Open Letter To “His Excellency” Gianni Infantino, The Incumbent President of FIFA
In 2006, FIFA officially announced their Say No to Racism campaign in which they released large banners before matches at the World Cup that simply said, "Say No to Racism."
I trust that the current qualifying rounds for the 2018 World Cup — along with persistent claims that FIFA is rife with corruption — have not been too much of an imposition on your time to the extent of preventing the enjoyment of your more than £2.6 million salary which is no doubt also laden with numerous overt and covert “fringe benefits.” My taking the liberty of writing to you was prompted by Monday evening’s European Region Group G qualifying match between Italy and Israel which happens to be in the Middle East and not in Europe. FIFA’s apparent confusion over Israel’s geographical location is also shared by that other august — and equally rife with corruption and hypocrisy — footballing authority, EUFA, which for the same inexplicable reason also facilitates Israel’s participation in the European Championship.
This made me wonder what Israel had done — apart from its usual modus operandi of blackmail, bribery, bullying, and exploitation of the Holocaust with a well organised and financed “Holocaust Industry” — to warrant being allowed participation in an international football tournament organised by FIFA which while claiming to be opposed to racism, is apparently prepared to tolerate, without the slightest compunction, the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. I am sure you can understand how someone like myself — who has neither your highly intelligent and principled regard for humanity nor large amounts of money unobtrusively accumulating interest in Swiss bank accounts — is bewildered by such an obviously blatant contradiction. Please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t ethnic cleansing with its crimes of genocide and mass atrocity constitute a very extreme form of racism?
While my conscience demands that I recognise and unreservedly condemn the appalling events endured by Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust, it also obliges me in fairness to also point out that no responsibility whatsoever can be attached to the Palestinian people who unlike the unprincipled Zionists — despite of what was being done to Jews — did not offer to fight on the side of the Nazis on the explicit understanding that after Germany won the war, Zionism would be rewarded with Palestine.
You may not be aware — because you were not born before 1970 — that in October 1964 FIFA suspended South Africa indefinitely because of its Apartheid policy which at its worst came nowhere even close to the racist barbarity and hatred that has been unleashed by Israelis against Palestinians for almost 70 years. If your are not already cognisant with the irrefutable reality of Israeli racism, then perhaps you would care to view some of the available evidence on Youtube of which the following are but a few of the less aggressive and violent examples:
Surely on the basis of such evidence and FIFA’s proclaimed unconditional opposition to racism, Israel should by right be banned from participation in international football tournaments that in effect condone its heinous crimes against humanity and lend legitimacy to its illegal and deliberately barbaric occupation of Palestinian lands. As the President of FIFA, do you not have the ultimate responsibility of enforcing the “Say No to Racism” policy of football’s international governing body? Or are there some mitigating circumstances such as hypocrisy, double standards, and a paranoiac fear of being branded an anti-Semite?
Despite your and FIFA’s shameful reluctance to do the right thing by banning Israel from international tournaments, there is nonetheless a rising tide of opposition to Israel’s participation in such tournaments as was witnessed last month when the fans of Celtic Football Cub defied UEFA and the police by not only waving hundreds of Palestinian flags as a political protest during the match against Israel’s Hapoel Beer Sheva FC, but also by subsequently raising more than £130,000 for Palestinian charities in an attempt to match the impending Uefa fine; when Israeli fans in France were greeted with Palestinian flags while Israeli flags were banned during a match between St. Etienne and Beitar Jerusalem; and when Malaysia relinquished the rights to hosting the 2017 FIFA Congress because the predominantly Muslim country refused to issue visas to Israeli delegates who would have been allowed to display their Israeli flag during the event.
Earlier this year an independent report by human rights expert and Harvard Kennedy School Professor John Ruggie was published with a view to strengthening FIFA’s institutional approach to human rights, including the ongoing development of a “FIFA Human Rights Policy.” As part of its ongoing efforts in this field, FIFA had asked Professor Ruggie to provide recommendations to embed respect for human rights across its operations and business relationships, based on his leading role in developing the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The report is available on the following link.
For FIFA to seek advice and recommendations to “embed respect for human rights across its operations and business relationships,” is all very commendable and no doubt a useful public relations exercise, but it will all be a meaningless and shameful public facade if no positive action is taken against Israel whose arrogant disregard and contempt for international law knows no bounds and includes the blatant violation of all 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Please take time to check out the following links and then act in accordance with your conscience instead of remaining subservient to pro-Israeli threats and pressure. Your Excellency must be aware that your position, your self respect, and humanity demand it.
Information regarding the “Red Card Israeli Racism” campaign can be found at the following link: (link:http://rcir.takeaction.org.uk/lobby/Infantino)