difference. they will see a foreign flag and thats that.
Sit down and look at all the flags of the world and see how many you correctly identity.
My point about how to show support has been lost. My point is that by shoving a message in peoples faces you very often alienate them. By toning down the method you show yourself in a better light and encourage people to take an interest.
It only takes one person too go to far to slur the action.
Thats my point, 99% can be honest,decent people that believe in a cause but its the 1% that will go overboard and that people will remember.
And yes I do see a riot because you will have the flag in the Irish section and all it takes is 1 drunk to start a riot.

author by Curiouspublication date Wed May 25, 2005 12:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Does my tax money pay for you to surf and make silly comments all day. I'm beginning to think that you are not what you say you are?
Either that or you must be offering up a lot of that good ol' overtime.

author by Nicolopublication date Wed May 25, 2005 13:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al wake up, you are insulting irish people, do a straw pole of the public and see how many can distingiush between the irish and palestinian flags.

Maybe you were talking about the gardai , i can recall a cop in limerick asking was spain a member of the eu?

people are not stupid and in relation to a riot the only ones that will start a riot are either the israeli supporters or the cops, honest decent irish people support palestine because its a clear case of evil oppressing good

author by Devil Dogpublication date Wed May 25, 2005 14:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. I love the way anyone who doesn't take the indymedia line on the ME is assumed to be from "the embassy" or, better yet, simply being paid to express pro-Israel opinions. The paranoia levels are through the roof.

2. Nicollo, would you apply the same logic about people who find protests/assemblies offensive "just having to live with it" to an Orange Order march on the Falls Rd, or even Dublin? How about a KKK march in Harlem?

3. I very much doubt if any but a small minority of Irish people could identify the Palestinian flag.

author by Nicolopublication date Wed May 25, 2005 14:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Devil Dog answer me the following

(1) Why do you support Israel and its actions against palestinians, (the civilaians not the terrorists)

(2) There is a big difference between the orange order and a peaceful protest against an occupying country. All protests offend because the reason for protesting is offensive, maybe you should ask why would Israelis be offended by a protest, maybe because what they are doing is wrong. Have you ever thought of that?

(3) As you made the NI connection, was it right that hundreds of years ago planters came and took over land and made people homeless and evicted them from lands etc etc. Is it right that for years people were forced to live as second class citizens up North. Was it wrong of them to ask for basic human rights? Remember the statement "a protestant land for a protestant people" was this correct. Sharon said just this week that he would work to ensure " A jewish majority"

(4) What is the way ahead.

author by Nicolopublication date Wed May 25, 2005 14:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Devil Dog in relation to flags,

Again I say do a starw pole of the public and you will see who recognises the palestinian flag or not

author by Alpublication date Wed May 25, 2005 23:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Does my tax money pay for you to surf and make silly comments all day" - Why is the last defence always a stupid statement about my occupation? Just how much tax do you pay? As a tax payer do i pay my own wages? You must pay a lot (and earn well over a comfortable amount) to single-handely pay a Gardas wages. Do you pay anywhere near 25,000 a year in tax? Even forgeting all that, am I to presume by your comment that you work 24 hours a day 7 days a week? because I dont.

"Al wake up, you are insulting irish people, do a straw pole of the public and see how many can distingiush between the irish and palestinian flags.

Maybe you were talking about the gardai , i can recall a cop in limerick asking was spain a member of the eu?

people are not stupid and in relation to a riot the only ones that will start a riot are either the israeli supporters or the cops, honest decent irish people support palestine because its a clear case of evil oppressing good" - Its not an insult, Im merely stating that there are hundreds of flags out there and a lot of the countries couldnt even be pointed out on a map nevermind recognising their flag. As per usual you try to turn the arguement away from the point. Recognising a flag is not the point, showing a foreign flag at an Irish match in the Irish section is the point Im making. I never said people dont support the Palestinians but as per every siuation it depends who you talk to what story you hear. The Israelis could probable put a completely different slant on the situation. But thats not my point either. Im insulting the Irish people, you just directed insulted the intelligence of Gardai. What does that make you?
Right Im off to poll 5 million people by waving a flag around. see you in a few years. However I dont know what it looks like and I just asked my Dutch lodger and his Irish girlfriend and either would they. So far the poll is at 3 for 3. You know what it looks like because you have made an effort to know, how many Irish people have done that?

author by Nicolopublication date Thu May 26, 2005 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al,

I wont get in to the usual debate over who recognises flags etc etc but look at this link and it tells you why people want to work to help palestinians and indeed ending the occupation helps israelis in the long term

http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/isr-summary-eng

ps your not an eru dude are you, responsible for this mornings events?

author by Alpublication date Fri May 27, 2005 01:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nicola,
No Im not an ERU dude, Im amazed there isnt anything posted about it yet. Having said that I knew the two that were shot because my station covers where they lived.

Maybe I didnt explain myself properly about the Palestinian's. Im not against them, I support them. My comments about the flag was just something I thought of. If you read my first post I support the plan to show support at the match, Im just worried that flying the flag will be misinterprated.

author by Nicolopublication date Fri May 27, 2005 10:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al, for a cop you are very laz, my name is nicolo now if this was a summons or warrant you would have f..ked it up. Also you are based in a north inner city station? Store street maybe

author by Alpublication date Fri May 27, 2005 14:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Al, for a cop you are very laz, my name is nicolo now if this was a summons or warrant you would have f..ked it up. " - oh well excuse me very much. I hardly spend as much time on details here as I do in work but a mis-spell isnt enough to cancel a summons unless you deny that its refering to you in which case I get it reissued.

