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

Richard Blakemore
Peter von Christierson
Sarah OBrien
Wes Eastridge
George Waterston
Lily Beaumont
Stephen Dutschke
Robert Magarian
Laura Muschietti
Mona Seredin
Suzie Kidder
lee bory
MaryAnne Dumont
Sondra Loucks Wilson
Georgia Kahn
Gary Smith
Joan M Oliver
Chris Tilly
Carolyn Modeen
M S
John Davies
Stephanie Lenn
Stephen Leggett
Claire Davies
Jo Pa
Paul Meers
Michael McMahan
Bruce Cratty
2,768 signatures

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Comments

  • Richard Blakemore
    signed 2019-06-25 13:00:41 -0400
  • Peter von Christierson
    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
  • Robert Magarian
    signed 2019-06-25 12:37:19 -0400
  • Laura Muschietti
    signed 2019-06-25 12:36:16 -0400
  • Mona Seredin
    @Peacedove272 tweeted link to this page. 2019-06-25 12:27:20 -0400
    Dear @Raptors don’t travel to apartheid Israel w/team owner Larry Tanenbaum. Your @NBA championship win is historic & must not be used as propaganda to cover up Israel’s crimes of occupation & aparthied. #SkipTheTrip #RaptorsDontGo https://www.codepink.org/raptors?recruiter_id=44494
  • Mona Seredin
    signed 2019-06-25 12:27:04 -0400
    Refuse to go to Israel until they stop their apartheid police against the Palestinians.
  • Suzie Kidder
    signed 2019-06-25 12:26:40 -0400
    Racism is Racism regardless of whom it is that is the target. Please reject the “offer” of a free trip to Israel in solidarity with all targets of racism and oppression.
  • lee bory
    signed 2019-06-25 12:17:03 -0400
  • MaryAnne Dumont
    signed 2019-06-25 12:17:02 -0400
  • Sondra Loucks Wilson
    signed 2019-06-25 12:13:06 -0400
  • Georgia Kahn
    signed 2019-06-25 12:12:40 -0400
  • Gary Smith
    signed 2019-06-25 12:12:02 -0400
  • Joan M Oliver
    signed 2019-06-25 12:10:46 -0400
    Palestinians have been so oppressed by constant occupation & isolation at the hands of Israel. It is hard to find means by which one can protest Israeli suppression of Palestine. This is a welcome opportunity. Please help to shine a light on this painful topic.
  • Chris Tilly
    signed 2019-06-25 12:09:28 -0400
    Writing as a former Toronto resident and thrilled Raptors fan!
  • Carolyn Modeen
    signed 2019-06-25 12:06:48 -0400
  • M S
    signed 2019-06-25 11:59:15 -0400
  • John Davies
    signed 2019-06-25 11:58:42 -0400
  • Stephanie Lenn
    @Gr8GooglyMoogle tweeted link to this page. 2019-06-25 11:55:57 -0400
    Dear @Raptors don’t travel to apartheid Israel w/team owner Larry Tanenbaum. Your @NBA championship win is historic & must not be used as propaganda to cover up Israel’s crimes of occupation & aparthied. #SkipTheTrip #RaptorsDontGo https://www.codepink.org/raptors?recruiter_id=695303
  • Stephanie Lenn
    signed 2019-06-25 11:55:53 -0400
  • Stephen Leggett
    signed 2019-06-25 11:55:36 -0400
  • Claire Davies
    signed 2019-06-25 11:49:32 -0400
  • Jo Pa
    signed 2019-06-25 11:48:46 -0400
  • Paul Meers
    signed 2019-06-25 11:48:24 -0400
  • Michael McMahan
    signed 2019-06-25 11:47:18 -0400
  • Bruce Cratty
    signed 2019-06-25 11:46:04 -0400
    Bruce M Cratty
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