Toronto Raptors: Skip the Trip to Apartheid Israel

Tell the Toronto Raptors: Don’t celebrate your historic NBA win by becoming ambassadors to sports-wash occupation, apartheid, and war crimes.

Prior to winning the 2019 NBA title, Raptor's billionaire co-owner Larry Tanenbaum told the team if they won he would take them on a trip to Israel. Traveling to Israel on such a trip would help cover up (sports-wash) Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people. Sign our letter to the Raptors’ players asking them to heed the Palestinian call for boycott — including a sports and cultural boycott — and reject the trip.


Dear Raptors players,

As sports fans and human rights supporters, we appeal to you to decline to travel to Israel as part of a propaganda trip that would serve to cover up (sports-wash) the daily nightmares of siege, occupation, and apartheid that Palestinians live under.

Since 1967, Israel has been holding Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza under military occupation and in a system of apartheid. Palestinians are subject to a web of checkpoints, they endure home demolitions, land confiscations, closed military zones, and a separate and unequal system of military laws and courts. Palestinians are subjected to inadequate access to water and other resources, separate roads and walkways, and a separation wall that snakes throughout the West Bank, preventing Palestinians from accessing their crops. Under military law it is illegal for Palestinians to participate in protest of their circumstances and military courts have an over 99% conviction rate. Children as young as 12 are detained, abuses, and tried in the only juvenile military court in the world.

In Gaza, Palestinians live under a crippling siege, often referred to as the largest open-air prison on earth. 97% of the water in Gaza is unfit for consumption. Medical supplies and sufficient food cannot get in. Unemployment is 52% (70% for youth) and the densely populated strip is often bombed. The United Nations says that since March 2018, Israel has likely been committing war crimes by shooting Palestinian citizens, children, journalists, medics, and the disabled.

Inside Israel, Palestinian citizens face discrimination in housing, resources, and more. In 2005 Palestinian civil society put out a call for boycott — including academic, cultural and sports — and divestment from Israel until such a time as Israel ends its occupation and colonization of the West Bank and its siege of Gaza, dismantles the Apartheid system of racial discrimination and segregation for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and recognizes the Right of Return of over 5 million Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194.

Around the world, poor and oppressed people embrace basketball as a sport of the people, and basketball players — many of whom come from poor and struggling backgrounds — have an important history of taking progressive positions and giving back to their communities, including NBA players showing up on the side of social and racial justice. Rather than participating in a propaganda trip that will help Israel continue its policies of racism and oppression, we encourage you to travel to the West Bank and meet with Palestinians living under occupation. CODEPINK is happy to provide you with contacts and resources to do this.

As NBA Champions, you have the opportunity to use your success and influence to help end Isreal’s abuses of Palestinian human rights. Please support the Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberation by not traveling to Israel as part of a propaganda trip.

Sincerely,

Who's signing

p bryer
Laura Hanks
Maggie Heneghan
Gigo de Silvas
eileen gilkenson
Christie Brink
John Christine
Jeanne Yager
Russell Moore
Tim Waters
Norto Sepulveda
linda fadem
Philip Kraske
Robert Reed
Brian Reid
Leila Maher
Carolyn Poinelli
Jennifer Scott
Kelley Keisch
Paula LeRoy
Tracy Supruniuk
Stan Squires
Vera Funk
Richard Blakemore
Peter von Cristierson von Cristierson
Sarah OBrien
Wes Eastridge
George Waterston
Lily Beaumont
Stephen Dutschke
2,789 signatures

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Comments

  • p bryer
    signed 2019-06-25 14:00:06 -0400
  • Laura Hanks
    signed 2019-06-25 13:57:23 -0400
  • Maggie Heneghan
    signed 2019-06-25 13:55:47 -0400
  • Gigo de Silvas
    signed 2019-06-25 13:54:17 -0400
    Reject APARTHEID!
  • eileen gilkenson
    signed 2019-06-25 13:53:05 -0400
    eileen gilkenson
  • Christie Brink
    signed 2019-06-25 13:50:13 -0400
  • John Christine
    signed 2019-06-25 13:46:05 -0400
  • Jeanne Yager
    signed 2019-06-25 13:38:49 -0400
  • Russell Moore
    signed 2019-06-25 13:31:57 -0400
  • Tim Waters
    signed 2019-06-25 13:30:20 -0400
  • Norto Sepulveda
    signed 2019-06-25 13:29:24 -0400
  • linda fadem
    signed 2019-06-25 13:29:15 -0400
  • Philip Kraske
    signed 2019-06-25 13:26:53 -0400
  • Robert Reed
    signed 2019-06-25 13:20:43 -0400
    Robert Reed
  • Brian Reid
    signed 2019-06-25 13:17:07 -0400
    Around the world, poor and oppressed people embrace basketball as a sport of the people, and basketball players — many of whom come from poor and struggling backgrounds — have an important history of taking progressive positions and giving back to their communities, including NBA players showing up on the side of social and racial justice. Rather than participating in a propaganda trip that will help Israel continue its policies of racism and oppression, we encourage you to travel to the West Bank and meet with Palestinians living under occupation. CODEPINK is happy to provide you with contacts and resources to do this.


    As NBA Champions, you have the opportunity to use your success and influence to help end Isreal’s abuses of Palestinian human rights. Please support the Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberation by not traveling to Israel as part of a propaganda trip.
  • Leila Maher
    signed 2019-06-25 13:15:56 -0400
  • Carolyn Poinelli
    signed 2019-06-25 13:14:35 -0400
  • Jennifer Scott
    signed 2019-06-25 13:14:11 -0400
  • Kelley Keisch
    signed 2019-06-25 13:12:40 -0400
  • Paula LeRoy
    signed 2019-06-25 13:10:13 -0400
    Please don’t let the Isreali occupation supporters use you as a political pawn, masking the horrid human rights abuses, racism and genocide they are inflicting on Palestinians. Skip the trip AND demand 100% improvement of conditions and treatment of Palestinians.
  • Tracy Supruniuk
    signed 2019-06-25 13:05:40 -0400
  • Stan Squires
    signed 2019-06-25 13:04:47 -0400
    Don’t support Israeli Apartheid by going to Israel.
  • Vera Funk
    signed 2019-06-25 13:00:50 -0400
  • Richard Blakemore
    signed 2019-06-25 13:00:41 -0400
  • Peter von Cristierson von Cristierson
    signed 2019-06-25 12:56:53 -0400
    Don’t use the team as a propaganda machine for Israel. If you want to travel go to Palestine and see the real world.
  • Sarah OBrien
    signed 2019-06-25 12:51:55 -0400
    Your words and actions are powerful, so please use them for good.
  • Wes Eastridge
    signed 2019-06-25 12:44:13 -0400
    The notion of a “Jewish State” is a lie. It is a Zionist state, built by ethnic cleansing and land appropriation, of the indigenous Palestinian people. Join us on the correct side of history, by refusing the invitation to “Israel”. I encourage yall to, instead, contact congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, to see about joining her trip to the occupied West Bank.
  • George Waterston
    signed 2019-06-25 12:39:48 -0400
  • Lily Beaumont
    signed 2019-06-25 12:39:11 -0400
  • Stephen Dutschke
    signed 2019-06-25 12:38:03 -0400
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