There are over 500 Israeli military checkpoints and blockades imposed on Palestinians, destroying all freedom of movement and making life impossible.
Just imagine, if there are many instances of people actually dying in front of Israeli soldiers because their checkpoints won’t let them reach a hospital: how difficult must it be for Palestinians to simply go to work or school every day?
on january 12, 2010, an earthquake in haiti killed over 200,000 people and left more than two million homeless. though four years have passed, two million cubic metres of debris has yet to be cleared, and around 170,000 haitians remain homeless, living in one of 300 tent like settlements without drinking water, toilets or waste disposal.
while the number of haitians living in the camps has decreased by half from last year, most have not been relocated into permanent housing, and many were forcibly evicted from encampments that were erected on privately owned land. another 78,000 people are facing forcible eviction from landowners claiming title to the land.
though more than nine billion dollars in international aid has been pledged to haiti, less than ten percent has gone directly to the haitian government, and only 0.6 percent has gone to haitian charities or companies. of the six billion pledged for reconstruction projects by international governments, only half has thus far materialized.
the haitian earthquake caused 14 billion dollars in damage, and another 1.4 billion was spent by the haitian government to treat a cholera outbreak that was introduced by united nations workers and killed 8,000.
A Palestinian football club in the Chilean capital Santiago has refused to give in to an intensive Jewish campaign demanding that the club apologise and remove a map depicting historic Palestine from the team’s official jerseys.
The manager of Deportivo Palestino, which was founded by Palestinian immigrants in 1920, decided to feature the map of historic Palestine on the backs of players’ jerseys to symbolise the numeral one. The map presents Israel as a Palestinian territory, angering many in Chile’s Jewish community. In response, local and international Jewish leaders have called on the Chilean soccer association to intervene and ban the shirts that feature the map; however, this has not happened yet.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which presents itself as an “international Jewish human rights organisation” but in reality spends much of its time actively pursuing anybody who criticises Israel, stated that the club’s move “foments terrorist intent”.
Gerardo Gorodischer, the head of Chile’s Jewish community, said that the club’s action contradicts FIFA’s laws: “We know that FIFA prohibits such actions. You cannot make a political claim and import the Middle East conflict using the platform of football, using the sport to lie and hate.”
The Palestinian Federation in Chile responded by saying: “We reject the hypocrisy of those who blame this map, [and yet] talk about the occupied territory as disputed territory.”
Deportivo Palestino is one of the strongest football clubs in Chile. Some of its members were previously on the Palestinian national team in Ramallah, which is supervised by the head of the Palestinian soccer association, Jibril Rajoub.
There are around 400,000 Palestinians in Chile. The population includes businessmen and senior politicians. The community is still loyal to the Palestinian cause and were once represented in the Palestinian National Council before it was marginalised by the Palestinian Authority.
The pro-Israel hate campaign against the club will likely carry on; however, the Palestinian players continue to have the Palestinian map on their backs and will have Palestine in their hearts forever.