Coalition of Malaysian Islamic Organisation
for the Cause of Palestine
18 Rabiul Akhir 1429 / 25th April 2008
Petition to Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar, Minister of Home Affairs
Y. B. Datuk Seri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar,
Minister of Home Affairs
Kementerian Dalam Negeri, Malaysia
Level 12, Blok D2, Parcel D
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri,
Sub: Stop the Entry of Israeli Footballers
We have learnt from newspaper reports that the government intends to allow two Israeli citizens, members of the Chelsea football club, to enter Malaysia and play football here. Allowing entry to the two Israelis would be in violation of the government’s ban on Israeli citizens entering Malaysia.
The reason for the ban is to isolate Israel as a rogue state and to convey a message that it cannot have normal relations with other states unless it recognizes the right of self determination of the Palestinians, the right of return of Palestinian refugees, complies with international law and United Nations resolutions, and stops the violation of human rights.
There is no merit in the argument that sports and politics should not mix. Sports and politics cannot be separated in the modern day world of nation states. Just remember the current campaign against the Olympics being held in China and the US boycott of the Moscow Olympics after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Nations spent vast resources on sports to promote their values and image. Israel does the same. Sports, cultural activities, scientific and intellectual conferences, economic and technological aid, are used to promote a soft image of Israel and to hide the cruel occupation and rocketing of Palestinian civilians, including women and children.
If the Israeli footballers are allowed entry, the government would be seen as being insensitive to the feelings of the Palestinian victims of Israeli ethnic cleansing and atrocities, and the majority of the Malaysians who sympathise with them and support their struggle for justice and peace.
We would like to remind you that May 15th is the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakaba (Catastrophe) which resulted in the 1948 ethnic cleansing by Zionist forces of 750,000 Palestinians, three quarters of the population, from their homes.
They became refugees in Palestine and neighbouring countries and their population is now over 4.5 million. For six decades they have been living in abject poverty and deprivation, without adequate food, shelter, employment, education and healthcare. They have been ignored by the so-called international community dominated by the United States.
Israel is still continuing with its policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Since its forceful occupation in 1967 of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, it has been building settlements there for Jews in violation of international law and United Nations resolutions. The settler population now numbers over 400,000, rendering the two state solution of Bush’s Roadmap irrelevant.
Daily, the Israeli occupation forces and Zionist colonists are killing Palestinian civilians including children, demolishing their homes, obstructing their free movement and humiliating them.
Israel has imposed a cruel economic blockade on the helpless Palestinians under Israeli occupation. In the summer of 2006, it carried out massive sustained bombing attacks on Gaza which destroyed roads, bridges, sewage treatment facilities, water purification and electrical power plants. Also hundreds of civilians were killed or seriously injured.
The effect of the blockade has been increased unemployment, poverty and hunger to unprecedented levels. Israeli strangulation of Gaza is leading to the collapse of its economy.
Not long ago, Hardad-Zervos of the World Bank warned: “The pillars of Gaza’s economy have weakened over the years. Now, with a sustained closure on this current scale, they would be at risk of virtually irreversible collapse.”
Last year Israel declared the occupied Gaza strip ‘hostile entity’ and threatened to cut off the supply of fuel and electricity which are essential human needs. Recently it reduced fuel supplies to Gaza and this has led to the closure of universities and the non-functioning of ambulances and medical services resulting in preventable deaths. Israel’s actions, including the economic blockade and the bombing attacks on civilian targets, are in clear violation of the UN Charter and international law.
Professor Richard Falk, a Jew and a leading expert on international law has characterized the collective punishment of the people of Gaza by Israel as genocide and reminiscent of the Nazi treatment of the Jews during the Second World War and warned of a Palestinian holocaust in the making.
In July 2005 The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, along with over 170 Palestinian unions, political parties, and organizations called for a global campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel similar to those brought against apartheid South Africa.
The call has received wide civil society support, particularly in the European Union countries and even in the United States and Canada. Consumers are boycotting Israeli goods, academics are boycotting Israeli universities, and churches are withdrawing their investment from companies that enable Israel to continue with its occupation and violation of human rights and international law.
Citizens groups throughout the world are organizing a 1minute silence on 15 May to commemorate the 60th anniversary of NAKBA. Many other events – lectures, teach-ins, demonstrations, cultural events, public meetings, and BDS campaigns – have been planned to commemorate the injustice done to the Palestinian people and to reaffirm their commitment and support to the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice.
In these circumstances, therefore, for the government to allow Israeli citizens entry into Malaysia will send the wrong signal to the Israeli authorities, that is, that Israel can continue with its Nazi-like punishment of the people of Gaza and create a Palestinian holocaust.
We also would remind the government that Malaysia held the previous chairmanship of the OIC. OIC had always hold the position that Israel is a an aggressor state that denies and violates the rights of the Palestinian people towards their homeland. This incident would have marred the image of Malaysia in the eyes of OIC countries for her unblemish record in standing up for the Palestinian people and their legitimate struggle
We, therefore, appeal to you to strictly enforce the law and not to allow the Israelis entry
into Malaysia. We will be grateful if you will kindly get our Cabinet to direct all government departments, schools and institutions of higher learning to observe a 1minute silence on 15 May to commemorate the 60th anniversary of NAKBA.
Jointly endorsed by;
Islamic Part y of Malaysia (Party Islam Se Malaysia)
Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia)
Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia
Persatuan Ulama’ Malaysia
Sekretariat Himpunan Ulama Asia Tenggara (SHURA)
Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia
Teras Pengupayaan Melayu (TERAS)
Institut Pengembelengan dan Pembangunan Komuniti (IMPAK)
Malaysian Youth and Democratic Movement (DEMA)
Kelantan People Action Council (Majlis Tindakan Rakyat Kelantan)
Palestine Centre of Excellence (PACE)
Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Semenanjung (GAMIS)
Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia
University Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY)