Palestinian Arabs aren’t thrilled that their Arab brethren are in Israel for the world’s second biggest bicycle race:
Palestinians in Jerusalem have expressed their anger at a Bahraini-UAE delegation’s participation in the so-called Giro d’Italia race of 2018, to be held in Israel this year.
A spokesman for the National Action Authority in occupied Jerusalem described the participation of the Emirati and Bahraini teams as, “a very serious provocation to the feelings of the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations, at a time when Jerusalem is being subjected to the worst attack of Judaization, Israelization and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalemites.”
The spokesman added: “This shameful Arab participation coincides with the Nakba Day commemoration and the occupation’s celebration of the establishment of Israel. This means that these normalization states are celebrating with the occupiers the commemoration of the looting of Palestine and the displacement of its people, and this is what the free people of the nation could neither bear nor accept.”
Ziad Al-Hammouri, a leader in Jerusalem, described the Arab participation in this race as “the worst participation that one can expect from those who describe themselves as Arabs.” He told The New Arab that: “This is an explicit and clear declaration that these states have abandoned the Palestinian cause, the central cause of the Arab and Islamic nation, a breach of all taboos and the Arab consensus, and part of the current direction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who attacked the Palestinian people and accused them of rejecting peace proposals.”
In an interview with The New Arab, one of the activists said that if they encounter these Arab teams tomorrow, the activists, “will throw eggs at them and will not allow them be part of this participation, which constitutes a disgrace for the pro-occupation states of these teams and their regimes.”
The article then goes on to say that the race will occur on “occupied territory” – even though it doesn’t go close to the Green Line.
The UAE and Bahrain have no choice but to participate if they want to remain part of the Union Cycliste Internationale (International Cycling Union). Which just goes to show that their support for Palestinian nationalism is way down on their priority lists when compared to their desire to continue to be members of the UCI.
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