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

Rachael Pappano
Johanna Cummings
Wendy Behr
Yusef Zazi
Justin Fulghum
Safaa Zeyad
Safaa Awad
Sean Reynolds
Yasser Tabbaa
Maude Behrens
Mitch Jackson
Yousef Zakaria
Medora Van Denburgh
Nancy M. Caswell
David Schach
Naveed Khan
Deena Hamdan
Stefan Ruby
Timothy Raymond
John Goshorn
Rana Ricchio
Dawn Albanese
Keelin Stechey
Hayden Whiteye
Aida Muhammad
Troy Jackson
thomas duranti
Dennis Ledden
Mohammed Abu Nasser
2,767 signatures

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Comments

  • Rachael Pappano
    signed 2019-06-19 12:14:08 -0400
  • Johanna Cummings
    signed 2019-06-19 12:13:20 -0400
  • Wendy Behr
    signed 2019-06-19 12:08:37 -0400
  • Yusef Zazi
    signed 2019-06-19 11:37:53 -0400
  • Justin Fulghum
    signed 2019-06-19 11:34:02 -0400
  • Safaa Zeyad
    signed 2019-06-19 11:05:00 -0400
  • Safaa Awad
    signed 2019-06-19 11:03:23 -0400
  • Sean Reynolds
    signed 2019-06-19 10:56:44 -0400
    Not asking you to take a knee against apartheid, just to stay here and not visit it. Don’t ask me, Sun City.
  • Yasser Tabbaa
    signed 2019-06-19 10:27:45 -0400
  • Maude Behrens
    signed 2019-06-19 10:18:02 -0400
  • Mitch Jackson
    signed 2019-06-19 10:10:56 -0400
  • Yousef Zakaria
    signed 2019-06-19 10:09:03 -0400
  • Medora Van Denburgh
    signed 2019-06-19 09:58:00 -0400
  • Nancy M. Caswell
    @NancyMCaswell tweeted link to this page. 2019-06-19 09:57:14 -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=684390
  • Nancy M. Caswell
    signed 2019-06-19 09:57:08 -0400
  • David Schach
    signed 2019-06-19 09:53:56 -0400
  • Naveed Khan
    signed 2019-06-19 09:39:00 -0400
  • Deena Hamdan
    signed 2019-06-19 09:36:38 -0400
    We stand with peace and tolerance!!!
  • Stefan Ruby
    signed 2019-06-19 09:30:03 -0400
  • Timothy Raymond
    signed 2019-06-19 09:27:56 -0400
  • John Goshorn
    signed 2019-06-19 09:26:17 -0400
  • Rana Ricchio
    signed 2019-06-19 09:25:36 -0400
  • Dawn Albanese
    signed 2019-06-19 09:21:14 -0400
  • Keelin Stechey
    signed 2019-06-19 09:09:07 -0400
  • Hayden Whiteye
    signed 2019-06-19 09:09:07 -0400
  • Aida Muhammad
    signed 2019-06-19 08:38:49 -0400
  • Troy Jackson
    signed 2019-06-19 08:31:12 -0400
  • thomas duranti
    signed 2019-06-19 08:13:58 -0400
  • Dennis Ledden
    signed 2019-06-19 08:13:28 -0400
  • Mohammed Abu Nasser
    signed 2019-06-19 08:11:36 -0400
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