Celtic Football Fans Fly Flag of Palestine in Match Against Israeli Team

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    Aug 20, 2016 4:29 AM GMT
    Glasgow Celtic fans (representing Irish immigrant community) ignore threats of fines to show solidarity with Palestine in 5-2 thrashing of Israeli team Hapoel Beer Sheva:

    Celtics%20FC%20Palestine%20Reuters.jpg

    Hail Hail!
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    Aug 20, 2016 7:43 AM GMT
    Go Celts.
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    Aug 21, 2016 5:07 AM GMT
    Why Celtic fans showed solidarity with the people of Palestine
    http://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/sport/sport-opinion/celtic-fans-showed-solidarity-people-11767772

    Martin Milligan, one of the supporters involved in last night’s protest at Celtic Park writes for Glasgow Live explaining exactly why they took a stand.

    || Last night hundreds of Celtic fans showed their support with the people of Palestine, flying flags inside the ground and protesting outside the stadium.

    || The show of ‘solidarity’ was arranged for the visit of Israeli champions Hapoel Be-er Sheva for the opening leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off.

    || They did so despite warnings from Police Scotland and the possibility of sanctions from European football’s governing body.

    || It has been a topic of debate among fans for weeks and last night the story travelled around the world.

    || Some have criticised those involved, others have praised them. Here one of the supporters involved, Martin Milligan, explains their reasons:

    "We took a stand last night because we had to. This was an Israeli team, one whose town is built on occupied Palestinian land.

    "They were allowed to travel here freely for the game. Israeli football clubs can go anywhere they want, from Israel to any country in the world. That freedom of movement is not shared with Palestinian teams and players, who have restrictions imposed on them. There have been numerous incidents in recent years where that has happened.

    "The vast majority of people who spoke to us last night were supportive and on our side. Umpteen people approached us to thank us for doing it.

    "We tried to talk to as many of them as we could to explain our reasons. We want to talk to people, let them know what’s happening and get them on board.

    "Some have argued that we should keep politics and football apart.

    "The example I use is the 1988 Scottish Cup Final at Hampden where Maggie Thatcher appeared as the ‘guest of honour’.

    "I always ask people ‘did you show her a red card when you were there that day’. The answer is always ‘yes’. So people choose themselves when it is time to make a personal, political stance at the football.

    "That is ultimately what last night came down to, personal choice. It is our right to protest and choose where we protest, not the right of others.

    "This was about standing up for humanity. People lose their lives there daily. We see incidences of small children being jailed by Israeli soldiers. Land is stolen, homes are stolen and people are basically living in a prison.

    "They cannot go anywhere, their land is shrinking around them. They have to pass through checkpoints any time they try to move and if a family in Gaza has relatives in the West Bank they cannot visit them.

    "If this happened in any other country in the world there would be an outcry. It’s not a war, it’s apartheid and it’s barbaric.

    "Last night we were trying to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people and show UEFA up as well. Why should we not be allowed to fly Palestinian flags? It is a national flag representing a country, like any other. It seems that the powers define what is a flag and what is a political statement.

    "Some have also told us that we were harming the club and that we should think about sanctions or punishments. To be honest, that wasn’t something we took into consideration. We set out to highlight what is happening and in some ways, if UEFA do take action they will only highlight the situation further.

    "This show of solidarity means everything to people in Palestine. It shows that people are willing to support them and stand by them. They feel at times that no one in the world cares about them and how they are treated.

    "Why do Celtic fans have a history of supporting this cause? We have always stood for oppressed people. Our club was founded on those principals.

    "People talk about the club’s reputation and the negatives, but positives have come from this as well. Look at how this story has travelled. Look at the places it has reached. The response from people in Palestine and across the region has been incredible."

    || Celtic might even have woken up this morning to find that they have five million new fans.
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    Aug 21, 2016 7:58 AM GMT
    SO BEAUTIFUL!

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    Aug 21, 2016 5:01 PM GMT
    Thank you! They are more educated than most Americans.

    NOBODY LIKE "ISRAEL"
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    Aug 22, 2016 6:29 PM GMT
    It's outrageous that the club should have to pay a fine because some fans exercised admirably their right to free speech, but great that they decided to match the amount and donate it to Palestine. They set a target of £15,000 but had to up it to £98,862 following a massive response. The current figure as it stands is £48,357.

    Donate here:

    MATCH THE FINE FOR PALESTINE
    https://www.gofundme.com/matchfinepalestine

    PS. Can't wait to see Celtic thrash Beer Sheva once more tonight at their own stadium!
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    Aug 23, 2016 2:27 AM GMT
    JTheM saidIt's outrageous that the club should have to pay a fine because some fans exercised admirably their right to free speech, but great that they decided to match the amount and donate it to Palestine. They set a target of £15,000 but had to up it to £40,000 following a massive response. The current figure as it stands is £48,357.

    Donate here:

    MATCH THE FINE FOR PALESTINE
    https://www.gofundme.com/matchfinepalestine

    PS. Can't wait to see Celtic thrash Beer Sheva once more tonight at their own stadium!


    If I am a professional soccer (football) player, I would definitely boycott the "Israeli" stadium...
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    Aug 23, 2016 11:59 PM GMT
    Currently at £132,811. New goal £140,000!
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    Aug 24, 2016 2:35 AM GMT
    Funny how "Israel" playing in European competition. "Israelis" aren't even Middle Easterns.

    Long live Palestine!
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    Aug 24, 2016 3:19 PM GMT
    Not only in European football tournaments but also in the Eurovision Song Contest (punishment to be sure, but by no means condign to the crimes).

    £139,761 raised!
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    Aug 25, 2016 2:38 AM GMT
    Then they should move back to Europe and stay out of Middle East.
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    Aug 26, 2016 2:48 AM GMT
    £149,400!