On Thursday March 12, Maccabi Tel Aviv played against FC Barcelona at a Euroleague Basketball match. After four days of tension between Barcelona supporters and FC Barcelona authorities due to the prohibition by the Catalan club on exhibiting any sign of Palestine solidarity, Maccabi Tel Aviv was received by waving Palestinian flags at the Palau Blaugrana (FC Barcelona Stadium). FC Barcelona supporters also carried signs reading “Boycott Israel,” “Boycott Maccabi” and “Free Palestine” while chanting “Palestine.”
In recent years, it has been common to see and hear slogans in favor of freedom of the Palestinian people whenever the Israeli team went to Barcelona. The solidarity of supporters’ clubs with the Palestinian cause has led to a lawsuit being filed against the Euroleague (the Barcelona-based organizer of the competition) demanding Maccabi Tel Aviv be excluded from the European competition.
It has also been common in recent years to see how the security around the FC Barcelona Stadium has been excessively stepped up whenever the Maccabi Tel Aviv team has played there. One of the Barcelona supporters’ clubs, Sang Culé, Cor Català, described in a statement some of the many ways the Israeli team and Mossad, the Israeli secret services, show their power, including searches, the use of dogs and confiscating Palestinian flags.
– Read more: Fans of Barcelona Basketball Team Show Support for Palestine Despite Attacks on Free Speech – Mondoweiss