"Also you are based in a north inner city station? Store street maybe" - Yes, where do you work?

Now how was any of this relivent to the thread?

author by Nicolopublication date Fri May 27, 2005 14:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al

I work in Coolock station

author by Alpublication date Fri May 27, 2005 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Wow its amazing how many Gardai are now on this site since yesterday morning. If you are a cop then tell me the shoulder number of Gibbs? (I wont say his first name) and where his father works. Gibbs is stationed in Coolock.
Once again the relivence.
First Tom now you, Im beginning to think this is the GRA site.

author by Nicolopublication date Fri May 27, 2005 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can you tell me the number of mccarthy a sgt in the office in your shop?

author by Nicolopublication date Fri May 27, 2005 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al,

I have been engaging with you recently on this thread but please note that someone else seems to be using my name, I am not a garda and I think our recent debates show this.

Again I dont agree with you but please know that someone else seems to be suggesting that I am a cop

author by Alpublication date Fri May 27, 2005 15:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

there is no sergeant working either regular or boulevard with that name if he is in the district office then hes not in uniform and I dont know his number. I can tell you the ass supt is C704 but he only uses it on the radio. I can tell you that the D2 sergeant is C6. I can tell you who C189 is. Who C65 is. Who C184 is.
This is fun, can you asnwer mine? Surely its easier to know your colleagues in a station a hell of a lot smaller than Store street considering store street has over 300 personell. What does Coolock have?
Nicolo, if your a guard then answer me one simple, simple question that in fact does not really require you to be a guard to answer. What is the nickname for Gardai used by Gardai?

author by Nicolopublication date Fri May 27, 2005 15:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al,

As my last post said, I am not a cop and someone is using my name, I am looking at other threads to see if anything similar is happening, I am niolo (the real one) I am not a cop, in fact I am a teacher and live in munster ,

I have nothing to do with cops, I am invoved with palestine and human rights,

sorry but whoever used the name nicolo earlier it was not me

author by Alpublication date Fri May 27, 2005 16:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair enough. Seems I was right about the mystery Nicolo.
After reading my posts about the flags do you see now that Im not anti-palestinians?

author by Nicolopublication date Fri May 27, 2005 16:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al,

We can agree to disagree but if in your professional opinion this may cause problems then we as activists will have to think about this. However, I can assure you that the majority of protesters will not do anything violent and will stay within the law

so come along on the day and wear a solidairty badge on the uniform :-)

author by Alpublication date Fri May 27, 2005 16:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I dont doubt it Nic, Its not the protestors that worry me. Well Im not really worried Im just concerned that some idiot with a few too many drinks inside him will see a foreign flag and react.
PS Im not working but will be at the match.

author by Nicolopublication date Fri May 27, 2005 16:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe we can meet up for a pint then, I will be at a demo near the college of surgeons during the day

author by Alpublication date Fri May 27, 2005 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah Im sure I would be welcomed with open arms. Im afraid agreeing with you would not change peoples perceptions based on my occupation. You as a teacher must have been quite vocal at ratemyteacher? I didnt see you comment.

author by Nicolopublication date Fri May 27, 2005 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry to admit this Al but I teach adults and not the kids I think I may actually agree with some of your views and your occupation as regards elements of our youth in this country

We may actually have more in common than you think

PS in relation to Lusk, I agree to a certain extent with you and withour knowing the full facts, but if u point a gun at someone and refuse to drop it then you are asking for trouble, maybe more training is needed or non leathal weapons but cops are humans too and killing someone must be a terrible burden on the cops involved. A sad tradegy for all involved

author by Alpublication date Fri May 27, 2005 16:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Absolutely, taking a persons life is not something to be easily forgotten and if less-lethal were available Im sure they would be of use but remember the reaction the conference had when it was here?
To put another spin on it, think what would have happened had certain posters gotten their way and no Gardai had guns.
Ok have to go to work, depite popular belief this is not what Im paid to do.

author by ethical career advicepublication date Fri May 27, 2005 21:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Coz he's just like us. Except he's much better paid.
And under certain conditions, such as him being armed and you at home there in the hoodie, thinking a post office could be the way out of misery, he could kill you.
Still the secret of life- is not to worry about that type of thing. If you keep out of trouble, you don't get shot.
Isn't that the thing? Now of course we'd all prefer to get electrodes fired into are arses at point blank range and humanely disabled rather than get a small metalic alloy projectile faster than the speed of sound through the leg / stomach / arm / torso.
But the secret of life is, the more weapons in the armoury, the more weapons to fight with. We all agreed that the non-lethal conference was a bad thing.

Because just as there are no guarantees that some basic firearm training, will help a Garda to shoot neither a criminal to death or a bystander,
there are no guarantees that a prison officer in less reputable countries like Ireland won't take to frying prisoners asses every night for sport with the electrodes.
For as of yet, we have no online friendly community prison officer do we?

author by Alpublication date Sat May 28, 2005 20:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I had thank you, it was a quiet night overall. If I was that officer and you were Griffin then yes I would have shot you however the fact remains that there were screams of blue murder when alternatives were looked at and my question hasnt been answered, what would happen if we had no weapons? "Please put down the gun sir, theres nothing I can do if you shoot except bleed to death but please put it down anyway" Yes, a safer world it would be!

BTW, tell your friends at the GPO that bloody loud-speaker gave me a headache and the leaflet was a decent read but she seemed reluctant to let me have one, perish the thought a guard could just be interested. Still disagree with the flag thing.

author by Alpublication date Sun May 29, 2005 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

just thought you might like to know that some of the guys from work are going to the match and when I said what was being planned they had a look at the leaflets and are thinking about joining in.

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