Johannesburg – The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Coalition (BDS) has called for Orlando Pirates not to play a friendly match against Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv in Spain next Thursday.
The coalition said Israel has been perpetrating human rights abuses against Palestinians.
They called on Pirates to heed the call of Palestinians to stand against Israel.
This is the second time there has been a storm around South Africans participating in activities involving Israel.
Two years ago, former Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane went to Israel to participate in Miss Universe after government had asked her not to travel to Israel because of Pretoria’s stance against Tel Aviv.
But Mswane went ahead to take part in the pageant, despite not getting government support.
Pirates is currently in a training camp in Spain and is scheduled to play friendly matches ahead of the start of the Premier Soccer League next month.
But the BDS Coalition said on Friday it would urge Pirates not to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv in Spain.
“As South Africans, football fans and solidarity activists against Israeli apartheid, we are calling on Orlando Pirates not to play a friendly match with Maccabi Tel Aviv scheduled for July 13 in Spain. There is nothing ‘friendly’ about playing a team representing apartheid Israel.
“This week the world witnessed devastating Israeli military airstrikes and a ground invasion of Jenin, a densely populated refugee camp, home to around 14,000 Palestinians.
“In two days, Israeli occupation forces killed 12 Palestinians – including two children – wounding a further 90 people; fired tear gas into the hospital and at people escaping shelling of their homes; tore up roads with army bulldozers and destroyed water and electricity infrastructure.
“Despite Israeli soldiers targeting journalists, apartheid Israel could not hide their largest attack for decades on Palestinians in the West Bank,” said BDS.
It said despite what happened in Jenin, the daily attacks on Palestinians are not reported.
It called on Pirates to heed the call of Palestinians and not take part in the friendly match in Spain next Thursday against the Israeli side.