Defiance against the tyranny is one of the most powerful display of the human spirit.
From David (PBUH) against Goliath to the lone man standing in front of the tanks in Tienanmen square, defiance in all its form from outright confrontational to protracted subtle (Mandela’s resistance), epitomizes the most spirited form of human endeavor.
On 17th August 2016, something awe inspiring happened. And it happened in the most unlikeliest of places. A football stadium is rarely a place for political posturing, and yet hundreds of Celtic fans displayed exactly that.
In the UEFA Champions league match against Hapoel Be’er Sheva F.C at Celtic park in Glasgow, Scotland not just a few but hundreds of Palestinians flags were waved. This action was taken to mark solidarity with Palestinians whose case has been systematically erased from global conscience.
This action held even more significance in the wake of Google’s swipe at Palestine. The largest search engine of the world and one of the largest organization on the planet wiped out Palestinian territory off its map. A petition against this step was filed by Zak Martin on Change.org. His effort should also be commended as act of courage and defiance.
Celtic Football club are likely to be fined by UEFA for a sum of 15000 pounds. What UEFA are unlikely to explain is why in this day and age, Israel has been allowed to play football at all, leave alone European football.
It is not the first time an Israeli club has been allowed to play European football despite no geographical connections. The country was drafted in by UEFA in 1994. The reason cited then was that most neighboring Arab countries refused to play with Israel and boycotted it socially and politically.
It should be remembered that not long ago, South Africa under the apartheid era was banned from competing in many sports. For those who argue that politics and sports should be kept separate should take a note of that fact that sporting ban help turn the tide in South Africa.
The time has come for the world to come together and impose another ban, this time on Israel for their apartheid.
It was heartening to witness that as the news broke about Celtic being fined, the fans rallied again and have fund raised over 100,000 GBP that will go to Palestinian charities.
These tiny acts of bravery should not be taken lightly. This act of solidarity will no doubt provide oxygen to struggle of the marginalized people of Palestine.
Indeed if everyone does a little, we can do a lot.