|BBC laments British Gaza football team ban|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 23 August 2007 01:17|
How this gets to be top news on the BBC is beyond me. The corporation is in mourning over a recent decision by the British government to refuse visas to the Gaza Strip football team, which were invited to play against Chester City and Blackburn Rovers. A spokesman for the British consulate in Jerusalem has stated that none of the 22 players meets its criteria for entry into the UK. The players however believe their visas were refused because the British government thinks that team would not be willing to return to Hamas-run Gaza. In the article, the BBC laments the fact that Israel had bombed Gaza's football stadium, and does not give the reason why it was bombed, leaving the reader with the impression that Israel is an oppressive and cruel regime bent on destroying Palestinian livelihood.
Quote: "Arranging football matches in Gaza is hard enough, says our correspondent. There are few proper football pitches and Israeli forces bombed Gaza's main stadium last year.
The stadium was of course destroyed by Israel as it was being used as a facility to train Palestinian fighters on how to strike Jews, rather than training Palestinian footballers how to strike goals. The football stadium was empty at the time of the attack.
Quote: "The IDF has acknowledged that the stadium was specifically targeted to "send a strong message to the Palestinian people against terrorism." "Knowing the stadium was unpopulated, artillery fire from Israel was fired directly at it," said the IDF Spokesman. "The terrorism is coming from within them, and they need to know that they are the ones suffering."
Just a week before that attack, Palestinian terrorists hit an Israeli football pitch with a Kassam rocket, which did injure several Israeli children. Football's governing body FIFA condemned Israel for targeting the Palestinian stadium, but refused to condemn the unprovoked attack on the Israeli pitch. Deliberate lack of context in news such as this only encourages anti-Semitism, which is already at an all-time high in the United Kingdom.