US Athletes Kneel Down during Israel’s National Anthem, Draw Accusations of ‘Anti-Semitism’ (VIDEO)

American athletes Hunnan Butt and Omar Rezika kneel down during Israel's national anthem. (Photo: Video Grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The politically-symbolic act of two young American athletes has been dubbed ‘antisemitic’ by Israel’s supporters on social media and among the various organizations that promote Israel’s interests in the United States. 

The controversy started when two volleyball players from Brooklyn College decided to kneel down during Israel’s national anthem, ahead of a match against Yeshiva University.

The symbolic act by two athletes, Hunnan Butt and Omar Rezika, was meant as a political protest against the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies in Palestine.

The kneeling gesture is a common act of political protest in sports, made particularly popular by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The African-American athlete, along with many others, has repeatedly kneeled down during the American national anthem to protest racism, police brutality, and the mistreatment of African-Americans and other minorities in the US.

Butt and Rezika attempted to use that form of protest as a way of raising awareness of Israel’s racist, apartheid policies in Palestine.

Pro-Israel individuals and institutions, however, immediately dubbed the symbolic act as one of “antisemitism” and “hatred”.

“Brooklyn College strongly condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and hatred,” a Brooklyn College spokesman told the YU student newspaper, the Observer, adding that “the two students who knelt during the national anthem did not refuse to shake hands with players from the other team.”

Writing in the Palestine Chronicle, Palestinian author and journalist Ramzy Baroud said that “while anti-Jewish racism is a real phenomenon that must be confronted, ‘antisemitism’, as defined by Israel and its Zionist allies .. is a smokescreen, with the ultimate aim of distracting from the real conversation, that being the crimes of military occupation, racism, and apartheid in Palestine.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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31 Comments

  1. for my first fifty years, as a quaker, i fully supported israel’s right to exist, along side of a palestinian state. in the last twenty years i’ve discovered that israel is a criminal state, and i have no interest in supporting anything they do, or its ‘right’ to exist. when i attempt to post opposition to its crimes on most sites they won’t allow those comments. color me anti-semitic if you wish though i have no difficulty with jews who respect EVERYONES rights.

  2. “Anti-semitism” and “hatred?”
    Well, I for one admit to a love of Jewish people, and at the same time a consuming hatred of Netanyahu’s government and any supporter of his government who agree with what they are doing in Palestine. The regime is evil and as far as I’m concerned, yes, they can be compared to Nazis with their ethnic cleansing and murderous policies.
    God bless all the Jewish people who oppose this barbaric government.

  3. Why was the Israeli anthem being played? Yeshiva Uni is a US Jewish religious school, isn’t it, not an Israeli institution? Isn’t The Star-Spangled Banner their anthem? Just asking, from the Eastern side of the Atlantic, it’s a puzzle.

  4. Jews: “Athletes protesting America is so woke and brave!”
    Also Jews: “Athletes protesting Israel?! Oy vey antisemitism!”

  5. I am sure some time , that day hopefully will not be far away, Christian Americans, will join this courageous lads to protest this “antisemitism” sham which is just a coverup for Israeli depredations.That will happen when they know about the real Israel.
    This news appear in Antiwar.com which i believe is a Zionist outfit. part of their strategy of playing both sides. I have every reason to believe so

  6. Insisting that anti Zionism is anti Semitism is as absurd as insisting anti Nazism is anti German. Many Jews rightly condemn Zionism as a political movement which uses Judaism as a front. Even if a race of people ruled a land thousands of years ago, it doesn’t give them the right to return many years later, force nearly one million people from their homes and land, kill them if they refuse to leave. Install a ruthless system of slaughter, genocide against the indigenous people. But Zionism insists Zionists must be allowed to.

  7. Anti semitism is so easy to throw yet the Palestinians are the real semite. Modern Israelis show us where your fathers and grand fathers graves are? Modern israel is a state that murders at will and has america in a death grip

  8. Three points:
    1) At best, Israel can only exist within the 1947-48 boundaries assigned by the UN. Any Jewish territorial aggrandizement is purely illegal under international law to which the USA is signatory.
    2) Israel is an ally of USA? Don’t make me laugh. For starters: the Lavon Affair (1954); the Suez Crisis (1956-57); the NUMEC Affair (late 1950s-early 1960s); the East Gohr Canal fiasco (1968); the USS Liberty attack (June 8, 1967); Jonathan Jay Pollard; Larry Franklin; the enormous amount of USA taxpayer money spent on subsidizing Israel that could have been spent on improving life in USA.
    3) The control of USA foreign policy by a minority of an ethnic minority.

  9. Hang on a second: isn’t Yeshiva University an ‘American’ institution? We are talking about the same YU established in Manhattan, NYC in 1886, aren’t we?

    That would be 62 years of existence before the claim of a Zionist ‘state’. Just to be charitable (surely a dangerous policy), the ‘Hatikvah’ wasn’t adopted by the Zionists as an official anthem until 1897; that’s eleven years before the establishment of this ‘American’ university.

    If I am not wrong about any of this, then my real question is why was the anthem played in the first place?

  10. These Courageous Great Guys’ Protest is A Slap on The Faces of American & West European Countries and Other Supporters of Zionist Nazi Israel.

  11. Why did they play I anthem? To cause trouble and to expect everyone to stand for the country they put befor US. Well not those brave kids who kneeled to support silenced Palestinian youth. We call them brave because it’s easier to kneel to US anthem than Isreali in the NY, hearth the of US. How sad and massed up is that…

  12. Why is the Israeli national anthem played at a sporting event in the US, even if a Jewish (not Israeli!) University is participating. That’s the conundrum, isn’t it?

  13. They actually play Israel’s national anthem for an athletic event between two American colleges?

  14. Pro Palestine is not necessarily anti Israeli. I commend the bravery and humanityf those young people.

  15. America was infiltrated and subverted from within by the (((you know WHOSE))) long long ago most likely since 1871 when US became corporation sell outs to Rothschilds international criminal banksters…and then 1913 when both Federal Reserve Act and ADL came into existence…steady downhill erosion since then with AIPAC now owning controlling both sides right and left. We are now just a servant outpost for Israeli 1st agenda interests.

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