Umbrella Group to Host International Event to Honor Athletes Opposed to Normalization with Israel
An anti-Israel umbrella group says it will hold an international event to honor athletes who oppose normalization with Israel in late January, as Tel Aviv continues to ‘smear’ its gross human rights abuses man and his appalling crimes against the Palestinians using his presence in international sports and cultural events.
The Global Campaign for the Return to Palestine (GCRP) said in an announcement posted on its official website Facebook and Twitter that he would host the International Forum to honor anti-normalization athletes in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, from January 31 to February 2.
The GCRP, which is an umbrella organization of civil society associations that support the Palestinian cause, both in Arab countries and around the world, added that the three-day event would take place in “recognition of the act heroism of anti-normalization athletes, and with the participation of international personalities.
According to the announcement, the international forum would honor champion athletes who “have withdrawn from various international sports tournaments by refusing to normalize with the usurping entity, or to face Zionist players.”
The GCRP, which has representatives and partners in more than 45 countries around the world to set up events and movements to defend the Palestinian cause and in particular the right of return, added in its announcement that these champion athletes would receive the “Al-Quds Golden Medal.”
Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel at an event in Washington in September 2020. Sudan and Morocco followed suit later that year. Palestinians have condemned the accords as a treacherous “stab in the back” of Arab regimes.
At the end of 2020, Tunisia reiterated that its position on Palestine was unchanged and that it would not seek any normalization with Tel Aviv. The country said at the time that Tunisians stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and strongly support their rights, which have been recognized by numerous United Nations resolutions and various international bodies, including the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.
In February 2021, around 200 Mauritanian clerics and scholars religiously declared a ban on normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel, stressing that establishing ties with the occupation regime is not permitted under any circumstances. In May, Kuwait’s National Assembly unanimously approved a law prohibiting any agreement or normalization of ties with Tel Aviv. And in June, Qatar said it would not normalize with Israel unless the regime ended its occupation of Palestinian lands and the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict was resolved.
In September, Bahrain’s main opposition group al-Wefaq National Islamic Society denounced the normalization of Manama’s relations with Israel as “a crime”, stressing that the policies of the Al Khalifah regime are not in line with the will of the Bahraini nation.
In November, the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), an organization of Islamic theologians, said that any normalization of ties with Israel is religiously prohibited and that the decision of some Arab governments to make peace with the occupation regime amounts to a “betrayal” of the rights of the Palestinian nation.
Furthermore, athletes from Muslim nations have repeatedly refused to face Israeli opponents in key international competitions in protest against Israeli atrocities and the occupation of Palestinian lands, and normalization with Tel Aviv.
Israel claims all of al-Quds, but the international community regards the eastern sector of the city as occupied territory and the Palestinians regard it as the capital of their future state.