‘Genocidal State’ – IOC Urged to Bar Israel from Olympic Games in Paris

IOC urged to bar Israel from Olympic Games in Paris. (Photo: DiscoA340, via Wikimedia Commons)

Israel “mocks the decisions of the International Criminal Court as well as the International Court of Justice,” stated a brochure published by the protesters, who called for sanctions to be imposed on the country.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to demand that Israel be barred from competing at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris amid the ongoing genocidal assault on Gaza.

The protesters held up a banner stating: “Let’s ban the genocidal Israeli state from the Olympic Games,” the Anadolu news agency reported.

They left red handprints on the building’s entrance to draw attention to the civilian casualties in Palestinian territory.

Protesters pointed out that the committee “only took a few days” to exclude Russia and Belarus from the 2022 Olympics over the war in Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022.

Russia and Belarus

Athletes from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete in this year’s Olympics as neutrals, according to the committee. But they will not be allowed to participate in the opening ceremony and will not use flags, emblems or anthems. No officials from either country’s government were invited to the games from July 26 to August 11, said Anadolu.

Israel “mocks the decisions of the International Criminal Court as well as the International Court of Justice,” stated a brochure published by the protesters, who called for sanctions to be imposed on the country.

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Banners read “Boycott Israel, boycott genocide,” “Humanity has failed” and “Free Palestine,” with protesters calling on French President Emmanuel Macron to cut diplomatic ties with Israel as well as arms supplies, impose cultural and academic boycotts on the country, and end an agreement allowing French nationals to serve in the Israeli army.

Some 4,000 French citizens are currently participating in the Israeli military’s offensive on Gaza.

European vs Arab

One of the protesters told Anadolu that a country capable of “doing genocide” cannot participate in the Olympic Games, which are supposed to bring people together.

“When it comes to Russia, it kicked them out easily,” the protester said. “Because it touches the Europeans. People are a lot more sensitive when they see a European getting killed then when they see an Arab getting killed.

This protest aimed to show that people “are not blind and willing to talk,” he said.

Guillaume, from Lausanne, told Anadolu that he was attending the protest to join in the demand to ban Israel from the Olympic Games, “which is something that has been done for other countries when they commit such war crimes.”

“This is why I think it’s appropriate to be here while there’s a genocide, or at least an ethnic cleansing, in Gaza and in all of Palestine,” he said.

He also criticized the Olympic committee for closing its doors rather than sending someone to discuss the issue with the protestors.

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Double Standards

A university student who wished to remain anonymous told Anadolu: “Today, we are here to say that we do not agree with Israel coming to the Paris Olympic Games, because it is a genocidal state.”

“This is the first time that there is a genocide which is broadcast so visibly, which is filmed by the very victims of this genocide. It is impossible that when we have this before our eyes, we allow ourselves to accept the presence of Israel,” she said.

The student warned that Israel’s participation in the games would mean allowing them to “get away with” their actions as “criminals.”

“If Russia was condemned so easily, it is not clear why Israel is not. We don’t understand why there are two different ways of treating this (situation),” she added.

FIFA Request

Last month, the world football body FIFA ordered an independent legal assessment of a request by the Palestinian Football Association to suspend Israel over its onslaught on Gaza.

“FIFA will mandate as of now, independent legal expertise to analyze and assess the three requests made by the Palestinian Football Association and ensure the statutes of FIFA are applied in the correct way,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced at the organization’s annual congress in Bangkok.

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Earlier, the PFA President Jibril Rajoub made an impassioned plea to the delegates from 211 member associations to hold a vote to suspend Israel from FIFA.

“Today I stand before you once again to address the systematic violations of FIFA laws and regulations, which the Palestinian Football Association has been subjected to over many years. I have repeatedly spoken against Israeli violations of our rights, including the Israeli Football Association’s inclusion of illegal settlement clubs in the game,” Rajoub said.

In January, Hani al-Masdar, known in the Palestinian sports community as Abu al-Abed, was killed in an airstrike on Gaza City. He was the coach of the Palestinian Olympic football team.

Over 37,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,232 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,037 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(Anadolu, PC)

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